Missoula was a place we visited last year and we wanted to use it as a refreshing stop as well as a place to stock up on supplies before our tour begins.
Missoula is actually where the Taj is registered and we have a small company there so iI guess you could say it’s one of our home bases. It’s an engaging city and its filled with interesting restaurants, shops and historical features. A great place to visit in the spring and summer but by late September you better have your Wookiee’s cause it’s starting to get cold there. Bozeman and Missoula both seem to be the most vital cities in Montana – from what we could see they were filled with young people and growing families. We could almost imagine buying a small log cabin on the outskirts of either city at the base of the mountains that surround them.
While in Missoula, we stocked up at the Costco and rested in anticipation of our upcoming busy two months. We had a great drive into Idaho – here are two photos from that drive to amuse you .
Below is a Columbia Ground Squirrel – one of a big colony at a rest-stop along I-90 who really wanted a treat. Isn’t he the cutest!
We drive over hundreds of rivers in our travels – some are like this one above are just stunning. Got a lucky shot as we drove along another bridge on I -90.
Coeurp de Alene is not far from Missoula just over the border into Idaho – it was our first visit and we were not disappointed. A city with a big beautiful lake right smack dab in the middle of it – spectacular views, great recreation and super foodies places to enjoy. Our RV Park was on the lake with a beach, marina and terrific restaurant in walking distance.
The elegant side of the city attracts sports figures, movie stars and the wealthy who need another lakeside property. Boats are everywhere – large and small – speed boats, pontoons and rafts – the lake laps at the shore of a downtown public park so bathing suit clothed people are everywhere weather permitting. There are also great winter sports opportunities for those of you who ski or snowboard or hang out in mountain lounges waiting fir friends. Too cold for our tastes but it must be lovely to see.
Lenny loved having a chance to go swimming and even Lola got into the act.
Granted it’s only warm about three months of the year but no one misses a chance to soak up the sunshine. It’s the like Miami of the Northwest without cruise ships and tall condo buildings. Friends told us we would love it here and they were right – we would return to spend more time on a later trip.
We took a boat cruise on Lake Coeur de Alene – a name originating from a Native American name meaning “heart of the awl” but mispronounced by the early French fur traders. The lake is twenty five miles long and up to three miles wide with all sorts of little coves and plenty of wildlife – bald eagles were seen that day.
The Spokane River flows into it and refreshes it with its annual mountain snow runoff. The lake does freeze in winter so all boats, moorings and docks must be pulled before the final cold snap.
Our boat captain recommended a restaurant – Cedars- near our park that was actually owned by the same company. We liked it so much and were happy to eat there twice – once just us and the second time with our fellow Fantasy Tour folks – delicious meals with awesome views to enjoy.
There is a beautiful golf course here with a unique hole on a floating barge that moves often – a real challenge for those golfers.
The city has created parks all around the city and people are encouraged to be outdoors often. It gives the city a joyful spirit that is quite contagious. A little cabin on the lake would be sweet but pricey now because of the home purchases by millionaire stars and hockey players. Some homes along the waters edge were amazing.
Art work decorated many of the parks and adds a bit of whimsy to the green velvet of the trees and plants.
See what we mean…..
Sunsets on the lake were wonderful – this lovely spot is a destination with a gold star from us!
Our tour begins now and we will do our best to keep up but we expect internet and cell service challenges as we travel through the British Columbia, Yukon and Alaska wilderness. We are very excited about this two month trip and hope you will hitch a ride along the way.