Nolemana and I were very quiet as we got back into our car and headed out to the freeway again. Seeing the Sunshine Mine Disaster Memorial had been a very emotional experience.
The river flowed quietly by as we headed makai. This is the Coeur d’ Alene River going into Smelterville.
Coeur d’Alene, our destination, was 31 miles away.
We continued to climb as we drove along. The weather was just gorgeous.
We’re in the middle of the Rocky Mountains still, in the Bitterroot Range, and the Coeur d’Alene Mountains. Try look da snow!
I am a full-blood island girl, but these mountains captured my heart. I never got “rock fever” living back home, but I also love that we can travel for miles and miles and miles and not go ’round and ’round all the time.
One of the things that really added to our enjoyment of this part of the road trip? No traffic! I mean, really. Three cars in sight? Unrealz.
Rivers and railroad trestles were an added bonus. This area is near the Cataldo Mission. It’s 53° and about 6:15 p.m. now.
The skies were clear, the mountains and hillsides, green with beauty.
We came to a lovely wetland area, that I bet in full summer would be alive with ducks and geese. Oh, how I’d love to see that!
We’re now heading over 4th of July Pass. Our history lesson for today is this:
“Captain Mullan and his crew celebrated the 4th of July 1861 on top of this mountain as they took a break from clearing passage for the road they were building over it. Thus the current name of “4th of July pass” today.
The Mullan Road was the first wagon road to cross the Rocky Mountains to the Inland of the Pacific Northwest. It was built by U.S. Army Captain John Mullan between the spring of 1859 and summer 1862. It led from Fort Benton, Montana, to Fort Walla Walla, Washington Territory, and it roughly follows the path of modern-day Interstate-90 through the Rockies. Mullan Road was designated a historic site by the National Register of Historical Places in 1975, and the American Society of Civil Engineers designated it a historic civil engineering landmark in 1977.
There’s a cool recreation area here, too. But alas, no time to stop.
At the very top, the elevation is 3069′.
It was such a beautiful drove over the pass, heading up, then down.
And all the time, we were getting closer to Coeur d’Alene, where we’d be spending the night.
And try look the mileage we’re getting going downhill! Speed Racer Moki!! Heh heh.
Here’s a blurry photo of the sanding station. I know you know what it is from before, even though da photo stay blurry.
This is the river near Wolf Lodge. I’m so grateful for our Trip Photo Logs! Oddawise, I would be lost!
And here’s our first glimpse of Lake Coeur d’Alene.
It’s a huge, gorgeous, lake. One time we ate at the Wolf Lodge near here. Actually, we’ve eaten there several times. It’s fantastic!
It was now about 7:45 p.m., though it coulda been 8:30 p.m. because I’d forgotten to change the camera’s time stamp to Mountain Time. The lake was so pretty. In the summer, I bet there are lots of sailboats here. Be still my heart!
And here we are. Tired and with tired lemu, sore from all the sitting. We’re gonna be taking the Highway 95 exit. If we’d wanted to, we could’ve continued North into Canada from there.
The night sky over the lake was so beautiful!
We ate dinner and then headed to our motel. This was the last photo we took that night. Why? You may ask. Well, because Cousins (remember them?) both ride Harleys, so it was in their honor. Because I was missing them already.
It’s funny; I don’t remember where we ate dinner, but I do remember the lovely drive through all the mountains, and the winding roads, and the green, green, trees. And mostly, the spirit of adventure, of wanderlust, which I got from my beloved Papa-san.
Next time, we continue our wanderings through the Palouse country of Idaho and Washington. Mahalo plenny for riding along; I love having you all with us.