Monday, June 20, 2016

Vault Toilets Can Make Good Kitchens

Here's a few photos from yesterday after I had posted the blog. We went to see the animals.
The stallion, Ace--he's a little "mouthy".
Annette and Kim with Betty the sheep. She is 11 years old. Pretty old for a sheep!
Tucker the cat. Quite the hunter he is!

Later we met Kim's husband, Don, son Tevis, and Tevis' girlfriend, April. We had a great time talking with all of them. What a wonderful family! This morning Kim brought out coffee to Annette as we were fixing our breakfast. 

We said our goodbyes, and rolled out around 8:30--our earliest departure so far! We weren't exactly sure how far we would go today, but one thing we did know, we were stopping at the Blue Heron Cafe for 2nd breakfast. It was about 10 miles down the road. Three different people had told us this cafe was great, so we had to have 2nd breakfast there! They were right! Not only was the food good, but it was fast, and the view out the window was pretty nice too.
I did actually see a couple of herons down by the water.

Back on the road, we were riding along when I saw two trains meeting head on. Of course they were on separate tracks.
Managed to whip out my camera fast enough to get this shot.

We went through Elmira (the Oakridge Boys' song Elvira was playing in my head). There wasn't much of a town, at least near the highway. Next up was Naples. The only significance of Naples was that we were able to get off the hwy for awhile on Deep Creek Rd.

Deep Creek was really nice. Hardly any traffic, and we didn't climb as much as the hwy did. I did have an interesting, could have been disastrous, encounter. I was riding along, strangely, ahead of Annette (usually I'm behind her) when I saw something scuttling along the side of the road. It was black, with a white stripe on its back. YIKES, a skunk!!! As it turned its butt toward me and lifted its tail, I veared way over to the other side of the road. Fortunately, it didn't spray. Continuing along the road, I saw two more skunks! I just rode on the opposite side of the road for awhile. No, I didn't stop to take pictures of them!
Mostly farms.
A very nice valley.

Eventually, we rejoined the hwy just a mile or so from Bonners Ferry. We stopped for some groceries, and lo and behold, there was a Subway right next door! We decided we would have lunch there today. So, I can check off the Bonners Ferry Subway! We also talked to a young man named Shane who was interested in doing some touring.

The road out of Bonners Ferry involved a rather long climb after crossing the Kootenai River. That was our longest climb of the day. We didn't really get the reward of the downhill, as we seemed to just come up to a plateau. 

While we were eating lunch in Bonners, we were looking at the map and decided we would go as far as Brush Lake USFS campground. It was, we thought, about 12 miles from Bonners. That would give us about 45 miles or so for the day. Well, we got to where the route turns to head to the US/Canadian border without seeing the sign for the campground. According to the route guide, it should have been before the turn. We decided we would continue on. We thought, maybe we would get lucky like yesterday. We stopped at a nice looking place, but no one was home. I did, however, get some water from their hose. Then we stopped at another nice place (the yard even had a picnic table). The lady came to the door. I asked if we could maybe pitch our tents in her yard. She kind of hemmed and hawed, so I told her she could say no. She said no because she was worried her cat would spray on our tents. Really, I think she was just nervous. That's okay. She did tell us (when I asked) that there was camping at Porthill (the border). At least, she thought there was. 
From the road to Porthill.

We had just another 4 miles to Porthill. A lot of it was downhill too. About a mile away, it started to rain. We stopped and just put on our rain jackets. We got to Porthill and found the place the lady had told us about. I went into the bar to inquire about camping. The guy showed me where we could camp (down by the lake). He said he also had rooms, but it turns out they are $130/night. No thank you! Besides, the camping area has a vault toilet and a picnic table! What more could we want??? Well, sun would be nice, but you can't have everything!

We got our tents set up quickly as it was staring to rain again. Then the rain quit. The campsite is right next to a little airport. Sure enough, a plane wheeled by on its way to the runway.

Have a nice flight!

The wind really started to pick up. I told Annette we had three choices for dinner. One, we could go to the bar and have food there (the guy was pushing for that too). Two, we could just have a cold dinner of tortillas, cheese, avocado...or, three, we could go cook our dinner in the shelter of the vault toilet (there was very little wind there). I was okay with either of the three options. Annette decided on cooking. So, we set up our "kitchen" just outside the door. Fortunately, it seems that vault toilet doesn't get used much. There was no smell. It was quite handy, actually, as we had a trash can right there too! After 58 miles, couscous with zucchini, and mushrooms along with cheese quesadillas was delicious--even though we cooked and ate it in a vault toilet!

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