My father’s snoring and the over-worked mattress under me lead to a 0530 morning. I looked out the window to ensure the bikes were safe and they were, but I also noticed a traffic cone and “speed bumps” I didn’t remember from the previous evening. After shaving and dressing, I made my way out the door to find the “speed bumps” were sticks with spikes, and the opposite side of the drive was blocked with a pallet and again, boards with spikes. This did seem like a strange deterrent for the motel to employ, but this was a strange town.
I grabbed my camera to document this sight when the women in the room adjacent to ours came out. She told me she had some trouble last night, and the deterrents were her doing. I told her I hope all is well and continued on trying to mind my own business.
Breakfast was, well, what I’ve come to expect at a Rodeway Inn, bad. The scrambled eggs were hard and cold, the coffee was bitter luke-warm water, and the selection was miniscule. As usual the breakfast room resembled a combined WWF and MME event. It’s a good day if you make it through breakfast unscathed.
On my way back from breakfast, the woman next door chose to elaborate on her dilemma. Apparently, she’s a good girl from the big city who moved to the small town and dated someone whose family has been there for generations. The relationship went sour, and now his friends, mainly police officers, are harassing her. She and her friends came up with the spiked board idea after becoming annoyed with their repeated disruptions. Again, I politely nodded, wished her well and continued about my business. My father, however, spent fifteen minutes discussing her situation as he was returning from breakfast. I’m not sure he learned much more than I did, but he spent ten times as long doing it.
It was a little after 8:30 when we moved the spike strip to one side and bid adieu to Omak, WA. Our original plan had been to stay in Omak for two nights, but that didn’t seem to be the wisest choice given the sketchy neighborhood and troubled neighbor. So, we checked out with plans to stay at the Blue Spruce Inn in Twisp, WA.
The ride on Hwy 155 toward Grand Coulee was quite nice. We rose out of the desert and ascended to a moderate altitude giving us cooler temperatures and a pine filled view. Not long after the subsequent descent, we followed the Columbia River to the Grand Coulee Dam visitor’s center.
From the visitor’s center we rode back to the other side of the Columbia River to begin a tour. I think we spent more time going through security prior to the tour than we actually spent engaged in the tour. It was informative; the Grand Coulee Dam is much, much larger than Hoover Dam for instance, but it was relatively shallow in depth.
After our dam immersion, in search of lunch, we found Pepper Jack’s. This is a restaurant that was build and furnished in the 1950s and apparently hasn’t been in need of an update since. The décor is replete with B-movie posters, leatherette covered chairs and wood paneling. It seems the patrons are of the same vintage. I believe I was the youngest aside from the waitress by more than thirty years. The cheeseburger was good, and dad said the salad bar was adequate. As we were discussing our intended route for the afternoon, we began to get a bit loud. This happens when one can’t hear and the other does get a bit impatient. The very nice group of geriatrics dining at a table not far from us began to get a bit concerned. We assured them this was normal and they had no reason to fear. Once they realized we were a father and son duo on motorcycles, their understanding seemed to grow immeasurably.
As we travelled away from Grand Coulee, I spotted a sign for a dam overlook. I’d been trying to get a decent overview shot, and I was hoping this might give it to me. We pulled into the parking lot, I jumped off my bike in search of the best location, and dad found a wallet lying on the ground. He spent a good deal of time trying to find a phone number for the wallet’s owner. After two calls to AAA, he found Janette who agreed to call the owner and give him my father’s cell phone number. So, encumbered with another man’s wallet, we proceeded west toward Twisp.
Just as an aside, there is a significant desert in Washington, and we spent a good deal of time in it today. The temperatures hovered between 90 and 95 for a good deal of today’s ride.
We pulled into the Blue Spruce in Twisp, WA a little after 3 PM. Upon seeing the motel and the temperature gauge on my computer, I suggested we continue west. Dad agreed, and we told the owner, who was quite disappointed, that we would not need the room for the evening. A tin roof on a motel makes me a bit nervous; for that matter, a motel owner sporting a prominent beer belly without a shirt does as well.
The map indicated there would be a town of significant size no more than fifty or sixty miles ahead. Well, it didn’t say anything about accommodations. We crossed the majority of the Cascades and travelled over 100 miles before we found anything resembling a motel. However, the road was fun, and the views were gorgeous.
The Totem Trail Motel just east of Rockport, WA with a total of eight rooms is our abode for the evening. Sonja, the owner, housekeeper and welcome wagon is very friendly and gave us a room with one double bed and two twins. Our room is missing a refrigerator and microwave, but not to worry, there’s a communal fridge outside and a communal microwave in an adjacent building. Pine trees and quiet surround us, and there’s very little chance we’ll wake up to spiked 2X4s, cones and pallets blocking the way.
Actually, this is the first hotel since Coeur d’Alene that has usable Internet. I don’t have a mobile signal, but at least I can post.
Dinner was a microwaved frozen burrito, pork rinds, pretzels and chocolate chip cookies. I’m hoping for a slightly better culinary experience in Seattle.
Tomorrow we head for Seattle!