Boise to Harpster, Sunday 2-Jul

The Winkle Family reunion came to an end, so we went to the Idaho panhandle and back into Pacific Time.

It was time for us to have our last Boise breakfast, gather everything up, and pack the car. Once we were checked out, we headed to downtown for the reunion closing ceremonies. Street parking is free on the weekends, and we found a spot pretty close to the hotel. On the walk over, we saw a classic car driving by, enjoying the Sunday drive.

Closing ceremonies

We were a bit early getting to the hospitality suites, so it was nice to sit down and relax for a bit with the people who were already there. People started arriving, and soon the room was packed with Winkles

Bill acted as master of ceremonies, and had everyone go around to mention what they were thankful for. It's no surprise that family was mentioned by practically everyone. Another thing he had us do was to sing a hymn he remembered his mom singing. Very moving.

The previous night, Carter had blurted out our names, saying that it should be a cruise to Alaska starting from Seattle. Melody's retort is that there are cruises from Miami (where he lives). Ends up Brad has volunteered to look into the next reunion, whether it be a cruise or something else. Whew!

Several people needed to leave immediately, since they had long drives ahead of them. We also needed to get going, but we did hang around a bit more to say final goodbyes.

The whole weekend went very well. I'm sure there were several things that didn't go according to plan, but not only did everything work out well anyway, glitches weren't even noticed. Bill and Carola did a a great job of hosting, but the largest kudos goes to Brenda, who carried the whole reunion on her shoulders. There were plenty of things for people to do, but at the same time, people had plenty of opportunities to relax and talk. I'm sure there were several very complex logistics (especially the progressive dinner the previous night) but everyone was game for whatever she had planned, and it was easy to have a great time.

On the way back to our car, we saw another classic car. I wonder if it's a thing to do on Sunday in Boise.


We are trying to minimize the number of really long driving days on this trip, so instead of driving straight to Missoula, we arranged to spend the night in Harpster, ID. After filling the car, we found our way to Route 55 and started driving north.

We decided that we would want lunch by the time we were at about Cascade, near the Cascade Reservoir. We chose a restaurant which seemed like it would be pretty good, sat down, and placed our orders. The food was quite good, and even more plentiful. There was a large group there when we arrived, and it seemed to be a regular gathering. It was quite apparent that we weren't the only tourists in the restaurant.

Back on the road. Not long after passing McCall and Payette Lake we turned onto US 95 which took us into the Idaho Panhandle, not to mention back to Pacific Time. Next up was the Nez Perce National Forest, including the White Bird Battlefield.

As we approached Grangeville, we turned onto Route 13, and drove into town. We saw huge crowds of people milling around, and saw a banner saying that it was Border Days, Idaho's oldest rodeo (for over 100 years). There was also a parade, but it looks like we lucked out and missed it by an hour or so.

A half hour out of town, we pulled onto a dirt road and approached our room for the night. The owner greeted us and showed us inside. The place was very well-appointed; he showed us the two different beds (with differing firmnesses), the air conditioner (and how we could open the windows after sundown to take advantage of the cool breeze), the washer/dryer, the well-appointed kitchen, and the eggs and bacon he had in the fridge for us to use.

Since it had been a little less than a week, it was time for laundry. We were able to fit everything into one load, so as the washer was running, we sat down with our laptops. We only had phone connectivity in Yakima, so-so in Pendleton, and a bit better in Boise. Because of the location, the connectivity was pretty slow in Harpster, but it was enough for us to get some basic things done.

After we got the clothes into the dryer, we drove back down to Grangerville to get some groceries for dinner, breakfast, and lunch the next day. The store was surprisingly comprehensive in its offerings. We readily found everything we needed, then took the half hour drive back to our room.

I took advantage of the bacon and eggs and made omelets for dinner. We were thinking that, even in hostels where full kitchens are available, we tend to not cook. Especially so when we know we wouldn't be able to finish a carton of eggs or a package of bacon. It felt both odd and nice to cook on vacation.

Once the sun went down, we did see the temperature go down and the breeze start to cool down, so we turned off the AC and opened the windows. Because the panhandle is on Pacific Time, it's extremely far east in the time zone. I took advantage of that and went out to look at the stars. The moon was at about first quarter, so it was bright enough that I couldn't make out the Milky Way. There were, however, many more stars than we see in Seattle. I had brought along my tripod, so I tried to grab a few photos.

It was pretty late, so I brought things inside and we fell asleep. If you were wondering, we chose the less firm bed, but only because it was much more convenient for power outlets.