Lake Coeur d’Alene

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We finally woke up to a sunny morning on the last full day of our trip.  We harnessed Molly and took her for a short 2 mile hike around Tubbs Hill.  It’s a treed loop near the lake with viewpoints over the clear lake water and a couple marinas.  We watched a few beautiful wooden boats coming and going.  Lake Coeur d’Alene is a really big lake that just goes on for miles.  There will be a full Ironman race here next weekend.

While we waited for it to warm up just a bit outside, we decided to go to an early lunch at Buffalo Wild Wings.  We still haven’t had any Olympics coverage so this was our chance to enjoy some of the Games with a taste of one of Mark’s favorite restaurants from home.  We walk in the door and I tell the hostess to seat us at a table surrounded by Olympics on the TV’s.  And she says, “well, our TV’s are down right now, they haven’t been working right for 2 days.”  Sure enough there was a technician working on them so we watched a lot of screens in various stages of satellite uploading for most of our meal.  We did catch a few glimpses of sports I don’t love.

We headed back to camp to change into our swimsuits and get properly “lubed” (sunscreened) up for a day at the lake.  By now, it was 80F outside, sunny with some puffy clouds.  We rented SUPs (standup paddleboards) for an hour.  I had tried them once before but it was Mark’s first time so we officially got to check this off on our Bucket List.  Mark had a hard time getting used to balancing on his feet, especially on tired legs since we rode our 50 miles yesterday, so he spent a majority of the time rowing on his knees.  I fell in a few times for fun, but that water was chilly.  We didn’t check the water temp, but I’m pretty sure it was in the 60s.  Mark never did fall in but did jump in and get wet.  He was getting comfortable with standing by the time we were done but declared that SUPs are just not very fun.  They’re not something I would want to own, but I think they’re a fun way to get around the lake with a unique perspective.  I would rent them again.

After that, we set up a spot in the shade at the huge park that sits right along the beach.  Mark read and played on his iPad, I read a little and just thoroughly enjoyed a day at the lake, people watching, basking in the sun and lake sounds.  Even on a week day, the beach was crowded and lots of families were playing in the water.  After all the hustling around for the last 3 1/2 weeks, it was just a relaxing, perfect afternoon to end our trip.   We came back to camp and started packing up and doing chores as we have 2 very full days of driving before we get home.  We walked Molly around the campground for the final time and just as we turned the last loop to head in for the night, we see an RV with an outdoor tv tuned to the Olympics.  Guess who my new best friends were?  I marched right over there and asked if we could bring our chairs over to watch with them.  Thankfully they were very pleasant and I got to watch the first half of the women’s gymnastics as well as the US winning a few medals in swimming.  We stayed up watching until 10:30pm before we had to tear ourselves away and go to bed.  5am would come very soon.  We prefer to hit the road very early on long driving days.  Our biggest enemy in driving an RV any distance is wind.  It seems everywhere we travel, we cut through the state of WY, which can be very windy on the plains.  I would say we have to pull over about 50% of the time when we drive through WY waiting for wind to die down.  Once gusts start coming about 30mph, we really start getting blown around.  I keep a keen eye on the forecasts of the towns on our route as well as on the roadside grasses and trees and try not to panic while Mark white knuckles the steering wheel and keeps all 6 tires on the ground.  Generally speaking, winds tend to come in the middle of the day so we try to get as far as we can early morning, then pull over around lunch time for a short nap.  We are 1150 miles from home and our plan is to make it in 2 full days.  Mark prefers long driving days to be no more than 500 miles, so obviously we’ll be over that.  We have Sunday as a buffer in case we have to pull over for wind or in case he gets too tired to finish the drive, but we’re hoping to get home Saturday evening.

Good night all!

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