Monday, September 26, 2011

On To Missoula

Our adventure with our trip across the country began in earnest today.  After two days with family in Tonasket, WA, we headed to our first vrbo booking - a condo in downtown Missoula.

The clouds began to roll in on Sunday night, and Monday started out with clouds.  However, most of our drive across Washington, Idaho and into Montana today was sunny and warm.

There are many options for a route from Tonasket to Missoula.  Our GPS has one opinion, we had another.  After a futile attempt to turn us around and get us to I-90 asap, it finally gave up and started figuring out turns to Republic.
The drive is scenic whether we chose the highest mountain pass in the state (Sherman Pass - Highway 20) or took Highway 21to the Keller Ferry where we could connect to Highway 2.  We chose Highway 21, which really bothered Ms. GPS.  She tried for the entire drive from Republic to Keller to turn us around.  
Highway 21 is lightly traveled so we saw wild turkeys on the road, deer right next to the road, and beautiful views of the river for the entire trip.
By 9 a.m., we were at the ferry dock, where we could see the ferry on the other side of the lake.
On the other side, the GPS finally sorted out where we were and shaved 60 miles off our estimated route to Missoula.
Lake Roosevelt that we had just crossed on the free ferry in the distance.  We gained about 2000 feet in elevation as we drove the winding road from the lake to Wilbur, on Highway 2.
On I-90 out of Spokane, the views of Lake Couer d'Alene stayed with us for many miles.  Then we came to the Clark Fork river and crossed it at least a dozen times as it winds along between Idaho and Missoula.
We arrived at our condo for the next two days around 4 p.m.  Ross, the owner, met us and gave us a tour and all the keys we needed.  The condo is on the top floor of the Wilma Theater building and overlooks the Clark Fork river and park.  
There is an elevator as well as stairs to the 8th floor.  We took the elevator.
The condo is tiny - 400 square feet - but is clean and nicely equipped.  Since it is in the middle of the historic district, many shops and restaurants are within walking distance.

The view from the condo windows is really fantastic.  Wireless internet, full cable TV, and a small washer/dryer all make it very convenient.