PNW, Part 4
June 29, 2010
Our first full day in Idaho was, as predicted, cloudy and damp, but that sort of weather doesn’t interfere with kayaking, so I served as shuttle bunny for Mr. Karen and Wendy’s trip down a creek near Clark Fork. Even though much of the beautiful scenery was obscured by rain clouds, it was still a trip worth taking, as the route to drop them off at the put-in took me past a quilt shop and a cemetery, two of my favorite things. You can bet I visited both on the way back. The quilt shop lady even kept the store open late while I browsed. Back at the condo, taking some down time before dinner, I went to get my knitting, only to discover it was not where it was supposed to be, nor was it anywhere in my luggage or the condo where it wasn’t supposed to be. I hoped/assumed I’d left it the last place I’d had it, which was Kathy’s house, so I left a message for her and scolded myself for being careless.
The next day, Thursday, was again cloudy and damp, with the added bonus of snow on the top of the mountain (not enough to ski, so not useful snow)–perfect for hunkering down inside, which we did a lot of, but we also took a field trip into town so Dale and Joan could experience the Pie Hut. The Pie Hut is a must. I’ve yet to eat anything there I haven’t really enjoyed. On our way down the mountain, we saw a moose, our first—we’d seen deer on the mountain before, and turkeys, but never a moose until this one. Very cool. In town, I made a stop at the yarn shop to get emergency sock yarn and needles; I was getting all twitchy without having any knitting available. We also looked at a couple antique shops, because one never knows what might turn up and we have a condo to decorate. Didn’t end up buying anything, though as per usual I saw an antique quilt I coveted.
Friday I took a trip to the big city, Coeur d’Alene; I’d hoped to see the quilt shop there, which was featured in a national magazine recently, but by the time I finished my other errands, I’d run out of time and had to skip it. It turned out that I could have gone to the shop; Mr. Karen and I had a communication fail on this one—I understood he wanted me back at the condo before he left for an afternoon kayaking, so I headed back north, only to find I’d missed him by a few minutes; when I called he was surprised I’d rushed back, since he assumed I’d just call if I couldn’t be back in time. Ah well, I already have plenty of fabric and will be back in Idaho before too long, and if I hadn’t been coming up the mountain when I was, I wouldn’t have seen the mama moose with her baby. That was even better than seeing the lone moose the day before. The weather cleared up a lot in the afternoon, so Dale and Joan and I took a drive on one of the scenic byways, getting great views of Lake Pend Oreille and other scenic scenery. On our way back up the mountain, we saw a bear grazing next to the other side of the road, so I pulled over on our side so we could watch him and take pictures, as did the car coming up behind me. A minute or so later, a pickup came racing down the road the other way, blowing his horn and swerving from side to side. The bear stopped eating and looked up; the pickup drove past, then turned around and came back, still with the horn blowing and swerving. The bear decided to leave an ambled across the road and went in front of our car and into the woods . The driver of the pickup stopped next to our car, then rolled his window down, so I rolled mine down, only to have him yell, “You;re killing that bear! All you’re doing is killing that bear!” before roaring off again down the mountain. Wow. I thought the bear was engaged in appropriate bear behavior—not near any houses, not in anyone’s garbage, not approaching humans—but Truck Man evidently thought it was our responsibility to practice adverse conditioning no matter what. At least I think that’s what he was trying to tell us; his communication technique left a lot to be desired.
Saturday the fun ended and we had to go to Spokane to fly home. Mr. Karen drove to the airport, so I worked on the socks I’d started with the emergency yarn I’d bought. (I’d gotten confirmation from Kathy that she did have my other project and would send it to me; if only Iâ€™d realized it was missing before Joan discovered her meds were left behind.) Any calming influence from knitting evaporated at the airport when the bag tag printer going down just as we checked in; once it was back up, the tags that had not printed, including ours, had disappeared from the queue. Of course there was no easy way to reprint them. One check-in agent tried doing it through the kiosk; that might have worked if we’d been willing to pay an extra $70 in addition to the $50 we’d already paid (oh Southwest, I’m sorry I didn’t fly you both ways). Another agent tried doing it through the terminal behind the counter but didn’t know the proper sequence of codes to type in. The only way to get the tags reprinted to wait for a supervisor, who did know the secret codes. Could she do this right away? Ha, of course not. She eventually came and did the tags for the other party who had not gotten theirs, but then made us wait for ours while she checked in passengers who really didn’t need help as far I could see. Meanwhile, the security line to get to the gates was getting longer and longer (we could see if from the counter we were standing at) and my frustration level was getting higher and higher. We did finally get tags for our bags and clear security, but getting any lunch was right out, as was saying a leisurely goodbye to Dale and Joan at their gate (they were flying another airline). Transporter technology cannot come soon enough; I’d gladly risk having my molecules scrambled if it meant never having to deal with air travel again. We had a long layover in Minneapolis and finally got home after midnight. It should have felt earlier, what with the time change, but I was completely worn out and glad to not have any more trips planned for a while.
Photoset is here.