Hot Time Along WA & ID Stateline

Last night was my first of three nights camping in Spokane Valley, WA. It was a hot 94 degrees during the day with every piece of technology reporting “heat advisory”. I left the air vents in the front windows of the van, plus the side door open with screening, and even the back doors open with screening till it started to rain. After 11pm the air temperature was finally about 73 degrees. It dropped to 60 degrees by the time I was up in the morning.

Knowing my history with heat, I decide to cycle about 15 miles and turn around before the heat in my first full day here got to hot. I love cycling right out of my campground and onto a trail. I cycled the Centennial Trail east, thus Washington into Idaho. I recognized some of the trail as I did bicycle it years ago.

Water is an issue in this area. Signs on the trail are informative about water issues and the area’s history. 

I was glad I followed my bicycling plan. I turned around about 15 miles and stopped for lunch at the 23 mile mark. The trail does have some toilets, benches, picnic tables and bike tools along it, and you pack out whatever you pack in. When I finished my lunch and readied to cycle the last 7 miles or so, a couple of heat advisories were flashing on my Garmin. Good idea to be done with this ride real soon! Finally, 31.6 miles … yeah and done!

Fortunately yesterday afternoon and this day, I am watching Serena and Venus playing at the US Open. Isn’t technology amazing! I love tennis and have missed my playing time during the pandemic and these months. I also love watching quality tennis and there are many fantastic matches being played at the US Open.

Day 2: No Bicycling today….

I expected to be bicycling both full days while visiting Spokane Valley. How is it the daytime air temperature is high here as in Arizona? No wonder the animals are moving north? I was reading about wildlife photographers now traveling to northern Canada for larger herds to observe and photograph, especially as the elk begin their rut.

I decide to go birding … surprise! I saw on eBird a mention of a bird I may not already have, so I head to the Saltese Flats Wetland Area in Spokane Valley. Three miles, two hours later, no new birds. Here are a few birds:

Looks like a young American coot.
Wilson’s snipe
Greater yellowlegs

The US Open Tennis is now playing as I write this. Serena is in a third round match. I decide to watch this match in air-conditioned, available wifi, environment and not in my van using my phone’s hot spot. The challenge was the library parking, per a city ordinance, is only 2 hours. Fortunately the library staff told me where I can park for no fee. At the table next to me is a homeless woman sleeping. I do not know what services are available for the homeless in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. An affluent community and like many places in the USA people are struggling financially and emotionally. I think this woman is familiar to the library staff as they have allowed her to sleep here and charge her phones for more than 3 hours now and the library closes in a half hour. I wonder where this woman spends her night? She has her bags with her. I wish her safety and some amount of success with hopes there is support for homeless in this community.

I have a 5.5 hour drive, if non-stop, to Three Forks, Montana tomorrow.

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