September 28th, 2020

Adventure, food, Just things, Outdoors, Road Trip, Scotty Hilander, Travel

Today, I woke up.

YAY!!!

Seriously, today I wanted to get somewhat of an early start to drive back over and down to Coeur d’Alene. I have never been downtown or by the waterfront so I wanted to do that. And, it JUST so happens that there is a famous place there I want to eat called Hudson’s Hamburgers.

I left the KOA and Apple Maps routed me east and south through Idaho which is how I wanted to go anyway since it is a road I had not been on. It ended up being a very scenic drive through gold farmlands in amongst the dark green hills. A very beautiful drive and one worth the time – it took me an hour and twenty minutes or so to get to where I was going. If you have ever driven through CdA/Spokane on I-90 you will understand avoiding that mess even by taking backroads.

I got into downtown and it’s a nice area if you are a shopper and like sidewalk cafes and beers – not really my kind of place to hang out. I got parked and just 600 feet around the corner there it was. Hudson’s. Nothing fancy and a very limited menu. Since I was here for a burger, I ordered up a cheeseburger with spicy mustard and onion. I stepped outside, unwrapped it and angels sang as a bright light shot out of the wrapper. Absolutely one of THE best burgers I have ever eaten. Yes, he said “ever”. Juicy, homestyle burger cooked perfectly, a slab of white onion and some fairly spicy brown mustard. I damn near went back for a second one it was so good. That alone was worth driving over six hours yesterday and the drive down to the restaurant.

I took a walk around the area, but since I am not really a shopper it didn’t do much for me. I did stop and buy an almond blackberry cookie at a bakery that was a little spendy but it was really good. I decided to get back on I-90 and head west of Spokane to pick up US 2/395 north toward the trailer.

I took my exit, and of all the bad luck there was a Dick’s Hamburgers joint at the bottom of the ramp. NOT all Dick’s are the same. This is not affiliated with the chain in the Seattle area. But, it has piqued my curiosity driving past it many times and ever since I ate at the Seattle ones as much as possible as you know from previous posts.

This was quite different than the Seattle ones but still a pretty good burger, and both are definitely much different than Hudson’s. I thought the fries were good but the Seattle ones have a soft spot as a similar memory from my childhood – my grandma’s hand-cut fries cooked in a cast iron skillet in lard. One of the top four fries I have ever eaten (Dick’s, my grandma’s, the ones at the bar near Grand Coulee Dam, the duckfat-cooked fries in Galway at a pub). Anyway, Hudson’s you MUST stop at and any Dick’s location east or west you cannot go wrong for different reasons.

Rider and I headed back to the trailer. I don’t think he is feeling very good. He hasn’t eaten much the last few days which isn’t normal. We got back and I tied him up outside. He eventually got to feeling a bit more lively and we took a walk over to the lake. I think tomorrow we are gonna just stay here and take the trail around the lake, and maybe walk around other parts of the campground.

It’s pretty quiet here right now but it is probably hopping when there’s no pandemic. They have a lot of family activities here along with the little lake and it is also part of a camping club network so yeah…it gets busy. But it is a nice place and the people are very friendly. It has great ratings and I see why. Not my usual style of camping but I knew I could get a spot here.

I actually ran into an issue in a spot last night and had to be moved. No, it was not another redneck blowhard asshat. It was an odd problem; the sewer pipe hook-up pipe was higher than my trailer tank outlets so they just would not drain. Of course I discovered this after I had already unhooked the trailer and got it set up. Something to remember to check for more often. I talked to them about the problem and they moved me to a better site and there was no extra charge. Luckily I had only hooked up the grey water and not the black but I knew what I needed to test it with and it wasn’t poo-related.

Sometimes I buy frozen Bird’seye garlic chicken with vegetables and pasta and it is really good. They came out with a new plant-based protein version (made with Gardein brand Chik’n) and it was not bad at all. Tonight I stir-fried it up (without the garlic butter) in some General Tso’s sauce. It was pretty good, but I find myself steering away from that old favorite to something less sweet and more savory these days. I guess my tastes have changed considerably as I noticed this about a year ago. I guess it’s why I have been eating more Thai food the last few years.

Unfortunately, I was in a hurry and I forgot I used all of my eggs up so I guess it will be either bacon and cheese in a tortilla (a “breakfadilla©” I shall call it and © 2020) or a Noosa yogurt. I did not realize it until I got back earlier but I didn’t want to leave again – not even tomorrow. I just want a down day to go hike around. I’ll make it work!

This has been a very relaxing trip so far. Today after we got back I just sat on the tailgate of my truck looking and listening for an hour or so. I am looking forward to the walk around the lake, too, and I know the dog will like that. It looks to be another gorgeous day tomorrow so it will be a great day to really lay back. Yeah, there’s several days of stuff to see and do around here but I only have a few days so I’m having a slack day.

It is very pleasant outside tonight. Cool but not too, perfectly still air and fairly quiet – a nearly-perfect evening that recharges you. The dog wanted to go for a stroll to check the irrigation so we walked leisurely down the road a bit and came back as he inspected; I have not seen a night like this in quite some time and it is so nice…even soothing. We have had cool nights but the never-ending wind…well, it never ends.

Getting out on these trips brings out the travel bug in a big way. It feels good to be on the road seeing things. I am so ready to get back to Europe I cannot stand it. I have been thinking about both my trips over and the girls and I were talking about our trip again. I need a long stay – enough to rent a place for a month, then another place for a month, and maybe a third, all in different countries. I still have enough miles to schedule a flight but I just can’t go for it yet.

I went out to close the front window cover a few minutes ago and had this weird flashback of doing the same thing in Banff National Park in September 2012 (almost eight years to the day…within a few weeks). My parents let me take the trailer to Washington State when I was moving, and I had a pretty big adventure. It’s why I started this blog. I didn’t know much about the trailer but I got through it and learned along the way. I have learned so much and I am still learning not just about the trailer, but a different way to live. It has an oddness and uncertainty about it most people would think “no, it’s not for me”, and rightfully so, I guess. It really is not for everyone. I really am enjoying it though. Most importantly I have had a lot of fun doing it.

It’s now time to kick back for the evening.

See you next time!

Day Nine – September 18, 2012

Travel

A cool, crisp start to the day. In Banff, it was still dark at 6:30, but here in Spokane around 6 it starts to get light. I woke up at 4:30 rarin’ to go for some reason.

Well, I got out and did some laundry. What an adventure. I nearly had to throw down on a grandma at the dryer. There were only two dryers, I had one, she had the other, and I had another load to dry waiting. She insisted on folding her clothes in the dryer so I asked her to please use the table to fold. She started getting lippy and I said since there were only two dryers and we were lined up please use the table. Feisty old woman. People just don’t give a damn about anyone else as long as it suits their needs.

Interesting places, these campgrounds. Every one I have been in that have hookups seem to have full-time residents in campers, RVs, etc. I wonder if they are travelers staying for a week or two, or homeless people just trying to get by. At $40 a night, that is awfully expensive getting by. One lady I talked to while doing laundry has lived in the campground for 12 years! I understand KOA lettng people stay a few weeks, but this place had all the makings of a squatter’s camp. Some sites had cars parked on both empty lots on either side… you could tell they had been parked there for quite some time. They should not be allowed to stay for that long. That is what a trailer park is for.

Drove most of the day to get towards Mt. St. Helens NP via Mt. Rainier NP, but stopped for the night in Ellensburg. Finally a decent wifi connection at a KOA. Got a nice site by the river, but a bit buggy – at least more than what I have been used to the last 16 years. It makes up for this afternoon. Got a decent WiFi connection so I am FINALLY posting my blog now! I just need to figure out how to post pictures on it.

My car started running a bit crappy a few days ago due to some bad gas I got in either Montana before I went north, or it was just insult on top of injury for paying over $5 a gallon in Canada. Today it got worse going up a huge pass on the interstate before where I decided to stop for the night. I filled up with premium and got a bottle of injector cleaner. Hope that fixes it tomorrow. Car trouble is another reason I took out early…cant be late to the new gig. Talked with John on the phone and he said it may be a plug wire. Gotta look at that tomorrow (or the next day) before I head out.

Then, after that, my $50 towing mirror came off and got runded over by another car on the highway. Wonder if they would warranty that…

I have been pondering something lately. I have been to Yellowstone/Grand Tetons five or six times, and now Banff/Jasper NP in Canada and I have yet to see a damn grizzly. I do not think that they exist – just like you never see Clark Kent and Superman at the same party. If anything, I have seen black bears and I am beginning to believe the “grizzly” bears are just black bears that went to the costume shop and stuffed the oversized costumes with toilet paper (like that girl playing football on the commercial).

Day Eight – September 17, 2012

Travel

Well, got up early this morning, got ready, and headed out to the Columbia Icefield. After a long drive to get there I got out of the car, got my boots on and assorted hiking gear together. I hiked up the hill and it was roped off. Apparently, you have to pay for a guided hike to actually walk on the glacier so it was a bit of a letdown, especially after driving so far and burning all that high-dollar gas. I went back to the camper but did stop along the way to take some more pics and sightsee.

Columbia Icefield - Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

Columbia Icefield – Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

The closer I got to the trailer I thought about it and decided to leave and get back into the States. That park is so big you have to drive a good distance to get anyplace, and at about $5.25/gallon it gets expensive on a budget pretty fast.

I drove through Kootenay National Park in British Columbia. It was beautiful as well, but a lot of Pine Beetle damage has been happening there and I even saw a forest fire burning. It was a nice drive this way, and I went through a few small towns scattered several miles apart.

Pine Beetle killed trees - Kootenay National Park - British Columbia, Canada

Pine Beetle killed trees – Kootenay National Park – British Columbia, Canada

I drove about six hours and got to a KOA in Spokane, WA after getting across the border with no problems (it is still a pain in the ass just like flying). It is becoming very frustrating to stay in the KOAs, however. They charge regular rates (about $40/night), yet the pool is closed and the wifi doesn’t work for shit. I am seriously considering canceling my KOA Rewards Kard and staying in other campgrounds for less money. They have laundry facilities, and I need to take care of that as well as, I was hoping, take care of some business on the internet (which is not going well due to the “connection”). When I got to the KOA in Spokane there were two guys and their dog outside the office from Alaska moving here in an older Toyota pickup and they paid $1.99.litre in the Yukon; that is about $8 a gallon!!

Tired after not sleeping good the last few nights so off to bed… I am in Washington at last!

Day Eight – September 17, 2012

Travel

Well, got up early this morning, got ready, and headed out to the Columbia Icefield. After a long drive to get there I got out of the car, got my boots on and assorted hiking gear together. I hiked up the hill and it was roped off. Apparently, you have to pay for a guided hike to actually walk on the glacier so it was a bit of a letdown, especially after driving so far and burning all that high-dollar gas. I went back to the camper but did stop along the way to take some more pics and sightsee.

Columbia Icefield - Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada
Columbia Icefield – Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

The closer I got to the trailer I thought about it and decided to leave and get back into the States. That park is so big you have to drive a good distance to get anyplace, and at about $5.25/gallon it gets expensive on a budget pretty fast.

I drove through Kootenay National Park in British Columbia. It was beautiful as well, but a lot of Pine Beetle damage has been happening there and I even saw a forest fire burning. It was a nice drive this way, and I went through a few small towns scattered several miles apart.

Pine Beetle killed trees - Kootenay National Park - British Columbia, Canada
Pine Beetle killed trees – Kootenay National Park – British Columbia, Canada

I drove about six hours and got to a KOA in Spokane, WA after getting across the border with no problems (it is still a pain in the ass just like flying). It is becoming very frustrating to stay in the KOAs, however. They charge regular rates (about $40/night), yet the pool is closed and the wifi doesn’t work for shit. I am seriously considering canceling my KOA Rewards Kard and staying in other campgrounds for less money. They have laundry facilities, and I need to take care of that as well as, I was hoping, take care of some business on the internet (which is not going well due to the “connection”). When I got to the KOA in Spokane there were two guys and their dog outside the office from Alaska moving here in an older Toyota pickup and they paid $1.99.litre in the Yukon; that is about $8 a gallon!!

Tired after not sleeping good the last few nights so off to bed… I am in Washington at last!