Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Spokane to Coeur d' Alene - desert to forest

Tuesday, July 10th
Happy Birthday, Linda!!

(In honor of Lovely Linda, I went by the town of Sprague and a street in Spokane named Sprague - coincidence??)

Today was another eye-opener and a great lunch with family.

What do you think of when you think of the state of WA - other than Seattle?  Could it be big trees, rain, cloudy, foggy, lush, roses, and yes, even coffee.

Well, today I also learned that part of WA is a desert - barren, sandy, scrubby, low hills and low dry growth like parts of the SW.  It begins around the Columbia gorge area.  I don't know how much effect the Grand Coulee Dam has had on all this but I'm guessing not much.

After all this wasteland, it opens up to acre after acre of wheat or some kind of grain being grown and thus being irrigated in this parched place.  I mean, as far as the eye can see - one large field of grain with no field divisions.  At times I thought I might have been transported to Kansas but the crop was different.  

These fields must be so discouraging for a farmer to have to cut - where do you begin and when will you ever get to the end.  It must take days and days.  And I thought dusting was discouraging.  It might be how a hoarder helper feels when entering the home of a serious hoarder - where do you begin and will you ever see the floor.

And then because you grow all this grain (hay I guess), you have to store it until you sell it or have enough hay-rides so there are these big-as-barn sized tarp houses filled with bales of hay and where there's grain - the grain storage silos are right out in the middle of the field.

And then every once in awhile there's a small field of lush, low-growing dark green.  It reminded me of a patch of clover but I'm not sure there's that much of a market for 4-leaf clovers so I don't know what it was but it was a nice relief to the eyes every once in awhile.

After driving mile after mile after mile with all this flat land and nothing taller than the hay, there's a sign for fresh fruit.  Like I'm tempted to stop because it must be locally grown - I don't think so.

BTW - I think all this growing is now not in the gorge but on the Columbia Plateau.
and also BTW - I have to reflect upon all the water being used to irrigate all these crops and about the fact that we know there's going to be a water shortage in the not so distant future and also reflected on what all this hay's going to be needed for and figured it must be all the cows we grow for milk and meat and. . . just saying, I reflected on all this.

Once again, it seemed that a line had been drawn in the earth and across that line trees started to pop up - scattered and struggling but soon plentiful and shapely and became a dominant part of the landscape.

Then I was in Spokane and had an awesome lunch at a Pie shop (can't remember the name but maybe Ann can refresh my memory for anyone going to Spokane) with my sister-in-law and her family and it seemed like it'd been no time since I saw them last - oh wait, it was, just last week in Seattle:)

Ann took me to my Trader Joe's so I could restock my now cool refrigerator.  So, I'm all set to venture on.

I crossed into Idaho about 4 and am at a nice campground (Blackwell Island) in Coeur d'Alene right on the water.


mileage:  216                         gas:  $66  @ $3.53                      Campground:  $45
temp. in Spokane - 102
temp. in Coeur d'Alene - 97


  1. Ugh on the temperatures!! I hope you find cooler weather in your future..I am heading out for two months beginning the first part of September and am praying for cooler days by then.

    1. I'm sure it will be by then. I'm heading north to Glacier today and am expecting cooler temps there.