June 23rd–June 31st
Leaving Craig, we headed straight to Missoula, MT. We spent the afternoon avoiding the rain in coffee shops and laundromats before finding a place to set up the car for the night.
Wandering around later, we happened upon an amazing kings and queens drag show, something neither of us would have expected to see in Montana. The show was really fun, and some of the performers really had us laughing pretty hard.
The next day we went to a local fly shop that pointed us in the direction of a trout stream between Missoula and Coeur D’Alene, our next destination. The stream was running high but clear, and we spent a few hours driving between different access points before driving into Coeur D’Alene for dinner. It was a beautiful evening in town, and apparently an Iron Man event had just concluded, as we were surrounded by athletes still wearing their competition numbers and scarfing down large meals to recover some of their burnt calories.
We spent most of the next day walking around downtown, checking out the local shops. The weather was very pleasant, but not quite hot enough for us to take a swim in the lake. In the early afternoon, we departed for Spokane to stay at Kinsey’s Aunt and Uncle’s house for the evening.
After our night in Spokane, we drove straight to Winthrop, WA. We bopped around trying to find a place to buy fishing licenses (you would think the local fly shop would want to sell them?) before heading out to find a place to camp.
We stopped at one campground, but it was completely full of people together for some sort of group outing. We made a quick dinner and listened to them perform singalongs through a powered PA before deciding this wasn’t the spot for us. Mainly, they had announced they were going to watch the second Lord of the Rings movie and we had just watched that two nights before! No need to watch it again.
We eventually found a spot along the Chewuch River and set up our tent and hammocks before heading back to town to walk around. We stopped at a few local places but our last stop, the Copper Glance, was probably our favorite. The bartender was from Chicago and had been living really close to our last neighborhood before he left Chicago to walk the Pacific Crest Trail. The drinks were fantastic, and our conversation about how he ended up living in Winthrop from Chicago was really interesting.
The next day, we spent most of our time relaxing. We went to town for coffee, fished a bit in the early afternoon, and spent the rest of the day lounging in hammocks and reading books. We had an early dinner and sat around a fire until the stars came out. Kinsey called it, “peak unemployment”. I have to agree.
Leaving Winthrop, we headed out on the North Cascade highway. We stopped at the overlook over Diablo lake for a quick snack and to stretch our legs. We then headed down the Skagit valley into western Washington. We stopped near Concrete, WA for dinner and started looking for a camping spot along highway 530. Unfortunately, we weren’t happy with any of the spots we were seeing, so we made up our minds just to continue the drive into Seattle.
Along the way, we took a few hour break at one of my favorite fishing spots along the north fork of the Stillaguamish River. We were the only people fishing, but there was a young girl practicing her French horn on a sandbar. The young player was very talented and her practice added to the sereneness of the evening.
We finished the short drive into Seattle (after traffic had died down a bit) and surprised Kinsey’s parents by arriving a night early. I hope they are ready for us…