Leaving Missoula the day after our fun bike ride around the city, we didn't have long to drive before we were in yet another new state for me (but not for Barry), Idaho. And we were in the Pacific Time Zone...this would be different! I've never been in this time zone other than one quick stop in LAX en route to Hawaii over 23 years ago now. I do like that prime time starts at 8pm, just like back east, though. Old habits die hard!
Our hotel grounds (Quality Inns and Suites -- very nice) were absolutely dripping with beautiful flowers in hanging baskets, barrels, and planting beds. So pretty!
On our first full day (of two) in town, we rode the Centennial Trail, which comprises 24 miles in Idaho, then continues on into Washington State. We were able to access the trail just a couple miles from our hotel, and of course Barry figured out a way for us to bike there.
This trail map is a little confusing because it is a mirror image from the typical map: Lake Coeur d'Alene is actually at the eastern terminus of the trail, and the trail heads west into Washington State. I'm not sure why they decided to show it this way. We accessed the trail around mile marker 13 and headed west towards Washington.
We had to laugh at several grade signs in the early part of the trail. Sure, the percentage grade might be high, but these little descents were so short we were surprised they were signed. I guess they do it in case of very young (or very old!) riders who might be a little iffy with their brakes. Normally when you see these signs, it means you have a long descent ahead. Here, not so much!
Several times, the trail detoured onto roads. Some of the turns on roads could have been better marked; it was easier than it should have been to make a wrong turn or miss a turn and get lost.
The trail traversed a mix of rural and suburban environments.
We thought this was a funny/cute name for a port-a-potty. Naturally, I needed one early on...darn coffee! Very nice to find one right along the trail, and thankfully, it was immaculate. Idaho gets big props for me for that!
Before we knew it, we were approaching the state line and entered a new state for both of us -- Washington! It was fun to enter a new state on our bicycles rather than in a car, for a change.
Here I am standing across the state line, mile marker zero on both sides of the trail!
The scenery got dramatically better as we continued into Washington and the Spokane River flanked one side of the trail. We started off next to the highway, but the trail soon wound its way into the evergreens, providing much-appreciated shade. The river got prettier and prettier as we went along, and we had to stop numerous times for photos. We were loving Washington already!
Before we knew it, we were in Spokane. There was plenty to see here and beyond, so I'll save that for the next post. Stay tuned!
Emily & Barry
We're a long-married, early-retired couple who are currently traveling as nomads with no fixed home base. After years of living in North Carolina (Emily's home state), we spent 18 months living oceanfront on Ambergris Caye, Belize, a year road-tripping the US in a Honda CR-V, a year in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, and are now roaming North America in our 32' motorhome, Pearl, following warm weather whenever possible.
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