Western Fun

From April 22 thru May 6, I went on an adventure which consisted of three different destinations located in the Western part of the United States.  For the first five nights, I was in Tucson to celebrate Savanna’s 3rd birthday.  Next, I flew to Idaho for a Hise sibling reunion taking place at Worley, ID.  The last destination was Bozeman, MT. for two nights with Tom and Sarah Foster; they drove over to Idaho and I rode back with them.  And now I will attempt to provide a daily record of everything I did and saw.

Friday, April 22: Mary and Joe picked me up around 7:30; they dropped me off to the airport and I experienced no problems with check in, security, or flight departure. Flew on United thru Denver on my way to Tucson. Retrieved my luggage and Steev picked me up. We went to lunch at Roma’s which have good food. Dropped Steev off at his work and drove to the motel for check in. Greta called; she and Savanna were waiting for my arrival so over I went.

Let's visit

Let’s visit

We talked and played until Steev came home from work. Greta made us dinner and then we went outside where Savanna played on the swing while Steev pushed her; Greta watered their plants and pulled some weeds. Came back to the room shortly after 7:00 and am very tired. Plan on reading for awhile and then to bed early. Tomorrow morning I will go with Steev and Savanna to her music lesson at 9:00.

Saturday, April 23: Got up around 6:00 this morning and went for a walk. It was a beautiful morning with flowers on trees and in pots. Got coffee at Epic Cafe; came back to the motel where I had breakfast. All the servers know me because of all the previous visits so there was a very warm greeting from all. Arrived back at the room and got ready for the day. Called Steev around 8:00 and it was decided they would pick me up around 8:40 on the way to Savanna’s music class. Everyone participated in the class and a fun time was had by all!

Some of the class

Some of the class

Likes the horse

Likes the horse

Went back to Steev’s where Savanna’s grandparents, Melanie and Fred, came with an early birthday present. Greta was not feeling well so she was out of commission the whole day; her sister arrived with pans for cupcakes that was being made for Savanna’s party but it was decided she would take all the ingredients and make them. Greta rested while we made lunch. After lunch, Steev took me back to the motel; he was going to drive Savanna around in hopes she would fall asleep. I swam, read, and watched the NBA play offs. Later in the day, Steev called so I went over. Savanna had taken a long nap and was ready for some action. We called Magpies for pizza to be delivered which we ate outside on the patio. After dinner and clean up, I went back to the motel for the evening.

Sunday, April 24: Once again, I got up around 6:00 and went for a walk stopping at the Epic for my morning coffee. Once I was back at the motel, I went for breakfast. After eating and a shower, I read while waiting to hear from the kids. It was decided Steev, Savanna, and I would go shopping for some party items while Greta would rest since she still was not feeling well.

Time to shop

Time to shop

After shopping, we fixed lunch. Greta and Savanna decided to come back to the motel for a swim; this was in hopes Savanna would tire herself out so she would take a nap before her party.

Swimming fun

Swimming fun

Greta took Savanna home and I read in my room. Around 2:30, I went to the party; Savanna was sleeping and did not get up until after 3:00…just when party guests were arriving. And what a great party it was! Mr. Nature came at 4:00 and entertained everyone with songs, dance, and music for an hour; he ended the entertainment with everyone marching around the yard while playing their “instruments”; what fun! Then it was time for the piñata breaking; all the kids took turns but it would not break. Finally, Robert (Savanna’s brother) broke it!

Driving new car

Driving new car

Good birthday cupcake

Good birthday cupcake

Mr. Nature performing

Mr. Nature performing

The marching band

The marching band

Hitting but not breaking the piñata

Hitting but not breaking the piñata

Enjoying contents of the piñata

Enjoying contents of the piñata

When the party was over, Steev prepared us a meal of pasta that was very good. Went back to the motel and watched some NBA while reading.

Monday, April 25: Did the usual morning activity of walking, coffee, and breakfast at the motel restaurant. Shopped at various stores and got a sandwich at the Market which I took back to the motel and ate with a glass of wine. Went for a facial and pedicure at Greentoes; very relaxing! After they were home from work and school, I went to the kids where we played with Savanna and had dinner. After dinner and clean up, went back to the motel for reading and NBA.

Tuesday, April 26: This was Savanna’s birthday so, after my walk and breakfast, went over to the kids; we drove to Savanna’s school where Steev and Greta handed treats of watermelon and strawberries for all the children. After everyone sang “Happy Birthday” to Savanna and the treats were eaten, Greta and Steev read everyone a story.

Getting ready to sing "Happy Birthday"

Getting ready to sing “Happy Birthday”

Reading time

Reading time

We said our good byes to everyone at school, went back the kids house, and parted company for the day. I walked downtown and then returned in time to drive to Blue Willow where I was meeting Jim Davis, a old friend from the mid 1970’s, for lunch. It was a delightful lunch; great food and wonderful conversation. Went back to the motel and packed for my departure the next day. Around 4:30, I went over to the kids for birthday present opening. Savanna had many presents to open because of gifts brought on Sunday so it took her quite awhile. But she got some great things; books, pictures, barn and animals, dining/kitchen set, sand utensils, etc.

Present opening

Present opening

Wow...a barn with animals

Wow…a barn with animals

We went to a Mexican place for carry out. After eating, Steev took me back to the motel where I got ready for bed and read until time to put the lights out.

Wednesday, April 27: Got up at 5:00, gathered my luggage, checked out, and Steev arrived to take me to the airport. After saying our good byes, I checked my bags and got to my assigned gate. All went well and arrived in Spokane early but so did Lynda and Sarah; Ron arrived as luggage was coming around the carousels which we retrieved and headed to his truck. Drove to Coeur d’Alene where we went to the Moon Time for lunch and liquid refreshments. Connected with Jack and he  joined us. After everyone ate, we headed for Ron’s; I rode with Jack. Arrived at the house and, after determining which room everyone was going to sleep in, we put our luggage into the applicable room.

Liked the looks of the outside sign

Liked the looks of the outside sign

Gathering in backyard for food

Gathering in backyard for food

Sat around and talked; Kathryn arrived about 5:30. After a delicious dinner of lasagna, broccoli and salad, we cleaned up and talked until around 10:00 or so. Everyone went off to bed anticipating the next day’s activity of exploring the parks Ron manages.

Thursday, April 28: After eating breakfast and taking showers, we took a walk with Hunter, Ron’s dog. Ron arrived from his work mid-morning and we went into Heyburn State Park which he manages; Ron is an Idaho Park Ranger. At the visitor center he introduced his staff and showed us his office. Sarah, Lynda, and I purchased items from the gift shop area. We viewed the cabins including the lake view one I will be staying in with the Fosters Monday and Tuesday nights. Then we drove to St. Mary’s for lunch at The Grub Box. After a filling lunch, we took off for another park Ron manages called McCroskey State Park. We really traveled through beautiful countryside on some rough, traveled roads; it was a fun adventure with the Hise family. After stopping at the store for additional wine and supplies for dinner, we ventured back to Ron’s.

Dock area below Ron's

Dock area below Ron’s

Ready to walk

Ready to walk

Meeting a friend

Meeting a friend

View of lake from the road

View of lake from the road

Siblings on walking/bike trail Heyburn Park

Siblings on walking/bike trail Heyburn Park

Enjoying the crooked tree

Enjoying the crooked tree

Scenic view Heyburn Park

Field of arrow leaf balsam root McCroskey Park

Field of arrow leaf balsam root McCroskey Park

Long range view McCroskey Park

Long range view McCroskey Park

Lynda prepared, with Sarah’s assistance, Spanish Rice which included ground elk supplied from Ron’s freezer. Kathryn got home from work around 6:30 and we sat down for dinner of the rice, salad, and French bread. Everything was delicious! The rest of the evening was spent talking until everyone decided to retire around 10:00.

Friday, April 29: Our adventure for the day was going to Coeur d’Alene for town exploration, shopping, and having a pizza party at Jack’s in the evening. After Kathryn left for work and we dressed for the day, we were off  with Lynda riding with Jack and Sarah/myself with Ron. We met at Jack’s where he left his car and headed to downtown. After parking the truck, we headed to Hudson’s…a hamburger joint established in 1907 with the building being over 100 years old. It is owned and run by the 4th generation of the original owner. You were given three choices of condiments with the hamburger…onion, cheese, and pickles. And the result was delicious! I decided to purchase one of their t-shirts.

Inside Hudson's; one long counter is all

Inside Hudson’s; one long counter

Off to other stores we went and I found a couple presents in the Lucky Monkey. We walked to McEuen Park where Tubbs Hill was seen…Sarah and Tom Foster might like to hike this with me when they come next week. After purchasing everyone ice cream cones, we returned to the truck and drove along the park by the lake shore until the road stopped. Then up the hill and across the bridge for another fantastic view of the scenery.

One of many sculptures in the town

One of many sculptures in the town

One view of McEuen Park

One view of McEuen Park

Shopping "excitement"

Shopping “excitement”

Lake view

Lake view

Ron graciously took me to the visitor center so I could get a trail map of Tubbs Hill and a map of the town. On the way to Jack’s we stopped at a grocery store where I purchased wine and beer for the cabin; Papa Murphy’s was another stop where Jack and I bought two pizzas. Jack took us on a tour of his apartment complex which has a swimming pool, hot tub, sauna, and exercise room along with BBQ area plus shuffleboard area…very nice. And then we put the pizza in the oven; while baking, I got caught up on my email which fallen behind because Ron does not have internet. After eating, we said our good byes and headed back to Ron’s where Kathryn was doing some work for her job which was having their annual fund raiser on Saturday that Kathryn had to work at. While watching some NHL teams play in the Stanley Cup playoffs, we had another lively discussion among us.

Dog, toy, NHL...life does not get any better than this!

Dog, toy, NHL…life does not get any better than this!

At 10:30 all of us headed to bed where I read until around 11:30.

Saturday, April 30: We decided not to go anywhere today which turned out an excellent decision. After rising and taking my shower, I put on coffee for all coffee drinkers. We took over a 3-mile walk once everyone had their coffee or preferred morning drink and breakfast. Kathryn stayed behind to do more organizing for the fund raising event later in the day and Jack had not arrived after his morning fly fishing meeting. It was a great walk which Hunter, Ron’s dog, really enjoyed. Upon our return, Jack arrived and Kathryn got ready to depart for her office in Spokane. We helped her to load things in her car and then walked down to The Steamboat Cafe at the marina for lunch and a beer. The day was nice and comfortable so we sat outside and watched the boats on the lake while waiting for our order.

A walkin' we will go

A walkin’ we will go

Beautiful scene

Beautiful scene

Hunter likes the walk

Hunter likes the walk

Greeter at the cafe

Greeter at the cafe

Waiting for lunch

Waiting for lunch

The food arrived and it was quite good. After paying the bill, walked back to Ron’s where people did whatever they wanted to…whether was reading, watching TV, updating notes, reading the paper, taking a nap…very comfortable and relaxing afternoon. That evening we warmed up leftovers from the previous two evening meals.

Sunday, May 1: After breakfast, we loaded into Ron’s truck for a day of exploring. First stop was the Snake Pit for lunch. It is a real cool place established in 1880; lots of old decor and delicious food. Even though I had purchased two t-shirts at previous stops, I decided I needed one from the Snake Pit.

Inside the Snake Pit

Inside the Snake Pit

Idaho scene

Idaho scene

Bird nest HIGH up

Bird nest HIGH up

All of us having fun

All of us having fun

Onward toward I90; once on the interstate, we stopped at Cataldo Mission which is the oldest building in Idaho. Everything interesting with old wallpaper made from newspapers, original wooden flooring, old organ, beautiful interior; there were no pews because Indians did sat on the floor.  We stopped in Wallace, ID; it is the principal town of the Coeur d’Alene silver-mining district, which produced more silver than any other mining district in the United States.

Outside the mission

Outside the mission

Inside the mission

Inside the mission

The wallpaper

The wallpaper

Murray Post Office

Murray Post Office

Totem pole @ Murray

Totem pole @ Murray

  Once on the road, we headed to Wallace, Idaho; an historic town known for its mining and center of the universe.   It was a beautiful day so we walked the town while taking pictures. And, of course, we stopped for liquid refreshment at the Wallace Brewing Company. And ice cream at Red Light Garage Restaurant; very good!

Center of the Universe

Center of the Universe

Group picture @ Wallace Brewing Co.

Group picture @ Wallace Brewing Co.

Space capsule @ Red Lantern Garage

Space capsule @ Red Lantern Garage

We loaded into the truck and headed back to Ron’s. Got there around 7:30; Jack decided to head back to his place so, after saying our good byes, we settled in for the night with everyone fixing whatever they wanted for a snack/meal. I tried to connect with the Fosters but no answer so left a message. Tomorrow they will arrive for our 2-night stay in the Lakeview Cabin at Hepburn State Park.

Monday, May 2: After breakfast, everyone started to gather their belongings; we went to the cabin I will be staying in and unloaded my luggage along with the food and booze I had purchased. On to the Visitor Center where boarding passes for Sarah and Lynda were printed. When we returned to Ron’s, Jack arrived and we went to St. Marie’s for lunch while Kathryn stayed home to do some work for her job. While at lunch, I connected with the Fosters; they had talked to Kathryn and she gave them directions to the house. Fosters arrived around 2:30; after saying good bye to everyone, we went to the cabin while the rest of the family headed to Spokane to deposit the sisters at a motel near the airport in preparation for their early flight back home the next day. Fosters brought their luggage into the cabin and we decided to find a place to eat in St. Marie’s; we ended at a place called Gem State which had a decent chef salad (lots of tomatoes and cucumbers). Returned to the cabin and spent the rest of the evening relaxing on the screened in porch; drinking wine and talking.

Tuesday, May 3: Relaxed this morning while drinking coffee and visiting. Tom fixed us breakfast of eggs, turkey bacon, and toast.

Sun is coming up

Sun is coming up

Preparing breakfast

Preparing breakfast

After cleaning up and getting dressed for the day, we went to the Visitor Center where Fosters purchased an annual pass while I talked to Ron about where to eat and the time that evening. We then went to the trail head of Indian Cliffs which we hiked. It was  perfect weather and all of us enjoyed the scenery and views tremendously.

Tom pushing, Sarah trying not to get squashed!

Tom pushing, Sarah trying not to get squashed!

Life couldn't get any better

Life couldn’t get any better

View at the top

View at the top

After the hike, we headed to Coeur d’Alene where I wanted to go to Bed, Bath, & Beyond for an item for Kathryn; however, they no longer carried what I was looking for. I called Jack as to where we were going to eat lunch and he agreed to meet us. The place was called Daft Badger Brewing; great atmosphere, excellent food, and perfect weather for eating on the patio.

Enjoying patio at Daft Badger

Enjoying patio at Daft Badger

Jack did not want to shop with us downtown so I said my farewell to him. Downtown to the Labrador Store for a gift for Hunter, and MixItUp for a “thank you” item for Kathryn/Ron.

Making a new friend

Making a new friend

It was time to visit a couple more craft beer places; Trickster and Paragon Brewing. At the Paragon, I purchased an item for Kathryn and Ron along with enjoying a good beer. Of the three places, I liked Daft Badger the best and the beer at Trickster the least. It was time to head back toward our cabin; we picked up Ron and Kathryn for an evening meal at the Coeur d’Alene Casino outside Worley. Dropped the family at their place after saying our good byes and went on to the cabin where we headed toward our individual bedrooms for reading and sleeping.

Wednesday, May 4: Got dressed, loaded stuff in the car, and took off for Bozeman. We had breakfast at the Red Lantern Garage in Wallace; there were 3 guys sitting across from us, locals that come into the restaurant every morning for coffee. One of the men showed us a letter he had just received from a student and teacher located in Walnut, IA. It sure is a small world! After walking around the town, we headed toward the Fosters home. We had lunch at Cracker Barrel in Missoula. When we got to Butte, Tom and Sarah showed me an open pit mine called Berkely Pit; it was interesting to see. We went to a local brewery called Quarry Brewing; good beer, great atmosphere, fun time. On the road again, we stopped at the Sacajawea Hotel in Three Forks for dinner; this hotel was built in the 1800’s and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Arrival at the Fosters around 8:00 where we settled in for the night.

Heading to observation deck of Berkeley Pit

Heading to observation deck of Berkeley Pit

Portion of open pit mine

Portion of open pit mine

Inside Quarry Brewing

Inside Quarry Brewing

Sacajawea Hotel

Sacajawea Hotel

One room in the hotel

One room in the hotel

Thursday, May 5: After getting dressed, I took off for a walk around the Foster neighborhood. After the walk, had coffee with the Fosters at their neighbor, Marcia, house. It was a beautiful day so we had the coffee on the outside deck. After coffee, we had a late breakfast at Mountain Arts Coffee Pot; while there, I browsed their gift area and purchased a ceramic spoon rest. We returned to the Fosters; Tom mowed the yard while Sarah and I looked at all her flower beds.

Dusty, Fosters youngest cat

Dusty, Fosters youngest cat

Mia, Fosters oldest cat

Mia, Fosters oldest cat

There were new chicks at the Foster residence

There were new chicks at the Foster residence

Since my flight home was early the next morning, I repacked my bags for the trip. Later in the day, we went to Madison River Brewing for some liquid refreshment.

Posing for a picture

Posing for a picture

And dinner was at MacKenzie River Pizza Co.; good beer and, once served, great pizza. Back to the Fosters for conversation and early to bed.

Friday, May 6: Since my flight left Bozeman at 7:00, we were up and on the road to the airport by 5:00; NPR’s Morning Edition was being broadcast live in Bozeman so Tom and Sarah planned on going there after dropping me off. Check in, going through security, and boarding were uneventful. Connection in Denver was quick and, before I knew it, I was arriving back in Cedar Rapids with my friends, the Robinsons, picking me.

It was a great trip filled with lots of adventures.  I am so happy that I could spend Savanna’s 3rd birthday with her and be able to join in on all the celebrations; Greta and Steev are such fantastic parents…and wonderful son/daughter to the steply-ugh-mother.  Having time with the Hise siblings was great fun and so relaxing; I’m glad to be able to keep contact with everyone even though Tom has passed away.  And the Fosters…what can I say…they are great friends who I always enjoy spending time with so they coming over to Idaho was a very positive for me.  Lastly, I need to thank Mary and Joe for the ride both to/from the airport; they are always willing to lend a helping hand.

One Response to Western Fun

  1. Jan!

    What fun to re-live your Western Fun Trip! And your photos!! You’re a great photog – you made our part of the world look amazing!

    Now I miss you all over again!! Come back soon, ok?!

    Much love,

    Kathryn

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