The Road to 65, Mile 207: Queen of the Inland Northwest, Day 1

June 23, Spokane- I woke up from a night of roughing it, on the ground at Country Corners RV Park, in Wilbur, WA, about ninety-minutes west of Spokane. I got dressed and off to breakfast, at Doxie’s Diner, one of those places where the cook is the waitress, and the regulars address her as “Mom”.  The coffee was on the main table, and I was invited to make myself at home.  Great place, Doxie’s, and I could easily have whiled away a good morning there, especially listening to everyone’s stories of the previous night’s aurora borealis, through which I slept, of course. It had appeared around 2 AM.

I had a feeling it was about time I got over to Spokane, to see what had changed since I was last there, in 1995. I stopped for a bit of reflection, at a Rest Area, off US 2. Greeting me was this intrepid little critter, who might be a tad uncomfortable on a leash.

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I got to Spokane, around 9 AM, and headed straight for Riverside Park, which was one of my fondest memories from 20 years ago.  The first sight was the salmon ladder.

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The Spokane Falls, though, are quite prominent, both at the north end of the park and towards the middle.

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After a couple hours of meandering around the park, I headed east a bit, to the old Flour Mill, now home to about a dozen shops.  One of these is Chocolate Apothecary, whose proprietor had sandwiches advertised, along with his main line of delectable chocolate.

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Alas, his sandwiches, prepared by Rocket Bakery, had not arrived.  At his suggestion, I headed across the parking lot, and up the street, to Stella’s Cafe. The Northwest is a fabulous place for cavernous, Steam Punk cafes and restaurants.

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Stella’s offered a lovely Roast Beef, au jus  and had some intriguing art work.  This woman had tied up her demon and her ego, and was ready to take on the world.

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After lunch, I checked out Spokane’s near north side, and its majestic County Courthouse.  This neo-Renaissance classic was built by W. A. Ritchie, and was open for business in November, 1895.  It is, arguably, one of Washington State’s finest buildings.

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Returning to Riverside Park, I found quite a flock of gulls, feasting on whatever they could find in the Spokane River.269

Anthony’s at Spokane Falls is another member, in that great chain of West Coast seafood establishments.  It is across the bridge from the hydroelectric power station.  It is notable that Spokane, using the force of its cascades, was the second community in the U.S., after New York City, to become electrified.271

It was starting to get pretty hot, in mid-afternoon, so this fountain was a big treat for the children who were at Riverside for the day.

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As for me, I went over to Atticus,  a lovely coffee, book and gift shop, across Spokane Falls Drive from Riverside Park, and got a refreshing, cool beverage.  After being there for an hour, catching up on my e-mails and correspondence, I noted the barrista’s consternation, and vowed to come back the next morning, sans laptop, and just savour the coffee.

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The evening was spent, between Downtowner Lodge, which at the time was the only motel in downtown Spokane with no WiFi, Spokane Public Library, and the Food Court in River Park Square, which offered connections to anyone eating supper there.  After satisfying myself that my friends and family were safe and well, I went back to the room and watched a bit of nondescript TV, then read for a while.  Day two would feature a gondola ride, more walking around Riverside Park, perhaps a visit with an online friend and an evening with some of the Baha’is of Spokane.

4 thoughts on “The Road to 65, Mile 207: Queen of the Inland Northwest, Day 1

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