My goal is to raise $9,490 for breast cancer research - a dollar for every day my mother, Lorraine Raimondo, battled breast cancer. I'm driving across the country raising funds for every mile I drive.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Sandpoint, ID

Drove north to Sandpoint, ID per the recommendation of Dennis at the Dog Bark Park Inn. It was still raining all day unfortunately. Sandpoint is this cool little town (pop 6,000) on the Lake Pend Orielle. The lake is huge – over 40 miles – and up to 2,000 feet deep in some areas. The town is artsy and the folks are friendly, like this guy I met at Starbucks, Tyson.   Posted by PicasaI decided this would be good town to spend the night, plus I was tired of driving in the rain. As you can image, it would be quite beautiful if the weather was better, what with the lake butting up against the mountains. I checked in to the Church Street House B&B and was greeted by the owner, Heather. It’s a great little place I highly recommend. Here’s my bathroom which I just loved:
Heather was nice enough to give me a discount which will go straight to the foundation. Headed out for some Thai food and then over to a local bar for open mike night. Well, they pack a lot of talent into this small town! I was thoroughly entertained throughout the evening. Whether it was some teenage angst poetry, “love sucks monkey balls,” or some really good music, it did not disappoint. I especially enjoyed a band called Tennis and also Josh (pictured below), a singer/songwriter/guitarist. If you’re a talent scout you should beeline to Sandpoint, ID because there is definitely something cool going on.
I made the mistake of bringing up my bear fear which led Tyson to tell me about the time he was mauled by a bear. Seems he was camping in the wilderness when he was around 18/19 yrs old. Well, I guess there was some crazy bear and by the time she was done she broke both his collar bones and put a gash in his head. Nice. Just the story I was looking for. I asked him for some advice to avoid a bear encounter. He mentioned not to keep food in the car. “What kind of food?” “Like tuna.” “What else?” “Salmon.” “OK, what about twizzlers and granola bars?” “Those should be fine.” He also mentioned that some people hike with bells on. The theory being the noise keeps the bears away. Then he said, “What’s the difference between black bear scat (that’s poop in bear lingo) and grizzly scat?” “Grizzly scat has bells in it.” Hardy, har har. Oh, everyone in the northwest is so funny with their little bear stories.
The next morning I was fed a magnificent breakfast with a frittata, fantastic biscuits and check out this fruit plate!

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Heather’s husband came down during breakfast as I was telling the Tyson bear story. He then proceeded to tell me about a friend who was camping in Yellowstone and a bear came into their tent. “Was he ok?” I asked. “Well, it was his wife who got mauled. I guess so, she’s still alive.” La, la, la, la, hands over ears, I can’t hear you.
Then I hit the road for a long drive that would take me up through Canada to get to the east side of Glacier National Park in Montana. Here’s pretty much what I saw all day: 

When I got to the Canadian border I was quite excited, as it would be my first visit to our northern neighbors. I’ve been curious aboot just what they are doing up there. They’re so quiet, ah? Makes you wonder what they are scheming. I approached the border patrol expecting a tall, blond mounty type man. Dudley Do Right if you will. Well, instead I got a baby faced young women, oh around 20, with blond hair pulled back and a very stern expression. Hey, these border patrol people take their job very seriously. She could care less about my enthusiasm regarding entering her country for the first time. She began to drill me with some standard questions. “Why are you here? Where do you live? Why do you have California plates?” I answered quickly, but her style made me feel like I was lying. “Are you carrying any weapons?” (Hmm, I pause, seriously thinking about if I am). “Are you leaving anything in Canada?” I planned to toss all the food in my car soon what with the bears and all, so I muttered. “Just maybe some garbage.” Oh, nice. The ugly American coming over for a few hours just to drop off some garbage. Way to go. She eventually let me through. Who knew someone who looked like Heidi could be so intimidating!
So Canada, well there’s some mountains. And then there are some valleys. It was cold and raining. They use the metric system so I was practicing my math by converting the kilometer speed limit to miles. I didn’t really see many people. In fact, I think they know they don’t have enough so they put up these fake ones.
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If you can’t tell, these are flat, metal silhouettes. I saw these all along my 3 hour ride. I eventually entered back into the states via Montana. The US border guy was much more laid back. Checked my trunk, asked a few standard questions. And as I was pulling away, his parting words, unprompted, were, “Don’t pet the bears.”


Blogger Sharyl said...

Ohhhhhh, no he DIDN'T!!!!! Buh-bye bears!

10:09 AM  
Blogger Sophr said...

Guess we lost you again, but it was great to catch up. Waoh, yes, I saw the truck with balls, macho trucks, how about that! And the wolf, ouch... will look more later, it's great to discover all those different places you went to. We're off to... mhhh... Tustin Market place, to let Milan run around in circles around the fountain and drink lattes. Bonne route!

3:10 PM  

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