Top Social

Amelia On The Road

Image Slider

In the Rearview -- Superlatives

Sunday, July 31, 2016
Diane's favorite picture of Me as Intrepid Explorer.

One other things Diane and I have been keeping track of throughout our journey is a list of what Diane calls "Superlatives," the bests and worsts of where we've been.

Before we got any further, a disclaimer: This list is based on our experiences and observations and is in no way scientific or based on research into reliable facts. There are just the impressions of a woman and her dog, but we think our impressions are pretty reliable.

New York

  • Saddest attempt to capitalize on nature's splendor: Niagara Falls
    • The fact is nothing humans can build can compete with the wonder of the falls, which perhaps explain why the town of Niagara is so sad.
  • Most beautiful waterway to drive along at sunset: The Erie Canal.
    • The reflection of sunset in the calm, still waters is stunning.


  • Saddest evidence of how humans ruin everything: Lake Erie
    • Oh the pollution. The lake stank. And was full of bacteria and algae. It was sad.


  • Worst toll road rest areas: I90


  • Worst cell phone reception, small town category: Tomah, WI
  • Bounciest highway: Madison, WI
    • It looked smooth but looks can be deceiving. We bumped and bounced so much we thought parts were going to start flying off.


  • Most picturesque farms

South Dakota

  • Fewest Walmarts
  • Darkest interstate highway


  • Craziest sky
  • Best weather-watching
  • Windiest
  • Greatest concentration of pickup trucks 
  • Most freight trains
  • Most Scenic Turnouts on the Interstate
  • Most enthusiastic sport climbers

    • We spent more time in Wyoming than anywhere else (6 nights!), which was enough to make a number of observations. Montana may be the home of Big Sky, but we didn't go anywhere with a bigger sky than Wyoming. It was big and crazy. You can watch storms swirling thirty miles away, and the ceaseless wind absolutely will knock you down. There are scenic pull-offs or "turnouts" constantly along the highway so you can enjoy the vast sky and brutal wind. Everyone here has a pickup truck and freight trains rumble constantly across the high plains. There's a lot of rock climbing here, mostly bolted routes
  • Most Scenic National Forest Drive: The Loop Road from Sinks Canyon through Shoshone National Forest
    • It's mostly a dirt road but it is smooth and can be driven by any sort of car, no off-road vehicle required.


  • Steepest paved road in Eastern Colorado: Magnolia Road (20% grades!)
    • Todd's brother-in-law Ian informed us that Magnolia Road is actually, factually one of the steepest paved roads in the state. We should NOT have driven on it. Seriously. 
  • Most festive vibe: Boulder
    • Boulder feels like a beach town with no ocean even though it is also a real city where people have real jobs.
  • Most dog friendly city town: Boulder
    • Residents of Boulder can get have their dog certified to be off-leash! They go and do some kind of test and then they get a special tag so their dogs can be off-leash in public. How progressive is that? 


  • Brightest High Beams
    • You've never seen anything like it (unless you're from Idaho)
  • Greatest Proportion of Land Designated as National Forest
    • Take a look on a map and you'll see what I mean
  • Friendliest People
    • Camping in Idaho was the first time people stopped to ask us questions about the Big Rolling Crate. Sure, here and there we'd had comments from people before Idaho, but in Idaho people introduced themselves, asked questions, told us their stories, and suggested places we might like to visit. 
  • Biggest Mosquitos West of Maine
  • Meanest Horseflies
  • Most Plentiful Hot Springs
    • If the people we talked to at the hot spring we visited are to be believed, this is factual. They said there are more hot springs in Idaho than any other state.


  • Greatest Concentration of Small, Independent Roadside Coffee Stands


  • The Most Letters on Hillsides
    • Every town seems to have a hill, and on every hill, written very large, is the first letter of the town's name. M for Missoula, F for Frenchtown, B for Butte, you get the idea.
  • Best Electric Light Show
    • The thunderstorm we witnessed was intense and beautiful and, we suspect, not usual around these parts


  • Worst State to Drive Through
    • We drove through 19 states and our suspicion that Connecticut is the worst state to drive through was only confirmed. 


  • Best Place to Spend a Week by the Sea


  • Place We Most Want to Live
    • Our travels were amazing, but at the end of it all, we love living in Central Mass!

Well, dear readers, thank you for sharing our journey with us. We hope you enjoyed. We're taking the month of August off from social media, but you can always reach us via Email or via Diane's website.

Our Trip By the Numbers

Diane and Todd have been keeping all sorts of stats throughout the Todyssey so I thought I'd share a few with you!


  • The total number of miles we traveled over the course of 31 days.


  • Gallons of diesel purchased on our trip. The price of diesel varied quite a lot from state to state but $2.50 is a reasonable average. We'll leave it to you to do the math on that, though.


  • The number of states we drove through:
    • On the way out: Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, South Dakota, Wyoming, Colorado, back to Wyoming, Idaho, Oregon
    • On the way back: Washington, Idaho, Montana, North Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine


  • The number of nights spent camping in a State Park, National Forest, or National Park
    • Two nights in South Dakota
    • Two nights in Colorado
    • Four nights in Wyoming
    • Two nights in Idaho
  • Also the number of states where Amelia swam:
    • Minnesota, South Dakota, Wyoming, Colorado, Idaho, Oregon, Washington, Montana, Pennsylvania, Maine


  • The number of nights spent sleeping in Walmart Parking lots. 


  • The number of nights we spent in hotels. It would have only been 4 if it weren't for the breakdown in Idaho, which caused two very unplanned hotel nights.
  • Also the number of nights we didn't camp, Walmart, or hotel (1 night at a KOA (which is definitely NOT camping), 1 night at a rest area, 1 night at a truck stop, 1 night at Jeanne's, 1 night at Diane's mom's, and 1 night when we didn't sleep at all)


  • The number of National Parks/National Monuments we visited:
    • The Badlands, Rocky Mountain, Grand Teton, Crates of the Moon, and Roosevelt National Park
  • Also the number of State Parks we visited:
    • Sinks Canyon (Wyoming), John B. Yeon State Park (Oregon), Cape Disappointment State Park (Washington), Ollalie State Park (Washington), Iron Horse State Park (Washington)


  • The number of National Forests where we camped:
    • The Black Hills (South Dakota), Arapahoe & Roosevelt National Forest (Colorado), Shoshone National Forest (Wyoming), Sawtooth National Forest (Idaho)


  • The number of wild fires we encountered
    • The Nederland Fire in Colorado
    • The Mile Marker 14 Fire in Idaho


  • The number of cupholders in the cab of the Big Rolling Crate. Back in olden times when the Big Rolling Crate was new, people weren't big babies who needed to constantly be sucking on a bottle of water or a cup of coffee or a smoothie or whatever. If you are wondering why this deserves to be in our list, you try to driving 1800 miles in 38 hours with two adults and only one cupholder and let me know how it goes. To our credit, we only spilled two cups of coffee all month. 
  • Also the number of broken iPhones that were broken on the Todyssey.
  • Additionally, the number of boat rides Diane and Todd took (the shuttle across Jenny Lake at the Grand Tetons)
  • This is also the number of vanilla milkshakes Diane had during the Todyssey. The number she would have liked to have: All of them.
  • And finally one is the number of breakdowns suffered by the Big Rolling Crate.


  • The number of rainy days during our travels. We literally had zero rainy days! We had passing afternoon thunderstorms all three days in the Black Hills, we had a ten minute thunderstorm in the Tetons, we had a little drizzle in Seaside, OR, and we had passing showers on the last two days of the drive home, but we never had a single washout day. The sun was shining on us for a month. Oh that relentless Western sun! Always, always, always shining on us. It's been the sunniest summer of our lives, and one we will never forget.

1800 Miles in Under 40 Hours: It's exactly as fun as it sounds

We were on the road by 9AM on Thursday, July 28, and we didn't get off the road until 12:30 AM on Saturday, July 30. Our only stops in that time were

  • A very quick stop at Roosevelt National Park to stand at an overlook of the Painted Canyons in North Dakota's Badlands.

  • A one-hour lunch break at a Cracker Barrel somewhere in North Dakota (delicious fried chicken, btw)
  • And stops every 325 miles or so for gas.

Aside from that Cracker Barrel lunch, Diane and Todd ate snacks while they drove and drank a lot of coffee. It was overcast on Thursday and rained on and off, and Diane and Todd were actually grateful for that. For the first time in weeks they didn't need sunglasses and the rain helped keep the road cool, which was good for the Big Rolling Crate. They had thought they were driving into a massive heatwave, but actually they were driving with the front that was breaking up the heatwave, and good thing since the Big Rolling Crate tends to overheat and effectively has no AC (because when the AC runs the engine runs hotter so you can't run the AC when it's hot out).

North Dakota was long but we made it to Minnesota and then Wisconsin. Diane was driving when we crossed the state lines and as it was nearly one in the morning, she drove back to the Walmart in Tomah, WI where we'd stayed on the drive out, thinking we'd get some shut eye. Todd, however, had other ideas. Diane got in the back with me, Todd got behind the wheel, got a coffee at McDonald's, and got back on the highway.

Unfortunately, with no co-pilot to navigate, Todd made a mistake that should have told him it was time to get some shut-eye: As he drove on I94 East, he saw signs for I90, which he knew we needed to take to get home, so he exited I94----and got on I90 West. And he didn't realize it until he'd gone 45 miles and had returned to the Minnesota/Wisconsin border. He hadn't realized that I94 East and I90 East actually run together for a while, and thus caused himself two extra hours of driving.

Diane was a nervous wreck in the back of the Big Rolling Crate, so she hardly got any sleep. Finally at 5AM when Todd stopped for gas, she got back up front to help him navigate because we were approaching Chicago.

At the Illinois border we returned to the miserable land of toll roads. Between Illinois, Indiana and Ohio, we paid nearly $60 in tolls. In a car, it would have been cheaper, but still! Out west there were no toll roads. They know about living free out there.

We passed Chicago around 7:30 (really enjoyed that morning rush hour traffic!) and once we were outside the city, Todd passed the job of driving on to Diane. And so they alternated through the day. Driving, driving, driving. Construction zone after construction zone. Here a little rain shower, here a spot of sun. Driving, driving, driving. It's so noisy in the Big Rolling Crate that they had to shout to talk to each other and I think we're all going deaf a little. We were all dirty, cranky, stiff, and eager to just be done with the blasted driving.

As we drove through Ohio, Todd surprised Diane again, this time by conceding that there was no way we could drive straight through to Worcester (let alone Maine). It was too far, the Big Rolling Crate needed a break (the check engine light started coming on intermittently back in Montana), and we all needed sleep. We had two choices:

  • Take I90 through NY state (and pay a million more tolls) and sleep in a Walmart parking lot somewhere
  • Take I80 through PA and sleep at Diane's mom's house.
 We knew Diane's mom, Mammam Dot, as I call her, would probably be with Dave at his lake house, which is one of my all-time favorite places to visit, and which isn't too far off I84. I hadn't had a good walk in days, let alone a chance to run free or swim, so Diane called her mom and made a plan.

Oh, Pennsylvania, you're endless and hilly like a Western state but at lower elevation and with lower speed limits but faster traffic. Out west, the speed limit was often 70, 75, or even 80, but it seemed like not that many people really drove at 80 mph and we didn't feel our slow place was a danger to us, but back east, the speed limit is generally 65 or even 55, but everyone is going 80 and our top speed of 55 feels like a real hazard.

Around mile mark 111, we crested the highest point on I80 east of the Mississippi at 2225 feet. You'll recall we crossed the highest point on all of I80 weeks ago in Wyoming, so it feels like we had the full experience of I80.

We finally, finally, finally make it to the lake at 12:30 in the morning. Mammam Dot had waited up for us and greeted us with hugs. In the morning, I got to swim and run around and eat goose and deer poop and it was so much fun. At noon, when Todd told me to get back in the Big Rolling Crate, I was absolutely brokenhearted. We didn't even get to spend 12 whole hours there! But that's life on the road, I guess.

The drive from PA to MA was uneventful and even Connecticut didn't cause us too many slow downs, but remember, our top speed means we don't get anywhere fast. We got to Worcester around 6 and I was so happy to see our house! And Taco! It was just the same as when we left!

But we didn't even stay a whole hour. Todd got his windsurfer and Diane got her car and it was back on the road. I went with Diane in her small red crate, which is quiet and fast and has delightful air conditioning, and, at long last, around 10:30, we arrived at our final destination, Harpswell, Maine.

Today Todd promised me we aren't driving anywhere at all. In fact, we're staying here an entire week. I went swimming in the salt water this morning and have already romped around the yard a lot. 

It's funny to take a vacation after a monthlong vacation, but road trips are kind of a lot of work and we are all exhausted and ready for relaxation. We're thinking of this as a transitional week to help us readjust to normal life without being too disappointed that our big adventure had ended. 

The Long Ride Home

After the hot springs, we drove through Butte where Diane and Todd decided to eat a delicious lunch from Burger King. When they told the cashier they were from Massachusetts and were just driving through, she came outside to point out some Butte landmarks for us. 

Butte is a mining town surrounded by tall hills. On top of one hill is a massive statue of Mary that's bigger than the statue of a liberty. That was one landmark she told us about. The other was these scaffolds on the far hills that used to the way miners got down into the mines. Now they're being preserved and used for cultural activities like concerts, which is pretty neat. That was a whole tour of Butte because we'd sort of wasted a lot of time already (we hadn't exactly gotten an early start in Missoula) and we had a loooooong way to drive.

In the afternoon, Diane took over driving so Todd could rest for the night shift. As she drove, a weather alert came on the radio stating that a large thunderstorm with golf-ball sized hail was moving Southeast towards Billings. We were heading due east towards Billings at that very moment. Diane had actually seen the thundercloud in the distance a while before hearing the alert, but she knew from our experiences in Wyoming that it was far, far away. She definitely did not want to drive into golf-ball sized hail that can break windshields and would probably be the end of our solar panels so she walkie-talkied Todd and asked him to check the radar to see if we should stop and wait out the weather.

After some deliberation, he decided that it looked like if we just kept going at our slow and steady pace, we'd probably miss it. Nervously, Diane drove on. The picture above is one she took later, after Todd took over the driving in Billings, and as you can see, we were still driving towards one heck of a big thunderhead. 

We had decided not to stay on I90 through South Dakota, opting instead of I94 through North Dakota, for the sake of variety and also because it seemed there would be a lot more stuff in North Dakota so we'd have better options for our pitstops.

We drove and drove for hours always with that cloud out ahead of us until around sunset. The highway had begun to track northeast and the storm had moved off to our right. We stopped at a rest area for a stretch and got the most incredible glimpse of the storm cloud reflecting the sunset. It was as if the clouds were on fire.

As we drove, the view of the clouds only got better and better until finally Todd couldn't stand it and pulled over to the side of the road to take a picture.

This picture is one Diane took from inside the Big Rolling Crate while Todd took his real camera outside. When Todd came back to the window, he held out his hand to Diane and it took her a minute to understand why he was holding up ice cubes. Hail! Golf ball sized hail that had fallen here before we drove through. Due to our general slowness and several stops, we'd missed it, thank goodness.

For the sunset until midnight, we watched a spectacular display on both sides of us as we drove: There were thunderstorms out there on both sides lighting up the night sky for hours. Amazingly we only experienced the slightest bit of rain.

We arrived in Beach, North Dakota, the first town across the border, at 11:45, pulled into a truck stop, fell asleep for the night. We'd traveled 601 miles for the day, making it our single biggest one-day mileage of the trip, but we knew we needed to go even more miles next few days, so we all needed our rest.

Travelogue -- Half a Day in Missoula

After our big breakdown in Idaho and two days stranded at a slightly crumby hotel outside of Coeur D'Alene, we got on the road on Tuesday, July 26 around 11:00. Although we knew the clock was ticking and we had, oh, 2874 miles to go to get to Maine by Saturday as planned, we had to make one more stop first in Missoula, MT to visit Diane's college roommate Jeanne.

Way back at the beginning of our trip when we thought we were going to take I90 all the way to Seattle and then putter our way back East, we had planned to see Jeanne just after the fourth of July, but then we decided to go south to Colorado and save Montana for last before our big push for home.

In retrospect, saving Montana for last was probably not the best idea because

A. Montana is beautiful
B. There are tons of fun things to do in Montana
C. It was a bummer to have to rush through such a ridiculously gigantic state.

But things happened the way they did and we finally arrived in Missoula around 4:00 after a harrowing drive through a long, uphill construction zone that gave the Big Rolling Crate's radiator a real test. Thankfully we didn't overheat and after the mountains of Idaho, it was downhill to Missoula. As we drove Todd shocked, stunned, and stupefied Diane by saying that he thought we should stay the night at Jeanne's. Jeanne had offered to have us stay, but Diane had assumed we needed to cover more miles, after all, Missoula is only 160 or so miles from Coeur D'Alene. We hadn't stayed over with anyone else we visited, so this was wholly unexpected, but Diane was glad because she hadn't seen Jeanne in 13 years!

Jeanne and her daughter Helen greeted us with food and drinks and a dozen ideas of how we could pass a fun afternoon. We could ride bikes! We could take a hike! We could go climbing! We could go to a brewery! Helen, at the wise old age of 3, chimed in, "Brewery!" So that's what they decided to do. Because I'm a dog, I can't go to breweries, so I had to wait at Jeanne's. 

Todd said it would be no trouble to take the bikes off the Big Rolling Crate, an assertion you surely recognize by now as a lie because putting the bikes back on the Big Rolling Crate is a miserable ordeal that involves much cursing, sweat, blood, and maybe even tears, but he really, really wanted one more bike ride before the end of our Todyssey. 

Jeanne and her co-pilot Helen lead the way on a tour of the University of Montana and over a rail trail bridge over the Clark Fork, where Todd could not resist the temptation to take a really quick swim, and finally to the Dram Shop, a nice bar where Helen could get a delicious root beer and hang out in the play area while the grownups had beer. Diane and Todd had never before heard of a bar with a play area. You'll never see that in old Massachusetts.

When they came back to the house after their bike ride, Jeanne's husband Matt was home and he had the grill fired up for steak. Jeanne has a beautiful fenced in back yard so I got to hang out and relax in the cool evening air. I also got to have some steak.

I have to say, there are not a lot of people I can really relax around, but I liked Jeanne a lot. I even let her pet me a little. 

We didn't take a lot of pictures in Missoula because we were too busy visiting, so you'll just have to use your imagination to visualize all the fun we had. After dinner, we all got a good night's sleep, and good thing, too, because the next few days were going to prove exhausting.

On Wednesday morning, Todd fought with the bikes until they were securely strapped to the back of the Big Rolling Crate and we left Missoula with a promise to come back and visit again when we have time to stay a while.

The scenery was beautiful as we drove but we didn't stop to take pictures because we had over 2700 miles to go. We had a goal in the mind for the day: We needed to cross the border into North Dakota, because as Jeanne said, once you get out of Montana, you're a quarter of the way back to Massachusetts. Here's a picture Diane took as we rumbled down the highway.

About an hour from Missoula, we began seeing signs for Fairmont Springs Resort that advertised hot springs pools. Hot springs were something Diane and Todd both wished they'd had more of back in Idaho, so they decided to stop. After all, Todd said, we can still have some fun. Once again, I couldn't go with them, a fact I found extremely depressing.

Unlike the hot spring they went to in Boise National Forest, which was an undeveloped hot spring, Fairmont Springs are a developed area, which means the natural hot springs water directed into giant swimming pools. There's a big indoor pool and a big outdoor pool, each of which is around 95 degrees. The water constantly flows in and out and is minimally treated with chlorine. There are also indoor and outdoor hot tubs, in which the water is about 105 degrees. At the outdoor pool there was even a huge waterslide that was fed with hot springs water! Todd rode it a lot of times. He's pretty sure he was the oldest person in line, expect maybe one or two dads riding down with little kids. But isn't this trip all about being young at heart? 

That time we broke down in Idaho

Monday, July 25, 2016

Turns out there was no reason to rush in Coeur D'Alene. We were only a few miles down the highway when the Big Rolling Crate decided it was time to take a break. It happened like this:

Sunday morning, we had noticed that the truck was making some new and usual noises. It sounded like a cat was stuck under the hood. Todd and Diane both noticed it but decided (stupidly, it turns out) to ignore it.

Sunday afternoon, when we got on I-90 East towards Missoula, we'd been on the road a matter of minutes when Todd understood something was wrong. It seemed he had lost power steering. At first he thought he'd just drive to Missoula (about 150 miles) and get it looked at there because power steering is nice but not essential. 

Thankfully, though, there was a very large "chain up area" on the side of the road where trucks can stop to put on chains in the winter so he pulled over. When he did, he discovered he also had no power brakes. At that moment, he realized the tack was also not working, so he figured it was the serpentine belt. This was just before 2:00 in the afternoon.

We rolled to a stop, he turned off the truck, and popped the hood, at which point we all heard a strange bubbling noise. The truck had overheated because the belt runs and the fan. Coolant was boiling out of the radiator. The situation was clearly not looking good.

Diane said, "Should I call AAA?"

And Todd said, "Shhhh, let me think."

The belt that had broken was a replacement Todd had put on before we left, and it hadn't been without its problems. It had jumped off the pulleys once before, although nothing like this where it was literally shredded and wound around the fan. When Todd put it on back home, he'd actually kept the old belt, so he decided the first step should be try to put that one back on. He got out his wrenches and the old belt and carefully (because everything under the hot was blazing hot) set about snaking it around and setting it. He planned to get that on, add a pint of water to the radiator, get more coolant at the next stop, and hope that was the end of the trouble.

He got the belt in place and turned on the truck. Instead of the usual rumble it sort of chortled, a plume of black smoke came out, and the old belt snapped in half. The problem, it turns out, was not the belt but the tensioner pulley. Diagnosis complete and time to call a tow truck because there was no fixing it ourselves.

Diane called AAA and after answering a ton of questions learned that AAA doesn't cover ambulances. Fat lot of good that membership is doing us. As we sat there, Diane also noted that this was the first time in her life that she'd been in a vehicle that broke down to the point of needing a tow truck. She recalls being a very little girl in her mother's station wagon, or maybe it was a minivan, and having it stall out or something on I-81 in Dunmore, PA and her mother praying that the tractor trailers coming up the highway wouldn't hit them, and instead a tractor trailer came up behind them, stopped traffic, and helped her mom get the car off the road. That event may have ended with a tow truck, but if it did, Diane can't remember it, so at the very least, this was the first time in her memory that she was in a vehicle in need of a tow. She has also never been in a car that ran out of gas, and she hopes she doesn't have to experience that on this road trip.

Todd googled towing companies and found one called Superior Towing who claimed to be able to move trucks no matter how heavy. The person we talked to said it would cost about $250 and his last truck just went out on a "winch out" job, so it would be 1.5 to 2 hours. What choice did we have? We had to wait and we had to pay. So that's what we did.

It was the hottest time of the day and getting uncomfortably warm in the Big Rolling Crate, so Todd put one of the sun deflectors over the front and opened up all the windows. He took me out for a little stroll along the highway and Diane made calls to a hotel and a local Chevy dealer. Diane and Todd started packing things up for a hotel and around 3:00, the tow truck arrived! He was early! They didn't need him on the winch job after all. We said a few prayers of gratitude and stood back to watch him prepare the Big Rolling Crate for towing.

This guy was a true pro and as nice as can be. If you ever need a tow in Coeur D'Alene, Idaho, call Superior. They get the job done. I had to ride in the Big Rolling Crate while it was towed, while Todd and Diane rode in the tow truck. It was a little scary, but the ride wasn't too long.

In the end, it cost less than $190, which was a pleasant surprise for Diane, since she'd told Todd she'd pay for the tow, whatever it cost.

The Chevy dealer had the tow truck park the Big Rolling Crate around back and we left the keys for the service department for the morning. A really nice salesperson named Mark offered us water and asked how we were getting to our hotel. At that point, we honestly had no idea. As far as we know, there are no Ubers in Coeur D'Aene and even if there were, Ubers and other cabs aren't big on dogs. Mark offered to give us a lift, so just before five o'clock, we piled our stuff into the back of his pickup truck and he took us the 4.5 miles to our hotel. People in Idaho are so nice, you wouldn't even believe it.

This hotel in Post Falls, ID is the cheapest we've stayed at, and, not surprisingly, the least nice, but it's good enough for me. Once we checked in on Sunday, Diane and Todd walked across the street to a truck stop and got subs from Subway. Todd had turkey and Diane had an Italian BMT and I got to have a little of each. 

There's a pool, which obviously I can't go in, but Diane and Todd went last night and today, too. They thought there was a hot tub, but there isn't. The pool is indoors, though, and so thoroughly heated that it's like a giant bathtub, so good enough.

There's free wifi (hence the flurry of blog posts) and free coffee and a complimentary breakfast that's not half bad. I had some of Todd's scrambled eggs and some of Diane's English muffin with peanut butter and found them both satisfactory.

Diane woke up at 7 and called the Chevy dealer right away to explain our predicament and see if we should book the hotel for another night. The nice technician said he'd call back ASAP. Around 10 AM he gave the bad news that we should book another night in the hotel, and he sent a shuttle to take Diane over there and get a courtesy car, so now we've got a brand new silver Malibu with a moon roof and leather seats, but Diane and Todd haven't let me ride in it because I make a mess out of cars.

Diane and Todd took the car for a spin into Coeur D'Alene this afternoon and had lunch at a place called Crafted. The leftovers were the best ones yet. Sweet potato fries and a chicken Parmesan sandwich! Yum! 

The heatwave has reached Northern Idaho, so they didn't do much else but eat and come back, and I was glad, because hotels make me nervous. 

This evening we got word from the Chevy dealer that the Big Rolling Crate will be ready by mid morning tomorrow and we'll be back on the road. Next stop Missoula, and we mean it this time!

After all, we're supposed to be in Maine on Saturday... 

This might be the last update until we get back to the East Coast, but don't worry, I'll let you know how everything turns out once we get there. It's just I've learned that when we're covering a lot of miles in a short amount of days there's no time for blogging.

Wish us safe travels and no more road mishaps! We've had enough of that.


Travelogue -- Coeur D'Alene

By now it'll be no surprise to know that I went swimming in Coeur D'Alene because I have been swimming in every body of water that wasn't full of algae and bacteria since our road trip began. 

Coeur D'Alene is quite close to Spokane, so we arrived Sunday morning and found a great parking space for the Big Rolling Crate right near the big park downtown on the lake. Coeur D'Alene is awesome! We walked on these paths on Tubbs Hill that went along the lake with big cliffs where kids were jumping into the water and beaches where people were swimming and sunbathing. Everyone was so nice and friendly and fit-looking. The only downside was how many dogs there were. After my swim, I had to go back to the Big Rolling Crate and chill out so Diane and Todd could swim.

Todd jumped off cliffs, but Diane thought that was too scary, so she just observed. I was glad she was there to protect him, since I was being prevented from doing my job by my fear of other dogs.

We only had about two hours to spend in Coeur D'Alene because we were going to Missoula to see Diane's college roommate, so we didn't do anything else, but all of us agreed: We could have spent a full and happy vacation in this fabulous lakeside town.

Auto Post Signature

Auto Post  Signature