Where There Is a Road

Dry Falls, Grunge Music and the Kootenay River

Kurt and I began executing the drive home aimlessly, and that’s sometimes an interesting travel strategy, but not this time. It only led to dead-end would-be adventures. We took a northern route across the Olympic Peninsula then saddled the west side of Puget Sound heading south, never once seeing a glimpse of Seattle through the deep green hemlocks or across the open water. So much for playing grunge music to set the mood.

On a whim we drove towards Mt Rainier, because it was a destination we could see. Just to watch it get eaten by storm clouds. Kurt found a spot in a National Forest to park for the night. We were now facing seven inches of snow starting late the next morning and the pass through the mountains from that road, 410, was closed. So we backtracked to take US 90 over the mountains, early, before the snow started. Silver lining here: the US 90 rest stop had a dump station and water. These things are wonderful when you carry your plumbing self contained. (Shower anyone?)

Dry Falls

The last night we slept in Washington was between the Caraboo Trail and the Dry Falls by Blue Lake. We stopped early that night to hunker down for a wind storm and a bit of rain. The Caraboo Trail was historically a Native Trail and later used by cattlemen. The Dry Falls are the geological remnant of what was once a Niagara Falls like feature from the end of the last ice age, but is now… dry.

The next morning we started again. Taking a turn north to avoid winter weather conditions in the mountain passes through the Rockies.

I have nothing to show for passing through Idaho. Not one photograph. We crossed the Idaho Panhandle: Coniferous trees, mountains, rivers…


Montana looked the same. Kurt pulled over at a little roadside stop. Kurt said it wasn’t a long hike. Kurt wanted to see a suspension bridge made for people that crossed the Kootenay River. Let’s go over this. I was wearing tennis shoes with no socks (for days), a skirt and not dressed for the weather because we really needed to do laundry (probably a week ago, but who’s keeping track). Sure. Let’s go hiking near dusk, under dressed in 40 degree weather. This won’t be uncomfortable at all.

It was not a long hike, but it was down, down, down to the river. Scrambling over rocks. Wondering if those plants my ankles brushed were poison oak. Trying not to fall into mud (or river) in the last clean-ish clothes I had. But the river was deep blue-green. And the sunlight caught gently on the deep green mountainside as it slipped away for the day. And I got to practice my photography skills with waterfalls.▪️


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