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 > The Great Northern Redneck Adventure - Trip Report (fixed)

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the tc life

colbert wa.

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Posted: 03/07/13 12:00pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

lmao...the bathroom incident. ill see about putting a porta potty out there next time we leave for work and you are still there.


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silversand

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Posted: 03/07/13 01:57pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Wow, nice trip report!

Cheers,
S-


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garryk6

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Posted: 03/07/13 02:04pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

silversand wrote:

Wow, nice trip report!

Cheers,
S-

X2!!


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JoeChiOhki

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Posted: 03/07/13 08:42pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

deltabravo wrote:

The Railroad Depot is the Northern Pacific's Depot. I think it was built with bricks that were intended the hotel the railroad built in Tacoma, which later became Stadium High School.

It looks like they've added a lot of memorabilia to since I was last there (about 20 years ago)

It's pretty cool - I remember it when it was still in the original location, before the viaduct was built. I also remember "the last stop light" on I-90.

The viaduct was completed in 1991 I believe.

Also, who is Mason?



Mason is a friend of mine who suffers from cerebral palsy and has never been east of the Rockies before. So, I offered a seat for him if he could raise the money.

Normally, if Dawn can't go, and one of our pooches can't go, I'll take a friend along if they can do their bit.

Camper_Jeff_&_Kelli wrote:

Yes, good old Wwallace. The last stop light and most slimy speed trap on I-90. There used to be a radar video and orders to stop for your ticket if going over 25 mph.
Thanks for getting to posting this Matt. Looking forward to it.


Thanks [emoticon], I wish I could go back in time to drive the old Route 10 before they finished I-90.

spacedoutbob wrote:

Matt, I had been wondering when you were going to post a Trip report and Photos of your trip. I can't wait to see the rest of your trip. Thanks for posting. I'm glad you had a great trip. Last year I drove cross country to My Nephew's Bar mitzvah in New Jersey, on the way I got to see baseball games in Chicago, Cleveland, and New York, on the way back I got to see ballgames in Detroit and Seattle. Drove 7600 miles by myself and had a great time.

Bob in Calif.


Thanks Bob, sadly, no ballgames were going on at the time when I drove through, but a number of years ago, I did get to go to a Cubs game while Sosa was still playing for them.


the tc life wrote:

lmao...the bathroom incident. ill see about putting a porta potty out there next time we leave for work and you are still there.


Yeah, that was mainly poor forward thinking on my part, and I also didn't drink enough water the day before which caused most of my problems the next morning [emoticon].


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Posted: 03/07/13 08:51pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The trip is looking good so far, Matt.


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JoeChiOhki

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Posted: 03/07/13 10:31pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Just found that the Chapter 4 photos were messed up by Live Writer, so I've redone the entry so that you can now get full-size pictures [emoticon].

JoeChiOhki

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Posted: 03/08/13 12:43am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Sunday, September 16, 2012
The Great Northern Redneck Adventure–Cha........at the Snakepit and visiting the Mission

A fairly short drive back west along I-90 brought us back to Kingston, ID once more, this time, turn turn north towards our dinner destination [image], the Enaville Resort / The Snakepit.

Opened originally in 1879, it’s real name being “The Enaville Resort”, it has served the area for roughly 130 years, as a train layover, brothel, loggers bar, and a great many other things.

The name “Snakepit” comes from it’s time when it served as a bordello, before the days of indoor plumbing, sitting on the confluence of two local rivers, water snakes were a common visitor into the bar from the out buildings behind.
[image][image][image]
During our visit with TC Life the previous evening in Spokane, we’d learned that The Snakepit’s days were sadly numbered. The owner, Joe Peak, a man whom I’d met several years prior in 2005 while bicycling the Trail of the Coeur D’Alenes, was dying of cancer and that for the first time in it’s history the Snakepit was looking at a possible long term or permanent closure.

I was rather saddened by this, as I had fond memories of Joe when he rescued me from a very soggy ride back to the Pinehurst KOA when a big storm broke out while I was visiting.

Fortunately, we got lucky when we came by on our visit and that one of the managers had taken over running things to wrap up the rest of the year.

For those that have never been here before, you’d find the interior filled with various historic photos and objects from over the course of the building’s history.

[image][image][image]

[image][image][image]

[image][image][image]

[image][image][image]
Aside from the cornucopia of historical objects that fill the interior of the Snakepit, the main attraction for me has always been their Buffalo burgers [image].

Even before the time of this trip, I personally thought them the best in the West, and this would be later be confirmed as we tried Buffalo burgers from various other restaurants as we journeyed east, never again finding one as juicy or as tasty as the ones at the Snakepit.

This visit was no different, but I decided that this was also a now or never experience, and added one more thing to my dinner menu, real Rocky Mountain Oysters, straight from the bull [image].
[image]
This was actually my first experience with them, and had always been curious exactly what one would taste like….. [image], it ends up they taste exactly as how a fellow RV.net member described them, like fried meat.

They’re no more chewy than eating a pork sandwich, and don’t leave any kind of a funny after taste in your mouth [image].

They were served with what the Snakepit serves as French Fries, a thin sliced potato that’s similar to what some places used to call JoJo Potatoes, except here, they call them “Buffalo Chips” .
[image]
Happy Matt [image] after Rocky Mountain Oysters photo!

My first attempt at taking my photo using the front camera on my cell phone [image]. A reminder that touch screens work better when your fingers aren’t greasy [image].

We lounged around for a while, me attempting to make a Facebook post with the app from hell (The Android Facebook app needs to have the entire development team beaten repeatedly), and then we said what may have been our last goodbyes and made our way out into the parking lot.


As we exited to the parking lot, I noticed we still had a bit more daylight left than I thought we were going to have, so as an after dinner workout, I took us over to the oldest building in Idaho, “The Old Mission of the Sacred Heart”.
[image][image]
In the early 19th Century the local Coeur D’Alene Indians had begun to hear tale of “powerful ‘medicine men’ in black robes with a book” and wanted some of these men for their own tribe. So, they sent messengers to St. Louis to make a request for some of the Jesuit missionaries to come to their area.

In 1842, Father Pierre-Jean De Smet, who became a major player in the history of Idaho and Montana, responded to their request and came to the area to help the creation of the Mission.

The current Mission buildings themselves were built by the local Coeur D’Alene Indians under the direction of Antonio Ravalli in 1850, who’d by then taken over the Sacred Heart Mission from De Smet.

Because of the remoteness of the area, the mission was constructed using large beam timbers harvested from the surrounding forests, and filled the walls in using what is known as the “wattle and daub method”.
[indent]Wattle and daub is a composite building material used for making walls, in which a woven lattice of wooden strips called wattle is daubed with a sticky material usually made of some combination of wet soil, clay, sand, animal dung and straw. Wattle and daub has been used for at least 6000 years, and is still an important construction material in many parts of the world.
----- From Wikipedia
[/indent]
The Mission was later moved to Desmet, Idaho in 1877, but Mass is still celebrated at the old Mission site.
[image][image][image]

[image][image]

The old wooden confessionals.
[image][image]

Displays from the Parish House.
[image][image][image]

[image][image][image]

[image][image]

Outside the Old Mission and the Parish House, there is a couple of trails that take you around to various view points and also talk about the history of Mining in the area.
[image][image][image]

[image][image][image]

[image][image][image]
By the time all the displays had been viewed and the trails walked, it became obvious that we had no choice but to find a place for the night and get settled in.

A quick search of the AllStays RV & Campground App revealed that there were several campgrounds just north of the Snakepit, so we made an about face and headed back towards the Snakepit and then on to the Country Lane RV Resort & B’n’B.

* This post was edited 03/08/13 06:58pm by JoeChiOhki *

JoeChiOhki

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Posted: 03/08/13 01:45am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Sunday, September 16, 2012

The Great Northern Redneck Adventure–Cha........ing at the “Best little Redneck RV Park”

As the day’s last light continued to fade, we continued northward along Coeur D’Alene River Road, going deeper into the forest and farther from a dependable cellular signal, hoping that the Google Maps GPS Navigator would lead us to the RV Park.

Along the way we saw at least two other RV Parks, nice affairs, mostly converted farms, the barns still standing as part of the whimsy of the properties and wondered if the one we were being taken to by the GPS would be as nice.

Would it be aside the river like the ones we’d passed? What were we going to find?

The Allstays App didn’t really have much in the way of photographs of the Park and RVParkReviews.com wasn’t much better, though it did give more positive reviews of this park than the other two we’d passed.

More than once, we thought we’d reached our destination when we started seeing TTs parked out along the river’s shore, only to find that it was privately owned land where someone had setup a permanent fishing camp [image].

Soon, we crossed over Coeur D’Alene River on a narrow one lane bridge and found ourselves plowing yet deeper into the forest along the old River Road, along the west shore, still having not found the RV Park…. Was it lost much like the city of Atlantis?

Finally, when we thought the GPS had taken us to yet another incorrectly placed marker on Google’s Maps, we found the “Country Lane RV Resort & B’n’B.

The Farm-based campgrounds we’d passed before gave us a false expectation of what we’d find when we finally located Country Lane. An RV Park with a Bar and Grill was definitely not something we’d expected, though there were subtle hints dropped in the reviews [image].
[image][image]

After circling the main amalgamation of structures that made up the main building, which I think consisted of a pole barn, a mobile home, and several trailers that had been mated together in a permanent fashion to make a rather clean and tidy business, I finally found the main entrance in and parked the truck to inquire as to getting a space for the night.

After walking up to the bar, and chatting with the proprietor for a bit, I learned that there was actually two sections to the park.

The main full hook up loop, which needed some TLC, circled the main bar/office/b’n’b/grill/store/bathroom building. The second section was across the road from the Bar & Grill (which was serving Prime Rib that night, sadly, we were still full), was laid out along side the river, but only had water and electric hook ups.

We opted for the partial hookups and basically had our pick of the sites, aside from one that a regular had put a reservation on that was supposed to show up sometime that weekend.

Picking the one closest to the bridge across the pond that separated the tent camping area from the river-side RV sites, we settled in and borrowed one of the steel patio tables and chairs, along with a firepit to setup for the evening relaxations.
[image][image]

Given how close the sites were together in this section of the park, it wouldn’t have been as enjoyable had we arrived during the peak of fishing season or tourist season, but it was perfect for that time of September when the only folks there were a few seasonal residents and one couple that bought a hookup site to tent camp in a few sites down from us.
[image][image][image]

[image][image]

Not long after we finished getting settled in, night fell in a thick blanket upon us. As deep in the woods as we were, the only light came from the park’s lighting and the camper itself. The woods were a dense and impenetrable black, the only hint of how close we were to the river coming from the gurgling of the water as it traveled over and through the rocks ten feet below the invisible sheer edge across from us.

Undaunted, mainly because our neighbors were still setting up camp with the common sounds of kids waiting for their parents, air mattress pumps, and the very faint melodies of country music drifting from their pickup, we through on our sweats and jackets and light up the evening blazed and a couple of Pinar Del Rio Cigars.

[image][image]
We were having such a good time, listening to the raucous camp outing going on across the pond from us and to the family with kids that I decided to make a little “Fireside chat” video to mark the evening.

Redneck Fireside Chat

Eventually, sleepiness began to set in on the both of us and soon it became time to douse the fire, hit the showers and call it a night.

* This post was edited 03/08/13 06:59pm by JoeChiOhki *

JoeChiOhki

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Posted: 03/08/13 05:20am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Sunday, September 16, 2012

The Great Northern Redneck Adventure–Chapter 7– Riding the old Milwaukee Road

View GNRA - Chapter 7 - Riding the old Milwaukee Road Map

Bright and early the following morning, we dug ourselves out of bed, packed up our gear and started back down the old River Road back towards I-90, because today was the day we were going to make use of those bikes hanging off the back of the truck and ride the Route of the Hiawatha Trail!

Not wanting to waste an opportunity, we drove back along old River Road till it finally came to an end and a bridge further south along the road, closer to the Snakepit, giving us a chance to take a closer look at those other RV parks we’d seen on the way in the night before.
[image][image][image]

[image][image]
Before long, we were at last back on I-90 and saying our goodbyes to Idaho, well, at least until we rode back into it via the Taft tunnel at the beginning of the Hiawatha Trail [image].
[image][image]
Eventually, we found our way from Exit 5, along the dirt and gravel roads till we reached the trail head for the trail.
[image]
Trail inspectors were out and about, making certain people had their helmets and headlights, after changing into our riding clothes and unloading the bikes, we made our way over to the little EZ Up Canopy to purchase our trail passes and tickets for the shuttle, a mystical vehicle that in my two times on this trail, have yet to actually manage to get a ride on….

Once the ticketing was done, toilets used, the only thing left was the mouth of Taft Tunnel, looming ahead of us.
[image]
Over a mile long, the tunnel is a frosty 45 degrees inside, lined with deep concrete culverts along each side to channel the ever seeping water dripping out of the mountain’s rock away from the road bed.

The tunnel has no lights of it’s own, one must provide lighting on their bicycle. When I had ridden this trail back in 2005, I still had batteries for my mountain bike’s two big onboard headlights. Sadly, by 2012, the rechargeable 6 volts were long gone and I forgot to bring the bag that the batteries ride in with me on the trip!

So, our solution was two LED high power Head lamps that we jury-rigged to mount through the vent opening on our bike helmets. In hindsight, I should have forgone the elastic strap and just duct taped the damned thing in place, as it fell loose by the time I was a quarter of the way through the tunnel.

For the remainder of the tunnel, I ended up holding it in one hand to illuminate the way while using the other to actuate only one of the brake controls instead of both.

Did I mention that the trail is downhill it’s entire 15 mile length?

Eventually, we made it out to the other side, and took a few moments rest along side the stream running near the western entrance to the tunnel.
[image][image][image]

[image]
While we rested and recounted our adventures through the tunnel, at which time I learned Mason nearly ended up in one of the culverts, a little flying visitor came to join us.
[image]
Soon, we were once again blazing down the trail, passing through a continuing series of tunnels as we went.
[image][image][image]

[image][image][image]

[image]
Along the way, shortly after exiting one of the tunnels, we came across another couple stopped in the same area asking for someone to take their picture in front of the tunnel’s mouth. In exchange, they took our picture for us [image].
[image]
Along the route of the trail there are signboards on which details of the construction of the grade and the history of the Milwaukee Road Railroad can be read [image].

[image][image][image]

[image][image][image]
[image][image][image]

[image]
As you ride the grade down, you skirt along the edges of the Bitterroot Mountains, with vistas of the mountains and valleys still far below. There are no guard rails along this ride, so be certain to keep your bike under control, going off the edge here is one hell of a drop [image].
[image][image][image]
When we stopped a little while later for a rest brake, Mason had a close call when he had difficulty actuating the brakes on the bike he was using and clipped one of the rocks lining the edge of a view point clearing and took a biff.

Not long after this incident, we crossed our first trestle on the grade.
[image][image]
This one was soon followed by several more, interspersed with more tunnels [image], providing ongoing entertainment as we fought with trying to use our little, rather unhelpful head lamps.
[image][image][image]

[image][image][image]

[image][image]

A number of people, when they think of a railroad tunnel, think of a smooth, concrete lined thing, much like a good number of highway tunnels.

For most tunnels on a railroad, especially old ones that haven’t since been enlarged to accommodate ever growing stack container trains and other freight, they’re rough hewn rock, broken lose through the use of hand drills and black powder or nitroglycerin.
[image]
From a number of view points as you make your way down the grade you can even seen the grade ahead far below as it zigs and zags back and forth through the mountains, slowly descending in elevation.
[image][image][image]

[image][image][image]

[image][image][image]

[image]
The view far below one of the trestles…
[image][image][image]
One tunnel caught my attention in particular on the ride, as it was the only one that was closed to riding due to having been built across a fault line.
[image][image][image]

[image]
As the mountain shifted, the tunnel’s cracked and began to collapse in. I did my best to get a shot though the chain link fencing on the gates keeping riders safely outside the failing tunnel.

It was around this point that we ran into one of the Trail Rangers making his way down to the bottom of the trail at speed. He pulled off and spoke with us as we were stopped outside one of the tunnels, and informed us that we were only half way through and told us the time.

We thanked him and decided at this point that Mason and I would split up. Mason would start from where we were and ride back to the top of the trail and I was going to go on ahead, having ridden the trail from end to end before, and see if I could catch the bus, and if not, turn around if I hadn’t made it when our deadline for the bus hit.

Not too long after Mason and I parted ways, I came around a bend and found this grave marker.

The marker is from when the trains rescued a great many from the 1910 blaze that destroyed over three million acres of forest in the area, and of a man who was on one of those trains racing through the blaze who panicked and jumped from the moving train to his death.

The train and the remaining passengers continued on and survived. After the fires had died, they came back and found his body and buried him beside the track, figuring to him to be a railroad laborer, also known as a “Gandy Dancer”.
[image][image]
I continued along from here a good place before stopping once again at the remains of the old track side village of Adair. Only a few rotting old buildings stand testament to a settlement long gone.
[image][image]
Eventually, as I rode on, I too, ran out of time, several miles past where Mason I separated, but no where close to the bus or the end of the trail.

So, I started back and realized that perhaps I should have taken some time before the trip to actually ride my bike, especially up-hill…..

I discovered that a 1.5% downgrade is great for coasting, but a royal pain in the butt if you’re out of shape and haven’t ridden your bike at all during the prior part of the year before going on this trip.

Fortunately, for me, there were still people coming down the trail behind me, and as I huffed and puffed my way back up the hill, I inquired of passersby if they were heading back towards the top of the trail and if they had room for one more man and a bike.

For a while, there, I didn’t think I was going to find one, figuring I’d used up that last little nugget of luck back in 2007 when Peter and I had hiked the Ten Falls Trail at Silvercreek Falls in Oregon, but just as I thought I was stuck with hiking all the way back up on foot, I came across this wonderful group of people [image].
[image]
Sadly, I cannot remember anyone’s names anymore, but I still thank you all from the bottom of my heart.

Having procured a ride, I turned around and joined them to finish the ride to the bottom of the trail. Let me tell you, this was the first time that by the finish of a bike ride, I was exhausted from coasting!
I was ever so glad when the end of the line appeared just below us on the grade [image].
[image]
Sadly, I didn’t have means of communicating to Mason that I had procured a ride back, so he worried and waited by the mouth of Taft tunnel until I arrived in their pickup truck back at the parking lot.

A quick wipe down with wet naps and a change into warmer clothes and heartfelt goodbyes, I loaded my bike back onto the track and climbed into the cab of the truck--

--And discovered when I turned on the headlights that the running lights would no longer come on when you pulled the knob…………

* This post was edited 03/08/13 06:59pm by JoeChiOhki *

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Posted: 03/08/13 05:43am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

some beautiful pics kinda makes me wish had time and money to finish my camper and go traveling..


1999 F550 truck conversion

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