Thursday, July 18, 2013

Yellowstone or Bust Day 6

Our drive today would only be about 120 miles, so we leisurely enjoyed coffee in our room, packed the car and headed to "Jimmy's Down the Street" for a wonderful breakfast. Mom, who is usually careful about her diet, enjoying oatmeal one day and an egg the next, pulled out all the stops at Jimmy's! It is an iconic 50's type breakfast / lunch diner, which at 10:30 AM was jammed packed with a 15 minute waiting list. Need I say more?

After breakfast we made our way down to Independence Point, a beautiful city park at lakes edge which sports a long beach and dock for seaplane rides, Couer d'Alene Cruises, para sailing and paddle boat rentals.

We bought our tickets for our 12:30 cruise and were soon on our way. The lake was calm and beautiful, and various members of the crew gave narrations of the history of the area, pointed out natural points of interest, and gave us little insights into the lives of some of the notable people who established the community here. Coeur d'Alene means "heart of the awl". It seems the early French traders tried to finagle the Indians into accepting a poor trade for furs and other items they needed. The Indians refused to accept discounted value for their goods, and the French thought they were very "'sharp", hence "heart of the awl". Put that in your trivia pipe!

With lovely Coeur d'Alene in our rearview mirror, we rejoined I-90 on our way to Spokane, but took another little side trip to Post Falls park and had a look at the small falls that were used in the early part of last century to run sawmills, and later gristmills by the Posts and the Kellogs... Yep.. for bread and Wheaties!!

Our afternoon drive thru little farming communities of Eastern Washington, past boat ramps and fishing places, over hills of green and golden grain, soon brought us to Grand Coulee Dam, and our resting spot for the night. The Columbia River Motel is right across the road from the dam park. We settled in, took the advice of the motel proprietor and went into the town of Grand Coulee dinner.. (Not worth mentioning after the last three nights. Suffice to say we took nourishment). Back under the air conditioning of our motel room, a nap seemed to be in order before attending the 10PM laser show at the dam.
Note: If I knew how to post a video here, you would see a black screen with lots of very colorful squiggles set to music... Unfortunately, my technical skills are limited, so my recommendation would be that you Go to grand Coulee Dam and see the show for yourself!

A 500 word essay would not do justice to the wonderful audio-visual presentation by the US Bureau of Reclamation. Sound, laser motion and voice narration, all played against the screen of white water flowing over the face of the dam. What a day!

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