Location: Coeur d'Alene Casino; near Couer d'Alene, Idaho (elev 2,600 feet)
I'm not sure if this post will have pictures, but if there are any they were probably taken with a Nokia Lumia Icon 929 cell phone.
"The streetlights are almost on, time to go home". Sometimes it was also porch lights instead of streetlights but either one meant the day of playing was about over. During the summer and weekends, we kids would have been outside playing for the entire day. Maybe going home around noon to grab something to eat if we were in the area. The limits of our playing was how ever far you could ride your bike and still be back home by the time the streetlights came on. People of my generation will remember that feeling, that feeling of the adventure is just about over. We never felt like we were guaranteed another adventurous day and it seemed like we lived day to day, weekend to weekend, season to season.
For the last couple of weeks I've been trying to figure out where to go after reaching my destination of Coeur d'Alene. I'm now at the end of my stay here and need to be moving on. I thought about going to the Oregon coast and then circling south through California on my way back to Louisiana but a lot of that would be retracing some of my old route. So I figured maybe go into North Dakota since I hadn't been there before. I googled and about the only thing to see was the National Grasslands and that didn't excite me too much. I've been to the National Parks around here so those visits were out. I thought about re-riding the Beartooth Highway and then it hit me why I didn't want to repeat things. When I rode the Beartooth Highway a couple of years ago it was a fantastic "wow", one of the best of my travels. I rode it right after it was opened up from the winter. But, I worried that if I re-rode it and it was less spectacular, would that tarnish/taint my older memories, my "silent echoes". In the future as I would look back on Beartooth, would I remember the first "wow" or the secondary, possible let-down, "oh well" ride. And that is why I believe I have been hesitant about re-tracing some of my older routes that had "wow's" on them. That doesn't mean I will never go back to places I've been. One example is the Rocky Mountain National Park which I've visited twice. However, the second trip was specifically to ride an old road that I was unable to ride the first time. I doubt if I'll go back to the park since Colorado raised the price of camping in their state parks. When I checked about possibly staying in Boyd Lake State Park, the price was $44.00 per night. That is just way too high for any state park. Perhaps for a family with little ones, but not for an old man wandering around by himself.
I haven't counted them up lately but I've stayed in around 250 different campgrounds since I started traveling back in April of 2014. The gauge on the dash in Freedom says we've towed Liberty almost 45,000 miles around this country. I've been coast to coast and border to border. I've seen the sun rise from the Atlantic Ocean in Maine and set in the Pacific Ocean off the Oregon coast. As I think about directions to travel, there is more often than not a thought of "I've been there before", and the feeling passes.
So, with all of that in mind,,,,, the streetlights are almost on and it's time to head home. I'll pull out tomorrow heading for home in Louisiana. Yeah, I know it's still hot but it'll be OK. There is one thing I haven't done in my travels that I will do on the way home. I've never over-nighted in a Walmart parking lot. I'll do that tomorrow night and the next night in the Walmart lots of Laurel, Montana and Sidney, Nebraska. Both days will be about 500 miles of towing along the interstate. To me, that means excellent "thinking driving". I've checked both of them out and they seem good to go. If I arrive around 9:00 pm or so, the outside temperature should be in the upper 60's to low 70's. When I bought Liberty, I specifically chose a floorplan that would allow me access to the bed, toilet, shower, bathroom sink and my Lazy-boy recliner without having to open my slide-outs. That was done for nights like the upcoming two nights in Walmart's parking lot. I'll just pull in, unplug the electrical connection between Freedom and Liberty, maybe walk to a restaurant near by, then crawl in bed for a good nights sleep. I always carry water in Liberty's tanks, so with her new water pump I'll get a nice hot shower in the mornings before hitting the road again. The hot water for the shower comes from my water heater that runs on either electricity or propane. I'm looking at the Walmart stops as adventures within themselves. One more thing to do before I,,,,,,,,,,.
Ya'll take care of each other. I'll Cya down the road.