Road Trip to Glacier Days 8-9: Spokane Washington

Visit Date: July 15, 2021

CORRECTION: 9/9/21. The bird in the last picture is an Osprey; not a hawk. Big thanks and shout out to reader and high school friend Frances.

For our adjusted return trip we headed to Spokane, Washington from Whitefish, Montana. We wanted to stay downtown rather than just a freeway motel and I found The Indigo Hotel. Now, I thought I had booked a room at a downtown Holiday Inn Express so I was confused as we wended through downtown and didn’t see the familiar sign at the spot our GPS told us was our home for the night. We had to detour due to a police action about a block away and there was precious little parking outside. Um, what did I get us into? I stayed with the car while Carla checked in. From my vantage point I saw that the police were rousting some homeless people from under a railroad underpass. I was glad it wasn’t a shooting or something but was sad to see the people have to leave the shade to make their way in the 90°+ temperature of the afternoon.

The hotel is part of the IHG chain; the same as the Holiday Inn Express. The hotel is about 100 years old and turned out to be very nice. Luck was on my side again; our hotel room had a nice view of the BNSF Northern Transcon. Carla and I have slept on our respective sides of the bed for years (and I mean YEARS). But she was gracious enough to swap with me so I could have a better view out the window overnight.

It was hot outside, but we had to get out to stretch our legs. So, we hoofed it through the nice downtown to Riverfront Park. On the way we passed through the River Park Square Mall and saw this fantastic display in the lobby.

Flower girl at the River Square Mall in Spokane, Washington

In 1974 Riverfront Park was turned from an old rail yard into the home of the 1974 World’s Fair. The park is a large peninsula with more than half a dozen bridges.

Google Maps view of Riverfront Park

I’m not sure if these structures were built for the World’s Fair of if they are newer. Regardless, they give an idea of the area.

Riverfront Park. Spokane, Washington
Riverfront Park. Spokane, Washington
Riverfront Park. Spokane, Washington

We walked over a bridge that crosses some rapids.

Spokane River at Riverfront Park

We headed back to our hotel for dinner and sleep; along the way this sculpture caught my eye.

Spokane, Washington

I fell asleep to the occasional sounds of trains rolling through Spokane. Aaah!

The next morning we walked over to Frank’s Diner for breakfast before our drive to Walla Walla.

Frank’s Diner – Spokane, Washington

It’s an old Northern Pacific Railroad diner car.

Frank’s Diner – Spokane, Washington

Frank’s is a popular breakfast spot. We put our name on the list and sat in a covered area just to the left of the car to enjoy some coffee and a visit with regulars and other newcomers. We were seated pretty quickly and we were charmed and delighted by the decor and the food.

Frank’s Diner – Spokane, Washington

On the end of one of the clerestory walls was an old NP logo.

Frank’s Diner – Spokane, Washington

That logo is worth a closeup, isn’t it? Yes!

Frank’s Diner – Spokane, Washington

The heat outside was building when we were done with breakfast, but it was still plenty nice for another walk to Riverfront Park. An hawk osprey was soaring above the park looking for his/her own breakfast. I was proud of my Sony RX100VII for being able to get some pictures of its flight.

Hawk over Riverfront Park. Spokane, Washington

Unfortunately, I didn’t get anymore pictures from this road trip. My back was acting up again which made getting in and out of the car a bit of a chore. Driving through the Palouse. In retrospect I’m kicking myself for not getting at least one picture of the gently rolling hills covered in wheat; it goes on and on for miles. And erratics dot the scenery; erratics are huge boulders washed out from the Missoula Floods that occured over 13,000 years ago at the end of the latest ice age. The floods provided the Columbia Valley and the Willamette Valley with the top soil which makes our region so fertile – and so good for wine grape growing. We need to go back and get some pictures for you.

I was too sore to stop and take pictures as we walked around downtown Walla Walla, but it is a beautiful little tourist town that has its own claim to winery fame. Well worth a visit.

It was a great trip even with all the smoke and haze. I’ve got a couple of book reports to post then I’ll dive into our family trip through the California Redwoods to Santa Cruz.

3 thoughts on “Road Trip to Glacier Days 8-9: Spokane Washington

      1. Thanks! I’ll update the post. I have a mental block against Ospreys. Most of the time when I see what I think is a hawk, my buddy says “Howard, that’s an Osprey”. He’s out of town so I didn’t get to check. I’m glad you have my back!

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