Day 6: Cataldo to Kellogg, Idaho - Grampies Go Panhandling - CycleBlaze

July 10, 2013

Day 6: Cataldo to Kellogg, Idaho

Throughout our 7500 km journey across North America Dodie was saying she would like to see a moose. We passed so many little lakes, with yummy looking grasses in the water by the shore. But never a moose. Dodie began to say we should hang around lakes in the evening, or early morning. No moose.

Now this morning the kids got tired of watching movies on the tablet, and there were still some chores Dodie wanted to do, packing the bikes. "Walk the kids down to take some pictures of the river", she suggested. The river is the Coeur d'Alene River, and we are right where it flows under the Interstate, I-90. There were about 10 giant RVs parked around, and the noise from the highway was continuous.  The river is fast moving here, no idyllic  backwaters, no grassy shore.

So no sooner than we arrived near the river but a moose walked out to greet us. We whipped out our cameras. Grandma would need proof, to believe us. Avi and Violet naturally rushed forward, and I had to yank on their reins to keep them at a safe distance (for the moose!). The moose then ambled off, leaving us to tell our story.

Early morning roughing it.
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Look at how close Avi actually is!
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The young photographers document the event.
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Run and tell Grandma
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Since Grandma had made the ultimate sacrifice and missed the moose, we were at least packed and ready to go whhen we got back. The temperature climbed to 41 degrees Celcius, which is an impressive sounding 106 degrees Farenheight. Both the kids and the Grampies were up to the challenge of cycling in that heat, but again, it is wearing.

Migrant "Canadians" other than Avi and
Violet
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Fortunately, once the trail passes Cataldo it simply meanders down the "silver valley" past a series of towns, formerly associated with the mining industry, and now with fair tourism and retail sectors. First up was Pinehurst, which we bypassed, and then Smelterville. Smelterville boasts a Walmart Supercenter. Wow! Air conditioning, fresh veggies, watermelon chunks! We also picked up some critical supplies, notably scotch tape. Avi needed tape to put a Transformers picture, cut from the box of his "Lunchables" package, into his memory book. On a standard Grampies tour, the equivalent would be go after a replacement camera battery, or something like that.

Outside the Walmart, the kids fielded the "usual questions" from the man who tends the carts in the parking lot.He offered these Vancouver/Missoula- ites a warm welcome to Idaho, and received one of their business cards.

At Walmart, the kids make a friend.
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Wow, they even have electric lights in here!
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Avi calls it "Old McDonalds". If afforded a chance to expand their toy selection.
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We took a ride around the amazingly large lot of "Dave King" motors.
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Most of the trucks were nearly identical models. What are so many vehiclesd doing here?
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Although there is some sort of camping or RV parking more likely, around, we opted to stop at a motel in the next town - Kellogg. This was right on the trail and adjacent to the Silver Mountain ski resort. What a good call! There is a certain variety of US motels that feature everything you could want, housed in a large building (not cabins), and often at very discounted prices. So it was with this one (Guesthouse Inn and Suites). Here was a pool and hot tub, breakfast buffet, fridge and microwave, bath tub, flat screen tv (with cartoons on 24/7!), and air conditioning, and of course, shade!

Tough camper/cyclists as we may be!, this place really made our day. We stashed our bikes in the custom bike lockup, and headed for the pool. We had it to ourselves, and it was soo great! Back at our room, it was macaroni and cheese out of the microwave and cartoons. Wow, heaven!

Even heaven can get wearing after a bit, and the kids grew restive - which means they were yelling and scrambling around on their bed. Grandpa now revealed that he had spotted a playground a little down the cycle path. He was surprised to find that he did not earn hero status for his offer to take the kids there. Rather they refused to listen to the description of the wonderful outing on offer.

Finally, there was a negotiated solution. Avi would chek out the advertised playground, and Violet would take a bath.

The playground featured several large and small play structures, and we checked each one one in turn. I'm not saying Avi did not enjoy this, because he did. However, without Violet it was not the same. I expect tomorrow they may both get another crack at it,

Our private pool was a boon on this hot day.
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The hot tub was pure fun.
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Now that's camping out: Macaroni dining on a towel!
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Violet will not listen to my playground proposal and Avi seems to believe it could be the end of his world.
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But actually once outside, he rather enjoyed it.
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Gotta tell Violet about this!
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Today's ride: 24 km (15 miles)
Total: 134 km (83 miles)

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