One day – three states!

And you thought we were busy yesterday?  Today saw us zooming out of Spokane to the great state of Idaho and beyond.

Our time in Idaho was brief, as we just drove across the panhandle. We had no time to stop for potatoes, but did manage to see lovely Coeur d’Alene, which has a beautiful lake and is thoroughly gentrified and upscale touristy.

The next stop was the oldest building in Idaho, the Old Mission in Cataldo ID.  This mission was founded by Father Pierre De Smet, whom we encountered yesterday in Spokane, as the founder of Gonzaga University.  The Jesuits came to this area in 1841 to build a mission and convert the Indians, and they did both very quickly.

Though heavily restored, the church and the parish house are very intact.  One interesting feature on the interior of the church is the ceiling with faded blue panels originally colored with huckleberry juice.  All the decorations and woodwork were done by the missionaries, who had a flair for architecture and design.

Then it was off to Wallace ID, an old mining town with a still vibrant downtown.  We were there for their street fair, which wouldn’t exactly compete with Columbus Avenue, but it had some things in common. For a very long string of complicated EPA problems and a huge Superfund budget, the mayor has pronounced it “the center of the universe,” which it may well be for us taxpayers. A fun and funky place.

And then we entered into Big Sky country – Montana. We are now in the town of Missoula, the most liberal place in the state.  Guess we will sleep well tonight, while we adjust our left-wing sensibilities to Mountain Time.

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