We put on lots of miles today. I don’t actually know how many, but I know it was a lot. We crossed into Washington and went northeast up hwy 395. We stopped in Kennewick at the WalMart. The lights on the Jeep weren’t working when we had it connected to the motorhome. We have had problems with the wiring before, so we bought a set of magnetic trailer lights and an adapter to connect them to the motorhome. With everything plugged in, they didn’t work either. GGGRRRRRRRRRRRRRR. Of course the plug is nearly inaccessible under the motorhome. Richard crawled under there and put some muscle on it and got the plug to slide another 1/8 of an inch in. Then the lights worked. We suspect that maybe the other plug just wasn’t quite all the way in. But for now, we will run with the magnetic lights on the Jeep. After we got our lights taken care of, it was back on the road.
The countryside is rolling hills, covered in dried grasses and sagebrush. The ground is basically a rough lava flow with a thin layer of topsoil. In many places the topsoil is so thin, it is nonexistant. Several times we saw dust devils. The dust devils out here reach hundreds of feet into the air, swirling and twisting just like tornados. Some of them are thin and have tight, pale spirals; others are quite broad and kick up thick clouds of dust.
The highway slowly worked its way up in altitude. We eventually ran into I-90 and turned east. Shortly before we reached Spokane, the scenery changed — pine trees were everywhere! After Spokane, we crossed the state line into Idaho. Couer d’Alene is a lovely little city surrounded by beautiful mountains. It has a crystaline lake with $$$$$$ houses overlooking it. Then the highway went up and over a pass. Not my favorite part of the ride, twisting highway with narrow shoulders and construction zones. The mountains are beautiful, lush pine forests, and sparkling creeks running through the valleys. Then it was up and over another pass, again with construction. Richard said driving the motorhome through the narrow construction zones with their concrete abutments was like threading a needle.
The top of the second pass is the border between Idaho and Montana. And crossing it put us into the Mountain time zone. We have stopped for the night at St. Regis, Montana. The campground is tucked into the valley with tall pines throughout the grounds. And grass. After all summer in the high desert with nothing but sand underfoot, I really have acquired an appreciation for grass. Scattered throughout the campground there are many carved animals on tree stumps. I got pictures of some of them and you can see them at the usual place.