Taking the High Road, Part III: Saint Maries and a Spokane Drive-by

After blasting through Yellowstone, the Tetons, and Driggs, we headed to Saint Maries, Idaho, to get reacquainted with one of my best friends from my days at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service office in Reno, Nevada. To get there, we made a pit stop in Deer Lodge, Montana, at the roadside Indian Creek RV and Campground – located practically on the shoulder of I-90 (our lullaby that night was a cacophony of Jake-brakes). Amazingly, there was a nice little walking trail adjacent to the campground where we could stretch our legs before hitting the road once again.

We made our way to Missoula, and one of our first observations was how surprisingly young and granola-y the inhabitants seemed to be – must be the university vibe. It was a warm, sunny day, and we were able to enjoy a leisurely stroll around town, watch kayakers practice their moves at the river park, listen to some live music at the downtown market, and sample a couple of beers at the Conflux Brewing Company (well, I had root beer) before departing to Saint Maries.

It was a fairly quick 3-hour drive to see Carrie and Jerry, but it was the first time seeing them since their wedding in 2005. Yes, 14 years – FOURTEEN! No bueno! And, it was the first time meeting their beautiful little girl, Iva Dell, who is now 10. TEN! Not so little anymore! Geez! Well, I tell ya, we’re not going to wait so long again. So much time had passed, yet everything felt the same. That’s just how it is with really good friends – you can go years (but you shouldn’t) without seeing one another, or even talking to each other (but follow each other on social media), and then plop you in a room together and all those years melt away – it’s like not a day has gone by. Certainly, our lives have changed, and we have changed, but the things that we bonded over – our work and commitment to environmental conservation, compassion for our fellow humans and other species, and love of the 7-layer burrito from Taco Bell – haven’t changed (well, except the last thing –  we get the real thing in Mexico these days).

Words can’t really describe how wonderful it was to spend some time with Carrie, Jerry, and Iva – and Carrie’s mom, Linda, who has a summer place just up the road in Saint Maries. It was a stark reminder of just how fast time gets by us and how precious in-person connections are. Picking fresh fruit and veggies from the garden, sharing meals together, taking walks, and engaging in passionate, expletive-laden conversations about the politics of the day while enjoying the weather and the views from the deck – these moments are irreplaceable and can’t be experienced through Facebook or Instagram. A pitch for staying in touch with those you love – just sayin’.

Speaking of those we love, while we were in the neighborhood, we had to seize the opportunity to see Jeff and Brenda of S/V Adventurer, who happened to be in Spokane, tricking out their new van-van for the terrestrial wandering part of their existence. We grabbed a meal together, checked out the progress on the Sprinter, then drove off into the waning hours of the morning to make Nelson, BC, by sundown. Feeling so much love on this road trip…

This post is light on video and stills, and many of the stills are incorporated into the video, so our apologies for any redundancy. Enjoy anyway!


  1. So fun! 7 Layer Burritos from Taco Bell?? Those were the days.😜

    1. Jody Fraser

      Ha! Those burritos were our go-to! Oy! Can’t wait to see you, T!

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