Monday, July 26, 2010

Crazy Daisy Tour Day 10: Missoula, MT to Coeur D'Alene, ID

Since I was a kid, the name Idaho has conjured up images of potatoes. Neither of us had been in the state before but when researching for this trip we discovered that the Northern Region or panhandle is as mountainous and rugged as neighbouring states Montana and Washington. Mining is the chief source of revenue here, followed by tourism.
On our way out of Montana we stop at Alberton, MT, after seeing a billboard advertising a store with over 50,000 used books. Shortly after arriving at the Montana Valley we realize they're not exaggerating. After staying in Jamestown and reading about Louis L'Amour I decide to try of of his Westerns and buy, "The Quick and the Dead". I also find "Absent in the Spring", that Agatha Christie wrote under the pseudonym Mary Westmacott.
At a rest area just before the Idaho border we chat to a kind couple who are volunteering for an organization that builds homes for the needy in Wallace, ID. I think it's a wonderful idea that non-profit groups provide coffee, cold drinks and cookies to travellers at rest stops in exchange for donations for their causes. Between speaking to this couple and the owner of the book shop we get a clearer picture of what life is currently like for folk in small towns in this part of the US.
We enter Silver Valley and stop at Wallace which has pitched itself as a historic town. Many fine buildings line the main street including this one, the "insurance building".

Daily distance: 272 km Fuel cost: $10.00

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