Saturday, May 29, 2010

Day 21, 5/29/10 - Layover Day in Spokane, WA

Just the Basics: No bike riding today, but we took 1 cab and 2 buses and did a fair amount of walking.

Tomorrow morning we head for Coeur d' Alene, ID along the Spokane Centennial Bike Trail as far as the ID border, and then the Trail of the Coeur d' Alenes - in both cases, practically all on car-free, paved, dedicated bike trail - and a familiar route from our vacation ride in the fall of 2009. = ) We will take another layover day in Coeur d' Alene to avoid being on the road for Memorial Day weekend traffic.

For Those Who Want More:

The Boxcar Children: We had another one of those hoped-for-but-unexpected adventures today. Riley had been thinking we should attend a play or see a movie here and had noticed posters for a local production of Annie Get Your Gun. However, the local critics weren't too complimentary so he looked for more ideas - and came upon the PERFECT one: A Spokane Children's Theater production of The Boxcar Children, one of Becky's all-time favorite childhood reads. It took place at Spokane Falls Community College, which we had biked by on our way into town.

The Children's Theater company is celebrating its 65th season and is the oldest continuously-operating theater group in the city! The play was wonderful; the four young actors carried most of the weight of the play and were all excellent - a 1st grader, a 2nd grader, a 7th grader and a 10th grader! Amazing.

Trip to REI: We took 2 buses from the college to REI, where we got a bigger camping stove to work better with our pots, and various other items.

Meals: The Travelodge provides breakfast and it was more than adequate. Last night we ate at Luigi's Restaurant, a great Italian place in what was formerly a great Salvation Army Building. There was way too much food, of course, so we brought leftovers back to our motel room - which has a microwave and mini-fridge. We ended up being in a rush to get to the theater for the matinee (hence the cab ride), so just gobbled up the last of Riley's prime rib for lunch. For dinner we had leftover pasta and great additions from a very neat little downtown market next to the hotel - sort of a small Whole Foods.

Something of Note: The small grocery store we went to has a bank of frozen food lockers of various sizes which patrons can lease. Why, you ask? So that folks interested in supporting local agriculture have a place to store locally-grown meats (you can often buy a single locally grown chicken, but you may have to buy half a beef to get local, sustainably grown beef, for example), as well as freezing quantities of home-grown or locally-grown produce, your own pesto and spaghetti sauce, et cetera. They were getting ready to close and we didn't have a chance to chat with staff about this project, but it looked like most of the lockers were in use.

Eating on the Road: Riley suggests we describe our typical picnic lunches: We usually try to find an inviting little spot away from the road - some tall grass or a shady tree or something. We brought the sit-upons and plastic tablecloth we always carry on our bikes, so we have a clean pleasant place to sit and spread out our stuff. After lunch we clean up and then the sit-upons become pillows and we take a little nap. On the Menu: (1) Peanut butter sandwiches on some sort of fruit bread (raisin, apple-cinnamon, etc.); (2) raw veggies - almost always carrots and something else - cherry tomatoes, sugar-snap peas, cucumber; (3) water; and (4) sometimes fruit and/or cookies - we typically buy packages of a dozen molasses, peanut butter or oatmeal-raisin cookies. Snacks are usually chosen from fruit, cookies, and Luna or Power Bars.

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