Monday we took our time leaving Athol (Silverwood) and driving to Eureka. Karl was driving from Colorado and wouldn’t be there until late in the evening. He suggested to us a scenic route to follow. It didn’t disappoint.
Karl had talked up how bad the water at his house was and that he “doesn’t drink the water at his house”. We assumed he was on well water so we filled our tanks in Athol (apparently somebody with a bad lisp had named the town) and then quickly realized our tank was already full. When we had the Orca Pod serviced recently they must have filled the water tanks. So we had unwittingly hauled hundreds of extra pounds over the mountain passes. It certainly explained our poor gas milege.
We provisioned in Sandpoint Idaho where the same bad storm we had seen in Coeur d’Alene had knocked out power for several hours so perishables were in limited supply.
We took highway 200 from Sandpoint around Lake Pend Oreille to Highway 56 heading North towards the Kootenai river. It was a spectacular and beautiful drive. Highly recommended for anybody in the area.
We hooked up with Highway 2 from 56 and quickly came upon the Kootenai Falls, which Karl suggested as a good hike and scenic sidetrip to break up the drive. Karl, great suggestion.
We made some sandwiches and then went on a hike to the falls and to the swinging bridge.
From Kootenai Falls we drove in Libby, MT (asbestos capital of the world, complete with asbestos public service announcements on the local radio: “If you lived in Lincoln County for more than 6 months over ten years ago then you may qualify for special compensation…”.
From Libby we encountered a huge construction delay that may have added an extra hour to our trip. A road resurfacing project required a pilot car to drive a 25 MPH pace across a 10 mile stretch of gravel road on Highway 37 from Libby to Eureka.
Our car and trailer was chipped from the gravel and splattered in tar from the roadwork when we finally arrived in Eureka, MT. Karl wasn’t there yet, but his friend and business partner Andy showed up a few minutes after our arrival to open the house for us and introduced us to his dog Raven.
It had been 20 years since I had been to Eureka and to my delight it hadn’t changed much. We wandered around Karl’s home and made ourselves in it. We were also introduced to his two pigs, Tasty and Delicious and a biblical plague of crickets.
Karl showed around sunset, just as dinner was being served. We ate, drank, and made smore’s around the campfire into the wee hours of the morning. We asked about his water, assuming it was well water. “You said you don’t drink it. is it safe?” I asked. “What? I’m on city water. You can totally drink it. Its totally safe. I just don’t drink it because I get jugs of artisan well water from my brewery and after you’ve had my artisan well water you won’t want to drink tap water anymore.”.