Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Glacier National Park Road Trip - Day 18

Barefoot Brew was the expresso stop for the Two Old Buzzards on their way out of Trout Creek, Montana. Flowers and three gigantic ladybugs decorated the coffee “grounds”, In fact, the ladybugs had obviously been bowling balls in their past lives.

It was 8:04 as Wilma and her passengers rode outta town on Hwy 200 and by 7:47 they had reached the Idaho border. Yes, that is correct...they had gained an hour. The Kaniksu National Forest was beautiful. We were driving along Hwy 200 with the Clear Fork River on our left. John spotted an old bridge ahead going across the river. We passed it, then he saw a road exiting to the left that look like it would go to Clear Fork. We took it. It wasn't long until we discovered that there is a new bridge for cars and the old structure that John saw was not a foot bridge. And, at the near end of the foot bridge (which is wide enough for a car, but blocked off) we a pole with a nest on top. Can you say osprey? First we heard it scolding us for being there. Then, as we walked beyond the pole onto the bridge, the osprey took flight. Neither of us were prepared for that and didn't get a shot off. Sooo, we went out onto the bridge and took some other photos. The river was sooooo calm. The clouds were so puffy, small, and beautiful. The hills and the trees were reflected in the river just like in a mirror. Barely a ripple. THEN, along comes this fellow drift fishing in his aluminum boat, his faithful dog beside him. Very quietly drifting down the river. Soon, John noticed a shot. Here was this boat, fisherman and dog not only on the river, but reflected in the river just like the clouds, trees and hills. Game on! He calls his image "Fishing in the Clouds".

You can't see the water (maybe you'll notice a few ripples).
All you can see are reflections in the water
along with the fisherman, boat and dog.

Done with that, we headed back to Wilma. No sooner had we returned to the van, than our osprey returned to the nest. John, ready this time, walked back onto the bridge. Nothing but scolding. Then, he slowly walked back toward the pole stomping his feet. Success! The osprey took flight and he managed to capture several shots. But, our day with ospreys is not yet over. Read on!

Back on the road toward Wilbur, the buzzards noticed signs that they were near a turnoff for the Beyond Hope Resort. It seemed like a name to go along with the Potter's Field Lodge and the Grave Creek Cabins that we've mentioned before. And it was well worth going two and a half miles out of the way to see a place called Beyond Hope. On the way, there was a cute deer who paused to scope us out. Beyond Hope is situated on a beautiful lake and appeared to be a very nice place to spend time. Upon leaving, Linda noticed a street up the way called Above and Beyond Hope.

The mystery was soon solved after we continued on the route. We came to a town called, as you might have guessed by now, Hope (located right after New Hope). Makes sense...there's Hope. Then, there's New Hope. Finally, there's Beyond Hope. Hope was founded in 1889 and it is in an eagle nesting area. There was a giant nest right in the middle of old Downtown Hope. However, it was not and eagle, but an osprey. John got some great shots of it.  Linda also saw a "Worms for Sale" sign but they were not open. Perhaps you have seen the video the old buzzards made about the Squiggly Wiggle Worm Ranch. It is available on YouTube to view for free by clicking here,  but the worms will cost you.

An osprey returning to its nest with some "building materials" for
home improvement

John had a lot of spottings (thus photo opportunities) of old buildings and new-mown wheat fields along the way. He also had great fun exploring the location of a future railroad museum that is a work-in- progress.

It is day 17 of this Road Trip and today was the first time the old buzzards have stopped at McDonalds.The location was Sandpoint, Idaho and it was the perfect time for a rest stop and some senior coffees. They have not purposely avoided McD's. It just turned out that way. Lots of places on this Road Trip have been too small to even have a McDonalds.

At 11:07 Washington again welcomed the buzzards. John stopped at a Yoke grocery to get bread for his  sandwich because his stomach did not understand the time change and thought it was time for lunch.

Like that restaurant name in Montana, our lunch was “on the fly” as we headed for Wilbur, Washington. John had a Drpur, a ham sandwich and Linda had coffee and the leftovers from her fruit salad. Both had cheese sticks.
It was surprising to see so much flat farmland in this area. The fields looked lush and well cared for. There seemed to be more wheat and hay than anything else.

By 2:15 the old buzzards rolled into Wilbur, Washington and found their motel – The Willows. The room was not ready so there was time to go to see the reason Wilbur was chosen as today's destination. Quiz time: Do you know what is larger than the Great Pyramid of Egypt, able to hold back the force of a mighty river and more powerful than a million locomotives?  And is NOT a fictional superhero? It's the Grand Coulee Dam, our country's largest concrete dam and hydroelectric project. Constructed 70 years ago, it blocks the Columbia River, forming Lake Roosevelt, which extends 151 miles upstream to the Canadian border. It is as high as the Washington Monument. There is enough concrete in the structure to build a six-foot wide sidewalk around the world at the equator. Wouldn't that be handy? The old buzzards and Fannie enjoyed seeing the dam and were back in Wilbur by 4:30 to check into their lovely room at the charming Willows Motel.

A picturesque little spot in Wilbur, WA
Dinner at the Alibi
A really nice chef salad
The motel host recommended that we have dinner at The Alibi. It is a cute place in Downtown Wilbur. It is both a family restaurant AND a saloon. At 9:00pm, they throw out all the minors and the serious drinking begins. Linda commented to the server about how busy she was taking care of everybody by herself. She said, “Oh. I don't really work here, I'm just filling in. I drive a school bus and school's out.”  John and Linda both got the chef salad. John got mud pie for dessert and when the server set it down, she had brought two forks and John generously shared his delicious treat with Linda. Yummm! (John's comment - after 48 years, you learn!)

There are 106 images in today's photo gallery which you can view by clicking here.

The SONG O' THE DAY is “Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah” by Ray Gilbert and Allie Wrubel (1945).Whee, it was a wonderful Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah day. The buzzards traveled from Montana, across the panhandle of Idaho and into Washington State. They really got to see a lot of territory. Very often today, it was the things they pulled off the road for, that ended up being the most interesting.

And, Linda came to the 365th song in Jumpin Jim's Daily Ukelele Songbook. As the neon sign in Whitefish, Montana said: “Yahoo!” Never fear, Linda brought another book, just in case she met her goal of going through the 365 songs before the end of the trip. Stay tuned . . .

Happy trails!

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