Monday, August 17, 2015

2015 Western Trip – Day 15 & 16 – Cody To Coeur d’Alene

The Trip
The drive from Cody, WY to Coeur d’Alene, ID was mostly through irrigated valleys, first from the Clarks Fork of the Yellowstone along WY-120/MT-72, then the Yellowstone River and Clarks Fork River (different from the first one) for much of Montana.  Here is the difference a little water makes:

We made our interim stop in Garrison, MT so we could revisit the Avon Café where we had met fellow bloggers Jim and Sandie Dixon for breakfast two years ago.  We knew when we walked in the door that we wanted chicken fried steak and a huckleberry milkshake.  The last trip, their chicken fried steak was the one we used as a comparison for all of the others we ordered.  The shake was once again delicious but as is too often the case, the steak was not as good this time – too thick and not enough spices so maybe they have a new cook.  It must be pounded pretty thin or it just tastes like a hamburger as this one did.

We crossed a few mountain ranges on the way but the big diesel had no problem getting us over them – only had to go to 3rd gear one time.  All-in-all, I enjoyed the drive and the diversity of scenery – I thought the drive through the Yellowstone River valley was especially pretty with the grass covered hills, the green irrigated valleys and the crystal clear waters of the river.

After crossing the last mountain, we descended into the Coeur d'alene area and I was stunned by the beauty of Lake Coeur d'alene as we drove along it for several miles east of town. (photo from the web)

I noticed early on that many of the semis out here had a heavy-duty guard in front of the normal bumper and grill and I decided it must be to protect the cab if an animal is struck.  So I did a little research and found that they are called Moose Bumpers.

The Route
We left Cody, WY and drove north on WY-120/MT-72, then North on US-310 to intersect with I-90 West which we took all the way to Coeur d’Alene, ID.  The roads were all good but there was quite a bit of construction on I-90 and I’m happy to put up with it as I much prefer the construction slow-downs to the rough roads that they are repairing.

The Campgrounds
Our interim stopover was at the Riverfront RV Park in Garrison, MT and we picked this place because we wanted to eat breakfast in Avon and we’d liked our stay there before.  This time it was not so good as our newly installed surge protector would not allow us to use the 50amp power supply so we used the generator to run the AC’s until the coach cooled off then plugged into the 30 amp supply for the rest of the night.

The next morning we awoke to a flat tire on the car from a machine screw we had to have picked up in the campground.  I travel with a pancake air compressor and the tire held air well enough for me to drive to Deer Lodge where the Les Schwab tire shop had me back on the road in about 15 minutes at no charge and still in time to go to Avon.  This is one of the reasons I try to avoid traveling on Sunday when so many places I may need are closed.  I doubt we’ll be this way again but I will no longer stay at Riverfront. 

We arrived at the 172 site Blackwell Island RV Resort in Coeur d’Alene and found a pretty nice park in a great location on the shores of the Spokane River.  The check-in process was efficient and the staff was friendly and helpful.  We had no electrical issues, the water pressure required we use our regulator, but the WiFi was very slow and kicked me off very often.

This is the location of the park in the area - the park where the yellow pin is, the city is to the east and Lake Coeur d'Alene is to the south. 

The sites were a little short for our coach and car but we managed to fit everything in and there was a nice distance between sites with good grass.  This is our site and a few shots of the park.

It is obvious why folks stay here as the park is on the Spokane River with its own beach and boat dock and is full of families with kids and water toys – the folks in the last shot have their own floating island.

The RV park is right next door to a marina which includes The Cedars floating restaurant.

We ate supper at the Cedars and all of the meals were just okay, but like they say it's all about location, location, location and they have a great one.

Photos can be enlarged by clicking on them.

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by Almost Heaven South.


8/7 – 8/8/15 event date


  1. You are enjoying the trip and checking out lotsa eating places along the way.

  2. The lake is awesome! Great pic, Larry! That is one great moose bumper! Location always works!

  3. So sorry we weren't there with you in Avon. You just have no idea how much we wish we were there. But that's too bad about the steak.

  4. Larry, Ya'll are making good progress. I've never been to Coeur d'alene but it too is on my list to visit. The chicken fried steak looks good but if they aren't done right, they're just a hunk of breaded fried meat. Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

  5. I am really enjoying following your western journey.


  6. You really have me craving chicken fried steak, Larry..

  7. Coeur d'Alene is one place I'd really like to go.

  8. Moose bumpers huh. That's a new one on me. Have you seen in moose? They are really fascinating animals. I saw several, including a mama and baby, when we were staying near Yellowstone, but as hard as Meakin tried, he never did. Looks like a nice place to stay and maybe pull up a chair by the lake. I allow myself 1 chicken fried steak a year and it has to be for breakfast. Must have been disappointing to find it wasn't as good as it was on your previous visit. Maybe Bev will have to whip one up.I bet she makes a great one.

  9. Did you see the golf green in the middle of the lake? Coeur d'Alene is a beautiful spot.

  10. My husband said Coeur d'Alene is one of the most beautiful places he's ever seen. I think all of it looks amazing including that chicken fried steak!


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