Destination: Lewiston, ID
End of Day Odometer: 70,354km
We woke up approximately on time this morning, not extremely early, but early enough to catch the continental breakfast in the lobby. I mean, it’s right there, so you might as well check it out. It wasn’t too bad, the breakfast room contained the typical cheap motel fare, which we grabbed a bit of and then headed back up to the room to nom on it. Approximately half way through we realized we had planned on heading up to Whitefish for a sandwich for lunch. Luckily I had only eaten my English muffin and one donut, while John had already reached the point of no return and finished his off. The weather outside was fantastic, much better than the varying amounts of rain we endured yesterday.
After checking out of the hotel we headed up to the Quickee Pub and Sandwich Shop in Whitefish, MT. I had been here on the last day of a skiing trip earlier this year and had found it to be one of the best sandwiches I had ever eaten, obviously if you’re less than 20 miles from such an establishment, it’s only right that you partake of its delights. Based on recently consumed food, we decided to split a hot Quickee sandwich with Roast Beef and Pastrami, Provolone and everything else. It was as expected: delicious, and included a side of tortilla chips and an interesting salsa. It is oddly Mexican themed for a sandwich shop.
Despite your best efforts when on a road trip, there are always bugs smooshing themselves into the front of your car. When on a trip such as ours, pictures need to be taken. Once you combine these two facts, you realize you’re going to need to wash the car. Conveniently, we passed by a car wash on our way to get sandwiches and so pulled in on our way out of town. Costing roughly one third of the price of a car wash back in Calgary, it seemed like a pretty sweet deal, until we realized that what was labelled as a spot free rinse did not actually perform that function, but instead provided spots for free. Alas, it is temporary anyway; the bugs will be back to smooshing themselves into the bumper in no time. The good news is that my pants were thoroughly washed while I was cleaning the wheels.
After washing the car, we headed south to Missoula on our way to the Highway 12, which didn’t start out particularly spectacular. As we followed the Clearwater River west, we found the road to become increasingly interesting and the scenery followed suit. Obviously some of the greatest sections were meant to be driven and not stopped at for photo opportunities, so unfortunately it’s something you will need to drive here to experience for yourself. A lot of people do seem to have that idea; we passed a significant number of classic cars from the 1920’s – 1930’s, motorcycles and other sports cars.
After leaving the driving delight that was Highway 12, we set our sights on the next enjoyment: supper. We stopped once we got into Lewiston once we got cell service and did some quick Googling and found a local place called Main Street Grill. It was an interesting restaurant with a very diner half and a more sit down restaurant half along with a pretty nice looking patio. Anticipating biscuits and gravy in Portland and taking into account the doubled up earlier meal, John decided to go light and got a salad with salmon and vegetables. He had mad meal envy when my pastrami burger showed up at the table alongside his (a bit overcooked) fish. The burger was pretty good, but the fries were on point. One of the biggest features of the pastrami burger is definitely the pastrami, which was under-represented and far too thinly sliced. Still, it scratched me where I itched just enough to leave me satisfied.
Despite the good deal we got on the hotel room, really the only thing that made me enjoy what happened when we got to the hotel was the knowledge that I’d be able to write about it in the blog. Upon arrival at the hotel, the front desk employee spent a few minutes looking for my reservation, asking how to spell my name and telling me he didn’t see anything under my name before realizing it was printed on the top page of the pile of reservations he had been looking through. Once John came in we got our keys to room 225, sounds good we thought; far from the road and on the second floor, it should be a wonderful room. As I opened the door to the room, I noticed housekeeping hadn’t taken the jacket that a previous occupant had left. This observation was quickly corrected when the (thankfully fully clothed) owner of said jacket came to inform me that he was not the previous occupant, but in fact the present occupant. Upon receiving a second set of keys for room 125, we were disappointed to learn that room 125 contains but a single bed. Not wanting to cuddle, we headed back to the front desk to receive keys to our unoccupied, two bed equipped room. Complete with towels and everything!
Tomorrow we head for Portland, OR along the first scenic highway built in the USA, the Columbia River Scenic Byway. Recommended to me by my sister-in-law’s parents last week, after researching it, I felt there was no better way to get from where we are to the coast. It will be a slower drive than todays, but I have no doubt it will be worth it. It’s going to require a bit of sleep, luckily we’ve got a couple of beds to help with that.
Day 3 Destination: Portland, OR via Columbia River Scenic Byway