Friday, June 27, 2008

Summer 2008 - Day Eight

a.k.a. The One In Which The Car Hits Dawg

In the morning we decamp from the Purple Sage Motel, which had seemed funny and charming when found on random Googling expeditions last winter, but hadn't quite lived up to its amusement potential. I mean, it wasn't bad, but no great shakes either. We're about an hour south of Spokane WA, and heading towards another random-Googling discovery, Franks Diner, for breakfast.

Frank's Diner in downtown Spokane is housed in a beautifully restored luxury rail car (not a Pullman, it was actually manufactured by one of Pullman's main competitors) and has some local reknown for their generous omelets. Yep, it's a pretty good meal - their coffee is good, too, and we are all in need of primo coffee at this point. I had two eggs and hashbrowns, which is about the perfect roadbreakfast, period, in my humble opinion. Happy, full, and ready to ride, we gear up and get ready to strike out into non-interstate Idaho. And that's when it happens.

A biker's OTHER worst nightmare, besides the deer thing yesterday, is getting hit by a car. Dawg is backing her bike up when the car across the aisle from her fails to look, and backs up straight into her. Thankfully this happens at slow speed, otherwise she would have been toast. I didn't see it happen, so I am not sure of all the details ... not even sure if the bike went down at all. But apparently both Dawg and the car's driver inspected their vehicles, found them mostly undamaged if a little bit scratched, and went their separate ways. Man, was I pissed when I finally found out what was going on. But, as the day goes on, I sort of start to think that we must be the luckiest bikers alive. I hit a deer yesterday, Dawg gets it from a car today, and we are both virtually UNTOUCHED by these disasters. We could not have a better possible outcome! Dawg's pissed 'cause the sticker she got from Crater Lake, pasted on the rear luggage box, got a little chewed. It was pristine for one whole day, LOL. Later, we find that the force of the car hitting the bike pushed that luggage box back on the rear rack mount, and we can't get it open until we break out some tools & readjust the thing. It's a pain in the butt, but also fortunate that the car hit the only part of the bike that wasn't rigid, otherwise something important (and non-adjustable) would have been what crumpled. Yeah, luckiest bikers alive, I'm tellin' ya.

After that bit of adventure to start our day, the rest of the day is uneventful which is perfectly FINE with us. We leave the interstate in Spokane and take Hwy 2 far north into the Idaho panhandle, and then follow it all the way to our destination in Kalispell MT. It's beautiful, beautiful country through here. I am (predictably) singing the B-52's "Own Private Idaho" to myself, and remembering someone (Ziggy?) telling me that that song was about all the rich people in the Idaho panhandle, supposedly there are more millionaires per capita there than anywhere else, or were in the 70's, or something. Coming through here, I sort of believe it, because a lot of the little towns we pass through have a whiff of priceyness to them; more retreats, artist's galleries, upscale vacation homes, that sort of thing.

I am unable to find pie in Libby MT, despite serious searching and a couple of u-turns. The gang eventually decides to give up, and agrees to proceed to Kalispell, where we are sure to find someplace nice to eat, since it is also very much an upscale-resort type of town. I did not make the hotel arrangements for tonight, which means for a change we'll be staying someplace nice instead of someplace cheap ... the historic Kalispell Grand Hotel doesn't disappoint, and we dine that night across the street at a place suitable for listing in Zagat's, as opposed to the Klink's On The Lake dinner which the hotelier had assured us was five-star dining and most assuredly ... wasn't. Hey, I could sort of get used to traveling this way. The duck confit was quite splendid.

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