We split from the caravan and headed west from Banff in order to make our way back into the United States through the top of Idaho. Our original plan was to head over the Calgary to check it out but not having steady Internet and phone is becoming a bit of a drag. After having been with the group for the last couple of weeks and with the Works before that, it will give us a chance to spend some quality time alone for a change.
First thing on the agenda, we need to get this girl’s Airstream birthday party squared away. She will turn 4 in a few days and there are several shopping trips in our future to make sure she gets the party of her dreams. We have also told her that four is the year that girls stop sucking on their fingers but we will see if that propaganda sticks or not.
The drive from Banff to the border of Idaho is breathtakingly beautiful. The abundance of snow here in the winter time means that water constantly flow through the area making summers lush and bountiful.
Our crossing back to the States was pretty uneventful. It only took a couple of minutes although a customs officer did enter the trailer to take a look at our fridge. We had some onions and potatoes we forgot to declare but they are legal to bring back so we were free to once again roam through the lower 48.
Just as we pushed away from the border gates, a hair-raising shriek came from the back of the van. We immediately stopped the vehicle and turned around to find an inconsolable Ava screaming in her carseat. Apparently a beetle had found its way into the van and somehow ended up on her head. Not knowing what was causing the tingly feeling on her scalp, she reached up and brushed it off as it landed near her seat. I jumped out, ran around and managed to catch and release this little booger but Ava at this point was hysterical. We assured her that there was no more beetles in the van but for the next 20 minutes of us driving from the border, all she could repeat to herself was that she wanted to go inside the Mish.
Mila held her hand as we drove but she still could not get the thought of another beetle jumping on her while she is strapped to the seat out of her mind.
We continued driving until we got to a gas station before we had a chance to stop. She is still very visibly shaken up.
A round of popsicles and ice cream bars is what eventually did the trick. She finally was able to calm herself down as we continued making our way to Coeur d’Alene, Idaho.
We made it to Coeur d’Alene just as the sun was setting.
Without knowing anything about the town, we found ourselves at a Walmart that allows us to stay overnight.
A couple of weeks ago as we were getting ready to cross the border, we had to leave something behind in the border town of Oroville, Washington. We had been keeping a locked shotgun in the trailer knowing that we will be in the wilderness where there would be bears. Unfortunately the laws are a little strange to for a U.S. citizen to bring a legally owned firearm into Canada. We had done lots of research as to how it can be done but because we had told them that we were planning to visit Banff National Park, we were not allowed to bring it in regardless of what documentations we are able to provide. The alternative is to leave it behind in the states. In the little town of Oroville, Washington, there is a place referred to as ‘The Pub’ by the Canadian Border Agents. They do not officially recommended this to visitors but we were told that for 10 bucks a month, they will keep it there under lock and key for you. It was up in the air whether or not we would go back for it or just give them a call to have them sell it at the local gun shop. Now that we are in Coeur d’Alene, it is roughly a 210 miles each way to retrieve it from them. Not wanting to deal with the hassle of selling it outside of our home state, I decided that I would make an early morning drive for it.
For the first time, I unhitched at a Walmart and left the Mish there. Since Marlene and the kids would stay behind, we were not too worried about it. I woke up and left while it was still dark at around 5am and started making my way back into Washington and up to the Canadian border.
I drove mostly through county roads which are mostly empty anyways. During this time of the day, it is especially deserted. It is one of the rare moments when I get to take photos during the morning magic hour as the sun is rising.
The scattered clouds in the sky along with the picturesque scenery made me stop and get out of the car several times to get shots like this.
For a good part of the drive I followed right along the Columbia River which will eventually make its way past Portland and out into the Pacific in Astoria.
I made it to ‘The Pub’ at around 8AM. As they promised, they kept it locked away safely for me while we were in Canada. After getting it back in my possession, I immediately started making my way back towards Coeur d’Alene and managed to get there just before noon.
I hitched up and found ourselves a nice full-hookup, pull-thru site at Blackwell Island RV Park. As the girls colored and Luka played his toys, I crashed for a few well deserved hours.
Mila also took her final afternoon nap as a 3 year old.
Coeur d’Alene is a beautiful town during the summer and we are really glad that we decided to come through here.
Blackwell Island RV Park sits right where Spokane River opens to Lake Coeur a’Alene. The water was surprisingly comfortable
This is our soon-to-be 4 year old baby girl.
Good night little one, tomorrow you will be a big girl.
Stay tuned for a rare post from Marlene who was responsible to decoration the Mish as the girls slept so that Mila can wake up to a pink birthday surprise.
over and out,