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Cross Country Trip, Day 8: Essex to Spokane

Today we leave Montana. I must remain strong. Before we go, a couple of things about Glacier that I forgot to mention. It wasn’t as crowded as Yellowstone, glory, hallelujah. And the water was an aquamarine color, and so crystal clear that you could see all the way to the bottom.


We stopped for breakfast at the Healthy Haven Café.




It was the only restaurant we saw, besides the one at our hotel. A teenage brother and sister who tried to outdo each other on which could be the most helpful and efficient staffed the mom and pop place. Their grandma made our omelets and waffles to order. The also helpful pop advised us to take the scenic route to Spokane. Along the way, we passed fruit stands offering fresh cherries and huckleberries. (Side note: yesterday in West Glacier, we stumbled upon a farmer’s market and a woman selling homemade huckleberry pies for $26. There’s gold in them there berries.)

*A word about birds. My husband loves birds, and I’ve learned to love them, too. So far on the trip, we’ve seen bald eagles, osprey, white pelicans, magpies, eastern bluebirds, and—my favorite—ravens. Ravens aren’t common near us. Before this trip, I had never seen or heard one. Though they’re often confused with crows, they’re different. First of all they’re huge (25 inches.) They can live up to 21 years, and they mate for life. Their beaks are black, they’re extremely intelligent with intricate and dedicated family communities, they use tools, and they can mimic any sound, including human speech.





Am I a raven geek or is geek an all encompassing term that doesn’t need a qualifier? Don’t answer that.

We made our way to some giant cedars in southwest Montana.


Montana would like you to know that a cedar can topple onto your head at any moment.


Next we eased next into Idaho whose beauty was nothing to sneeze at. Lake Pend Oreille created a picturesque byway. It was large enough for houseboats!


For supper we ate at a restaurant I mistakenly thought was on Diners, Drive Ins, and Dives. It wasn’t, but it was still in a presidential train car.




The portions were huge. My husband ordered a portabella mushroom sandwich. Must try to duplicate after vacation. I have the feeling we’re going to need to eat only vegetables for a long, long time after this trip.

As a final bonus for the day, our hotel (a Holiday Inn Express) has a dog, a golden retriever named Penny. How awesome is that?


About vanessagraybartal

Author. Eater. Wife. Mother. Not necessarily in that order.

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