March 7-8, 2016

Monday, March 7
In 1970, I drove to White Springs, Florida, in a vain attempt to see a solar eclipse.
    The Washington Line to Coeur d'Alene, Idaho

Idaho at about 10:55, temp 48, still those big fat cumulus clouds up ahead of me. Great little bridge down there at Post Falls, Idaho, a Presbyterian church with a steeple that still looks kind of Spanish. Rathdrum Spirit Lake.
    Coeur d'Alene at 11:05, Days Inn at 11:25, 46 degrees, odometer 123892. To the Rite-Aid to ask for a Metformin prescription refill. Scrambled eggs with cream cheese and chives at Jimmy's Down the Street Restaurant on the other side of town at 12:17, right next door to The Hock Shop. I couldn't finish the hash browns or the very thick rye toast.
    Then I drove through downtown Coeur d'Alene, not very impressive, a lot of motels on that road in (Sherman Avenue), including the Japan Motel, Sword City Motel AAA in the middle of town. Mostly low buildings, one strange high building with orange gables and all kinds of towers or attachments. Homemade fried pickles.
    In the evening I went back downtown for the open mike at Calypso's Coffee & Creamery. Ir was full of young people, including lots of good-looking young ladies, and a handful of older people, including 3 old ladies at one table. In addition to tables and booths, there was a chess table and a couple of beanbag chairs and the “smart room” with carrels and a long table and lots of outlets for laptops. There was also a stage with a couple of couches, where people could sit behind the performer. I took a brief walk and discovered a great view of the Coeur d'Alene Mountains over Lake Coeur d'Alene (and I had not brought my camera). The open mike began at 6. Karen was first, a little older than most but probably still in her 20s. She started with "Saint James Infirmary," including the line "on the corner of Jackson Square," which I've never heard anyone else sing (except me). Then a poet who was very popular and then I did my 3 songs. "New Kid in Town" didn't seem to go over very well though several people were listening. Surprisingly, "Four O'Clock on the Highway" seemed to go over better and "All Night Diner" did very well, with one good-looking young lady and maybe several others bopping in their seats. 5-6 people complimented me afterwards. I stayed for one of the old ladies, who did terrible versions of Beatles song (but the audience was kind), a couple of male singers and a female singer, all good but not great, and a poet who didn't do as well as the first one. Then I left.
    After an hour or so in my motel room, I went to Shari's for berry pie and ice cream.

Lake Couer d'Alene

Tuesday, March 8
In 2003, I made $45 performing at the Riverdale Bookshop.
Coeur d'Alene to the Montana state line
    Up at 7:50, cold, frost on the windshield. Cereal, apple juice, 2 slices of toast (one raisin), yogurt, cereal at the motel. Leaving at 9:28 temp 38 odometer 123910, pretty much clouded over, the frost gone. $9.25 of $1.769 gas at a Mobil station with some spillage (it would have been $1.719 if I'd paid cash, which I didn't notice until it was too late) and back onto I-90 at 9:48. Clouds ahead of me as I leave Coeur d'Alene behind me with white patches in the clouds and the good old ubiquitous pines, very scenic with an arm of the lake (Blue Creek Bay) alongside pine-covered mountains, reminding of pictures from Switzerland. Now it's Wolf Lodge Bay. Idaho Panhandle National Forest, a rock cliff made for the freeway, curving, up one pass then down another, first you curve to the left then to the right then repeat as many times as necessary.
    Fourth of July Pass (3069 feet), Mullan Road Historical Park. Some dirty snow alongside the road, speed limit 75, a couple of fairly big patches of blue among the clouds up ahead, still in mountainous pine country, Game Crossing, a lake. At Mile 37 there is a wonderful snow-capped peak in front of me, clouds in front of it, clouds above it. Doing 70, being passed on all the other cars on the highway, which isn't all that many. Cataldo Mission State Park Historical Monument. Yellow cabins to my left, sky mostly white clouds with patches of blue, a collection of small houses at Smelterville. Beautiful view of the mountains up ahead of me under the clouds. Big Creek Historical Site--everything here seems to be a historical site. A little creek flowing alongside the highway, between gentle pine-covered mountains, snow on the ones up ahead, a hundred or more trailer and prefab homes at Osburn.
    The Wallace Historical District after Silverton, which apparently isn't historic at all. Wallace looked like an interesting town. County Courthouse was small but impressive, a building with Live Theatre Revues. Back into the mountains, alongside that little creek that probably created the valley a long long time ago. Mullan and the Morning District, some snow piled up alongside the road, a mountain in the near distance with a lot of snow, only occasional patches of snow alongside the road. Entering Coeur d'Alene National Forest and of course there's a Historical Site up ahead. Lookout Pass elevation 4860, Exit 0. Into Montana.