Total Day: 336.5 km (209.1 mi)
Total Trip: 5,097.4 km
We woke to the sound of the frogs, whose chorus had continued unabated through the night. We made coffee, had breakfast, and packed up, waving as the other motorcyclist took off before us. We had breakfast, and had an easy but relaxed pack up. This was it, then. All the motorcycle rallies were behind us. All of the epic riding was behind us. The next three days were low mileage, easy riding, and a relaxed pace. The next three days were the last stretch home. This was the last “Beginning of the Long Dash“, the long dash home, the last few miles until we get to park, unload, and rest.
We were ready and on the road by 8:30 am, and we were both fairly tired. It was like our bodies were already looking forward to getting home, and knew we were on the last stretch. I was also, however, looking forward to where we were going to have lunch today – Coeur D’Alane, Idaho. I had been hearing of Couer D’Alaine for years, as there was some ex-laws’ extended family living there, and I had never visited, and understood that it was very beautiful.
We had a quick stop, and then a further stop for a construction delay. We had encountered a few construction delays here in the United States, but what was interesting was that they used pilot cars to lead traffic when things are down to one lane. In Canada, no matter how long these construction areas would be, there would simply be flag people at each end. Here, there were flag people, and a car that picked up the entire line and lead them through the length of the construction zone. It seems an imminently sensible, and very safe, practice, and I think it should be something that gets implemented here where I live.
The riding today was more of the beautiful, curving, forested roadways, now leading to the western edge of the Rocky Mountains, climbing down further towards the plains of western Idaho and eastern Washington State. Lonely and winding ribbons of asphalt, where we were most often the only passengers. I’m happy to report that the new tires felt amazing, and that we had a day without significant hassels either on the bike or on the road.
We made it to C’ouer D’alane for lunch, and it is truly a beautiful lake-side town. We ate lunch at nice bistro called the Honey Eatery and Social Club, and our bikes had the safest parking they’ve ever had – we were parked beside a motorcycle owned by a full patch member of a famous motorcycle club. He didn’t acknowledge us, but we made damned sure we didn’t ding his bike as we were parking.
After lunch we took the short ride to Spokane, Washington. We now had hit some long straight roads on our ride, and were glad to reach camp early, at 3:30 pm. Again, the Spokane KOA was on the outskirts of town, and we were delighted to find it had a pool, and that each campsite had a gazebo – and that the tent sites were level grassy areas. What luxury! We set up camp, and then I rode a very short distance into town and got some groceries for dinner (pork chops, and potatoes, if I recall) and for breakfast. We had a swim, ate dinner, and did some laundry. My RRP was beat and retired a bit earlier than me, and I was happy to relax with some busy work and reading on a wonderful, warm evening in the comfort of our gazebo. Today was truly a great day!