We had decided the night before that we would get up early and have breakfast at the Fisherman’s Market and Grill, located at Harbor Maine right there at the marina. We’d had lunch there a couple of times, and the food was good and reasonably priced. They open a 6:00 am, so the timing was perfect.
Our first stop was Coeur d’Alene, ID, a beautiful town we had visited on our way from Spokane, WA to Sandpoint, ID many years ago. I had chosen Coeur d’Alene as our first stop for two reason – it was about a 7 hour drive from Everett (which seemed to be a reasonable amount of time on the road), and I had hoped that my brother, Jay, could drive down from Sandpoint and meet us there for dinner. Unfortunately, Jay was going to be in Florida at the time we passed through.
Our route took us through Stephen’s Pass via Highway 2. As I have mentioned, we decided that this trip would not be so much about making tracks (mostly), but taking the scenic routes where we could, as well as having some time to stop and take advantage of unexpected interesting things to do or see.
While on Highway 2, we saw gorgeous scenery, rivers, and rapids. Bill saw a sign for the Grand Coulee Dam, so we pulled off to take a look. It is an impressive facility, which started as a WPA project, and was added to in the 1960s. The dam itselfwas a mammoth undertaking, as was the acquisition of land, etc., before the dam could be built. The visitor center showed not just dam-building info, but what happened to the towns and people as the work progressed. Some towns were wiped out, and the Native Americans’ way of life in that area was forever changed, and not necessarily for the better.
In an effort not to break the bank, I booked us into budget hotels – some were pretty good, some not so much. In the “not so much” category is the Super 8 Motel in Coeur d’Alene. The lobby stank (too much cleaning fluid? too much chlorine in the pool?). The room smelled a little better, especially after we opened the window.
One reason for choosing the Super 8 was that it is close to the Coeur d’Alene Cellars, a winery that we wanted to visit. I had been in touch with the owner, Sariah, via e-mail, and she assured me that in addition to wine, they had cheese plates, spinach/artichoke dip, and other small plates. We could taste some wine and have dinner, too! We tasted two flights, and ended up buying the Viognier and their higher-end red, Opulence. We did not get to meet Sariah, but our server, Trisha, was very nice and welcoming. I highly recommend a visit when you are in the area.