Coeur d’Alene

Well, the movie is MIA, so I transcribed normal tapes instead today. Learned tons about the Chickasaw Cultural Center. Watched Rory McIlroy win the US Open (I’m not a golf fan, but it was hard not to cheer for that young man. May he be the next face of golf – it’s a welcome change from the last one!). Visited a little, ate a little, drank a little. Now it’s time to catch up ye ole blog, and then bedtime.

So where did I leave you? In Coos Bay, I believe, watching the sunset at Sunset Bay. The next morning I headed up the coast, entertained by two elderly gentlemen hosting a radio show called Tradio, where they chatted about local happenings in between listing various items that folks wanted to sell or trade. It reminded me of a show I used to listen to in Canton, NY decades ago when I was in college – small town radio stations and small town radio shows. Gotta love ’em. Those two gentlemen kept me company for quite a while as I drove north, and made me miss my Sirius satellite radio a wee bit less.

I drove and stopped and took pictures and gazed at the ocean and drove and stopped some more. 101 takes turns winding through verdant forests or oozing along the rocky coastline, and each mile is gorgeous. I’ve made that trip a couple of times in the last few years, once with He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named and then again a year later to make my own memories and erase those that were ours. This trip reminded me of both of those earlier ones, which was fine. Time heals all wounds.

I drove through Yachats, and promised myself that I’d spend a week there sometime soon – unless I win the lottery and can buy a house there. It’s my all-time favorite spot on the coast. I cruised the historic bayfront in Newport, thinking of Doug and Liane and the times we’ve shared there, albeit at different times. 🙂 (It hasn’t changed at all.) I was going to stop at Mo’s for clam chowder, but wasn’t hungry. I stopped at every overlook I could safely enter without getting crunched by a passing car or truck, and breathed in the fresh sea air and listened to the waves crashing on the shore. There’s just nothing like the Oregon Coast (at least as far as I know).

I stopped at the Flying Dutchman winery for a couple of sips (it was only 11am, and still too early for wine for me, in spite of what Kathryn thinks), and bought a glass as I attempt to restore my wine-tasting-glass collection that the &^%$ movers lost. Then it was on to Tillamook where samples of wine, cheese, and ice cream made a nutritious lunch. The wine dude at Blue Heron was a former wine store owner in the San Juan Islands and lives in an RV, so we shared lots of traveling stories – and he gave me lots of advice about the RV I might buy someday. Huckleberry ice cream at Tillamook, and then I said a sad goodbye to the coast and headed inland. (I skipped the northern portion of the coast this time – it’ll be there next time.)

And landed in Hillsboro mid-afternoon, just in time to crack a bottle of chardonnay with Pat and Trudy, cousins I haven’t seen in 24 years. Their daughter Jessica joined us (she was 2 the last time I saw her…), and we spent a wonderful afternoon and evening reconnecting, telling family stories, and catching up on each other’s lives. It was a peaceful, fun time, and I was ready to move into their basement and stay for a few weeks.

But time marches on, and Coeur d’Alene called. I wanted to detour through Boise and surprise a Trop Rock friend at a concert, but decided I couldn’t drive 500 more miles and spend over $100 for two hours of music. Sorry, Robbie.

So I braved drizzle and wind and 53 degree temps as I crossed Oregon and Washington, and pulled into Idaho mid-afternoon. I stopped at Multinomah Falls along the way because it’s right on the interstate, and a nice chance to stretch my legs. One of these days I’ll climb up to that quaint little bridge for a closer look at the falls – but not today.

I also passed on Car d’Lane, which is an annual classic car rally held in downtown CDA. Usually 500 cars line the main streets of town, and I never miss it – but the weather sucked. And my desert blood couldn’t face a couple of hours in that mess, so I headed straight to Ali and Kevin’s instead.

Where my dear friends welcomed me home.

Since then we’ve drank chardonnay, eaten way too much, visited with friends, talked too much, laughed not quite enough, worked some, and caught up on all that’s happened since we were together last fall. It feels like I was here last week – wherever does the time go? (Probably the same place your socks do when they disappear from the dryer.)

And now I must make more plans. Although right now, they consist of drinks with Amy and Ali tomorrow, and coffee with Linda and Loretta on Tuesday. Although more dates will pop up as I contact folks and let them know I’m back. Oh, and I’ll be working when I’m not playing. And trying to decide what to do next.

I haven’t even wandered around town yet – that’ll happen tomorrow. Tonight, I watch the drizzle fall from cloudy skies (the sun goes down really late in the NW this time of year), and try to remember what’s on my to-do list that didn’t get to-done in Phoenix. Back to the real world, Idaho-style.

I hope you had a stellar Father’s Day, and are ready to greet the return of summer. Me, I’m hoping it gets warm enough to wear my flip flops and capris again…although it can keep raining!

Stay tuned for more tales from the Inland Empire…thanks for stopping!

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