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Friday, June 8, 2012

POST 652; 06/08/12; WESTMOND - COCOLALLA - ATHOL, IDAHO

A bit South of the village of Westmond - where SPIA and I spent last night - lies beautiful Lake Cocolalla.

At 05:30 am, I set out walking South on US 95, passing by Lake Cocolalla and many miles beyond for 4.5 hours before returning to SPIA.

Last evening, I treated myself to a Pedicure / Foot Message. Today, I paid dearly for it. Both feet were scraped and filed clean during the Pedicure...so much, in fact, that they were very sensitive and tender this morning. By the end of the day, I had very sore feet...a first in over two years.




It rained again last night; it also rained off and on until mid-afternoon today, producing some interesting cloud formations.


This shot was taken directly into the Sun, producing the interesting multiple disc pattern at ground level, with a shaft of light beamed down from the Sun.



BNSF trains are still with us. They run, in fact, all the way to Seattle.



Cocolalla Creek.


WOLF PEOPLE: This business claims to have live Wolves in the kennel behind this building.

I stopped here, asking permission to park SPIA for the night. I was told NO...the liability of the Wolves precludes any overnight parking.


For those never having seen new growth on a Fir tree, above is a rather good photograph.

The darker needles - last year's growth - produce a "seed" at the very tip of each branch. At this time of Spring, those seeds open, spawning new growth...the light green color needles above.

The remains of the "seeds" can be seen as brown pods between the dark and light green growth.


As we walk West, the evergreen forest is thinning out. In a day or two, we will be walking in desert areas where only sagebrush grows.


It is said that the root system of an evergreen equals the radius of the branch system above.

The above tree shows this to be true.



Returning to SPIA at Westmond, we drove 16 miles to the village of Athol, where I had a bite and SPIA parked for 4.5 hours while I continued walking West on US 95.



Drive-Thru Coffee Shops are to be found in all areas of the United States. Athol is no exception.


Athol, as US 95 passes through it. A series of travel-oriented businesses line the highway. I did not see the residential area...if indeed it does exist.


About 5 miles South of Athol, Idaho, is a Theme Park. It is said to have been in development for 25 years. It now includes thrilling rides, an extensive Water Park, and a really beautiful RV Park.


US 95 is in the process of being re-routed around the Theme Park...at the same time, being widened to four-lane divided highway.

Being only a few miles North of Coeur D' Alene, this area of Idaho is in considerable expansion and growth. I did not go into Coeur D' Alene this time, but have been there many times in the past...it is a truly beautiful City, lying on the shores of Lake Coeur D'Alene...and only a short drive across the border on I-90 to the city of Spokane, Washington.



The Theme Park has parking completed - now being readied for Summer visitors - for many hundreds of cars and Buses.


I am told a daily adult ticket is about $49.00. Groups and RV Residents receive significant discounts.



Please say HELLO to Marty.

Marty was the "greeter" at the RV Park...which is currently the entrance to the parking area.





New US 95 which circles around the Theme Park. A modern divided highway is in construction smack dab through the middle of the Park. Truthfully, I did not get a response to my query as to what the final roadway layout is to be, but looks to me like the divided highway will run through the middle of the Park.



This "Buck Saw" was on display in the WHITE PINE CAFE, where SPIA parked while I walked another 4.5 hours. We used an identical Buck Saw back in the 1940s on the Stump Ranch.

Since I walked about 16 miles this afternoon, we drove to the town of Rathdrum, Idaho, on Highway 53, which connects US 95 with downtown Spokane, Washington, about 30 miles West. We were accepted for parking the night by my business friend of 30 years...LES SCHAWB TIRE CENTER. Les Schwab was instrumental in helping me build SAM and preparing SPIA for our current jaunt around America.

In the morning...if my tender feet are up to it...I will walk West on Highway 53. It will take all day, but we should be in or near Spokane by evening. We will certainly cross the Idaho/Washington border by noon tomorrow.

It is now 7:12 pm. Black clouds have gathered overhead. Weather forecast is for more rain for the next two days...then slacking off to 30 percent chance of rain for the rest of the week. I am told by friend, Les - and Uncle Babe - that Bellingham and Seattle have great weather, which is moving my way...so, hoping for the best.

It rained last night...SPIA's roof did NOT leak. The back skylight has a crack in the plastic shroud, which dripped a bit. Will fix that yet this evening, if I can get my shoes back on and climb the ladder to SPIA's roof.

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