Thrice the fun in Missoula

So, can Missoula top Coeur d’Alene. Darn close, mainly because we met up with good Associated Press Media Editors Board alum Peggy Kuhr and very cool sister, Barbara Kuhr at Caffe Dolce. We split lamb burgers and sparkling fun and had a great time. Then, brother Shawn hit town and started the family party going.

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Carl needs help being properly scared about selfies on the road. Nuff said.

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Carl found the perfect place to stay in Missoula, the Wingate, across from the Harley dealership and the Big Sky Brewing Co. Unfortunately, neither served food, so we wound up with convenience-store corny dogs and some poppers. Culinary mecca? Not yet.

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So, these things called ground squirrels or prairie dogs, they bear a faint resemblance to a certain Flipster, if you squint your eyes. However, they would not answer the doorbell for a second look.

 

 

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Going to the source.

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Horns are very cool!

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Clean clothes are cooler.

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Hanging out with Peggy and Barbara Kuhr at Caffe Dolce. What great fun!

IMG_0090_2Let’s hit the road and see how the new converts do.

 

From Ellensburg to Coeur d’Alene (yes, we’re proud we can finally spell it)

Yep, that’s Laura. Yep, that’s the middle of nowhere I-90 in Washington. Yep, Carl is taking an iPhone picture while going 60-70 mph. Yep, I promptly got on the intercom and cussed him out.
Yep, that’s Laura. Yep, that’s the middle of nowhere I-90 in Washington. Yep, Carl is taking an iPhone picture while going 60-70 mph. Yep, I promptly got on the intercom and cussed him out.
But before I can flag Carl down, he does this. It wasn’t so much that it was dangerouse for him, but what if he had dropped the iPhone …
But before I can flag Carl down, he does this. It wasn’t so much that it was dangerouse for him, but what if he had dropped the iPhone …
Sprague Lake Rest Stop outside of Spokane on Highway 90. These reenactors were there providing coffee and cookies and major firearm advice, including the best ordinance to use. Flip had to raise his eyebrows (you have to draw those in).
Sprague Lake Rest Stop outside of Spokane on Highway 90. These reenactors were there providing coffee and cookies and major firearm advice, including the best ordinance to use. Flip had to raise his eyebrows (you have to draw those in).
Sprague Lake Rest Stop outside of Spokane on Highway 90. These re-enactors were there providing coffee and cookies and major firearm advice, including the best ordinance to use. Flip had to raise his eyebrows (you have to draw those in).
Sprague Lake Rest Stop outside of Spokane on Highway 90. These reenactors were there providing coffee and cookies and major firearm advice, including the best ordinance to use. Flip had to raise his eyebrows (you have to draw those in).
Sprague Lake Rest Stop, west of Spokane, Wash.
Sprague Lake Rest Stop, west of Spokane, Wash.
I guess this must be Sprague Lake, Wash.
I guess this must be Sprague Lake, Wash.
Yep, that’s a dog burnt to order at the stateline Lone Wolf Harley-Davidson between Spokane, Wash., and Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. Huge store, good grub. Flip made friends.
Yep, that’s a dog burnt to order at the stateline Lone Wolf Harley-Davidson between Spokane, Wash., and Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. Huge store, good grub. Flip made friends.
Carl fulfilling the S requirement in his HOG alphabet trip in Spokane Valley, Wash.
Carl fulfilling the S requirement in his HOG alphabet trip in Spokane Valley, Wash.
Downtown Coeur d’Alene at the resort bar before walking the boardwalk. Splendied cool drink, way hot weather.
Downtown Coeur d’Alene at the resort bar before walking the boardwalk. Splendied cool drink, way hot weather.
Flip gazes out over Lake Coeur d’Alene. Water, good.
Flip gazes out over Lake Coeur d’Alene. Water, good.
The resort in Coeur d’Alene. Flip makes a compelling arguement.
The resort in Coeur d’Alene. Flip makes a compelling arguement.
Check out the cruisers and the parasailors. Flip’s not afraid to fly, just needs a very special harness, first.
Check out the cruisers and the parasailors. Flip’s not afraid to fly, just needs a very special harness, first.
Where’s Flip? Lovely camouflage along the Coeur d’Alene Boardwalk.
Where’s Flip? Lovely camouflage along the Coeur d’Alene Boardwalk.
Ah, yes.
Ah, yes.
A memorial to an Air Force hydroplane lieutenant colonel in Coeur d’Alene. Flip’s all on board.
A memorial to an Air Force hydroplane lieutenant colonel in Coeur d’Alene. Flip’s all on board.
Flip at the Moose, tryig for incognito. Not working.
Flip at the Moose, tryig for incognito. Not working.
Millie the Moose if very pleased to make Flip’s acquaintance in downtown Coeur d’Alene.
Millie the Moose if very pleased to make Flip’s acquaintance in downtown Coeur d’Alene.
Millie the Moose if very pleased to make Flip’s acquaintance in downtown Coeur d’Alene.
Millie the Moose if very pleased to make Flip’s acquaintance in downtown Coeur d’Alene.
Carl and Flip get a real meal at Scratch Bistro. Laura vegges out. Really.
Carl and Flip get a real meal at Scratch Bistro. Laura vegges out. Really.
What a cool idea for a newspaper rack. Just saying.
What a cool idea for a newspaper rack. Just saying.

Day 1: Where is the massuese?

On the road by about 9:30 after stopping at the Astoria Police/Fire Department to get an official HOG alphabet pose for our trip (A, check). Then we wended our way to Longview for grub a the Indy Diner. On up a blustery I-5 with lots of semis (not Laura’s favorite). Over on state Highway 12 through some tight curves, steep drop-offs and cute towns. Beautiful scenery when I’m not eyeballing the yellow line. Pitstop at Yakima Harley, dinner at the Buzz Inn in Ellensburg. Jacuzzie for Carl and Flip. Done and done. On to Coeur d’Alene tomorrow.

Stopping for breakfast at the Indy Diner in Longview Wash. Flip has his leash around his ankles, but is already enjoying the trip. Montana or bust!Stopping for breakfast at the Indy Diner in Longview Wash. Flip has his leash around his ankles, but is already enjoying the trip. Montana or bust!

Outlook in East Lewis County
Outlook in East Lewis County
Check out the speck above Flip's head. It was rockin' the sound barrier and an awesome sight to see, not one, but two, jet fighters zoom over Rimrock Lake, while we vacay'd on the side of the road.
Check out the speck above Flip’s head. It was rockin’ the sound barrier and an awesome sight to see, not one, but two, jet fighters zoom over Rimrock Lake, while we vacay’d on the side of the road.

 

 

We are at the beautiful Rimrock Lake near Yakima and two jet fighters just blazed above the lake. So, what's Carl doing? Facing away from the lake and trying to see his screen to post photos when there is no service whatsoever.
We are at the beautiful Rimrock Lake near Yakima and two jet fighters just blazed above the lake. So, what’s Carl doing? Facing away from the lake and trying to see his screen to post photos when there is no service whatsoever.
We are at the beautiful Rimrock Lake near Yakima and two jet fighters just blazed above the lake. So, what's Carl doing? Facing away from the lake and trying to see his screen to post photos when there is no service whatsoever.
We are at the beautiful Rimrock Lake near Yakima and two jet fighters just blazed above the lake. So, what’s Carl doing? Facing away from the lake and trying to see his screen to post photos when there is no service whatsoever.
Pitstop!
Pitstop!
Pups in style.
Pups in style.
Flip and Carl look over the day's shots. Flip thinks he needs more pictures on his good side. Um, er, uh. OK.
Flip and Carl look over the day’s shots. Flip thinks he needs more pictures on his good side. Um, er, uh. OK.
Good steaks, loaded potatoes. Nothing wrong with that in Ellensburg.
Good steaks, loaded potatoes. Nothing wrong with that in Ellensburg.
Carl's salad got hit by a tsunami when he put his fork in.
Carl’s salad got hit by a tsunami when he put his fork in.
The Comfort Inn in Ellensburg offers a jacuzzi in its junior suites. Carl and Flip give it a go. Bubble on.
The Comfort Inn in Ellensburg offers a jacuzzi in its junior suites. Carl and Flip give it a go. Bubble on.

Flip meet Jake

Our intrepid explorer Flip is fulfilling a dream today. He went via motorcycle with pal Carl to Marsh’s Free Museum in Long Beach, Wash., to meet an idol and likely distant relative, Jake the Alligator Man.  Getting huge eyeball to huge eyeball with the legend checks a big box on Flipster’s bucket list. I bet he won’t shut up about it all night. Later, he hung out with the Stanoviches and Mike and Ramel Wilson at the Big O Saloon, boosting the bean-bag-throwing game to a new level. Thank you, Kathy (Barbarella), for egging us on.

Flip is excited to meet a distant relative, Jake the Alligator Man in Long Beach, Wash.
Flip is excited to meet a distant relative, Jake the Alligator Man in Long Beach, Wash.
Flip is excited to meet a distant relative, Jake the Alligator Man in Long Beach, Wash.
Flip is excited to meet a distant relative, Jake the Alligator Man in Long Beach, Wash.
A bag of booty for a cutie.
A bag of booty for a cutie.
Flip can't understand why anyone would want to shrink their magnificently large head.
Flip can’t understand why anyone would want to shrink their magnificently large head.
Flip tests his passion. Looks like he is WILD! It must be true.
Flip tests his passion. Looks like he is WILD! It must be true.
Flip contemplates myriad chowder opportunities at Capt. Bob's. Scallops and mushrooms, not so much for Laura, but yea for Carl.
Flip contemplates myriad chowder opportunities at Capt. Bob’s. Scallops and mushrooms, not so much for Laura, but yea for Carl.
Flip casts his two good eyes (And ye know how rare this is) toward the North Jetty Brewery and Tap Room.
Flip casts his two good eyes (And ye know how rare this is) toward the North Jetty Brewery and Tap Room.
Flip says it's all about the samplers.
Flip says it’s all about the samplers.
RamelÊSpringsteadÊWilson throws a bean bag at the Big O Saloon while Flip calculates his chances of surviving a bean-satellite falling on his head.
Ramel Springstead Wilson throws a bean bag at the Big O Saloon while Flip calculates his chances of surviving a bean-satellite falling on his head.

‘Grandson” Flip helps ferry parents from Arizona to Seattle

Carl is helping to drive David and Jean Earl from Mesa, Ariz., to Seattle, for their new adventure in the Pacific Northwest, loving the retired life hanging at the airport. The adventure began May 7.

Where's the little Flip's room? In Parker, Ariz.

Where’s the little Flip’s room? In Parker, Ariz.

0508 am Flip-Ludlow Calif Flip hangs out on U.S. Highway Route 66 in Needles, Ariz.

In Ludow, California, Flip made his claim to marking the Route 66 byway .

At the Colorado River Thursday.

Flip looks at  the Colorado River Thursday.

Flip browsing at the Ludlow Cafe on Route 66 in California.

Flip browsing at the Ludlow Cafe on Route 66 in California.

An adventure of Olympic proportions

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Carl and Flip at the entrance to the Olympic Park in Park City, Utah. Flip and Laura want to try out for the curling team. Laura as a sweeper and Flip as the stone. The 2002 Winter Olympics was the most profitable Olympics ever because most of the venues were already built, allowing them to establish a legacy fund for continued improvements and maintenance for the park.

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Flip and Carl try their hands at keeping the ball on the right track.

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Flip only looks a little scared.

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Living vicariously by watching the virtual downhill jump.

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Part of the 2002 Winter Olympic’s opening ceremonies, this massive buffalo head was attached to a humongous body that contained other critters floating around inside. Flip wonders if his tribe was represented.

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Yep, that’s the torch!

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Speaking of Flip’s tribe …

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Flip tries on one of the Olympic ceremonial headdresses.

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We finally get Marilyn in the picture!

IMG_7509Flip certainly agrees: There’s no need to be shy. Exhibition skiers. Hot doggers, Stuntmen. They bucked the system at every turn — every fashion. While professional downhill skiers work black, freestyle skiers shook up the slopes with wildy colored body suits, as well as their airborne antics.

Bobsled

 

 

Rock’n down the hill, Flip takes his team to a win.

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Ever the adventurer, Flip tries out the luge and wishes his legs were a tad longer.

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I think Flip’s found his niche. Nice air!

IMG_7512Looking across the valley.

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Looking up the ski jump. Most of the snow is disappearing (can you say 60 degrees?) and the green underneath is a plastic matting, covered by rope mesh to help hold the snow in place. Think about it, snow goes downhill, too.

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Marilyn listening to our tour guide Patrick, who turned out to be from Bozeman, Mont.

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Flip’s not thinking he’ll try it this time. He’s just glad he doesn’t have to climb to the top.

IMG_0462Finally at the top of the ski jump.

IMG_0467Flip reconsiders thinking that the climb up would be worse than the trip down.

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Guide Patrick explains that the bobsled, luge and skeleton track is being shut down so they can do repairs and not incur the $10,000-$12,000 in keeping the tube frozen. Then, they will set up for the  summer runs with bobsleds on wheels. He says the bobsledders – men and women – are pretty crazy, but the truly amped up athletes are the luge athletes.

 

Living the Dream