Day Sixteen: T Minus One

With one more day until the tour officially kicks off, I slept in until 8 am.  Decadent lifestyle, eh?

I putzed around the trailer for a bit, made an appointment to change Rory’s oil that afternoon, and found a place to chop off a lot of my hair.  Over 8 inches, and she thinned it as well.  Feels much better.  Returning back to the RV park, I checked in with the Wagon masters, Mo and Sally, and met half of the tail gunner team, Linda.  They gave me a bag full of information about the tour. 

I had to drive into Spokane for the oil change, as the Ford dealer in Coeur d’Alene didn’t have a service opening until the last week of July.  I get free oil changes from Ford, and since a diesel takes a whole lot more oil than a gas engine it’s not cheap to do it outside of a dealer.  So, off to the north side of Spokane I went.

Once finished (it took a few hours), I called my sister and met her, Dave and Jacob downtown for some Chronic Taco.  I parked right across from Riverfront Park, which is a 100 acre park right in the middle of downtown, with the Spokane River and Spokane Falls running through it.  Since I had paid for several hours of parking, I decided to walk around and take some pics of the park and places I loved to go as a kid.

When I think of downtown Spokane, I think of Riverfront Park.  It was mostly built in the early 70’s, as the site of the 1974 World’s Fair.  It’s the place where I first saw an IMAX movie, where we fed ducks bread crumbs.  We would take visitors there, and I would BEG my mother to let me ride the Carrousel, which has been in operation since 1909.

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Splash pad at Riverfront Park. This wasn’t here when I was growing up.
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This skater insisted I take his picture. Ok, dude.
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The Pavilion. It was covered by plastic sheeting for the World’s Fair and was the U.S. “tent”. They removed the sheeting and were supposed to tear down the framework as well after the Fair ended, but Spokanites wanted it to stay.  Didn’t realize when I took the pic a seagull was photo-bombing me.
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Looff Carrousel. Oh, how I loved to ride this when I was a kid. The horses (and other animals) were hand carved by Mr. Looff.
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We would fight to ride the horses on the outside. The detail in them is so marvelous.
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Here is the reason I’d fight tooth and nail to ride an outside horse. After the Carrousel starts and gets up to speed, a bell is sounded and this ring dispenser is pushed out so you can try and grab a ring as you rotate past it.
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If you grab a ring, you can then try and toss it into a target on the other side of the building…see pic below. But if you happen to grab the brass ring, you get a free ride!!
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The target to toss rings at. If you get it in, a loud buzzer sounds so that everyone in the building knows you’re the Shizz. It’s not easy to hit, believe me.

Walking outside the Carrousel building (through the exit door that you can see in the pic above with the ring target), I had a great view of the Great Northern clock tower and the Pavilion.  The clock tower was part of the Great Northern rail depot.  The site that Riverfront park now occupies was once a giant rail yard–the life blood of western cities back in the day.  The clock tower was built in the late 1800’s and is the only surviving piece of that era.  It has to be hand-cranked once a week!

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Great Northern clock tower
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The clock tower and the Pavilion.  I had to wait for two homeless dudes to walk out of this shot.  Sadly, downtown Spokane has a major issue with the homeless.  Not as bad as Seattle, but it’s still very visible.

Next, there was the Goat.  My youngest sister’s favorite thing in Riverfront Park.  It’s made of metal and if you press the button (visible at the far right of the frame), a vacuum starts up and you “feed” the goat any garbage you want to get rid of.  Amanda would go from person to person looking for things to feed it.

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The garbage goat, and Amanda’s fav.

Finally, I crossed back over to the parking lot and took a few more pictures before heading back to Coeur d’Alene.

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Pretty flowers along the street.
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View of downtown Spokane from the surface lot where I was parked.

 

Back at the RV park, I hung out with Steve and Terri S. for a while, just shooting the breeze and talking to others who wandered by.  I took some pics of my site and then wandered down to the waterfront so you could see how the RV park sits on the water.  It’s a beautiful site, and very close to downtown Coeur d’Alene, so pretty convenient.

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My site, #36
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I’ve got quite a few Open Rangers near me. All people who’ll be going on the tour.
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Waterfront at the RV park. Some people have sites overlooking the beach, as you can see. Mine not so much. But it’s a short walk.
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Looking down where the Spokane river empties into Lake Coeur d’Alene
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My toesies in the water. It’s very clear. And very cold.
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View up the river.

I ended the night doing 2 loads of laundry and working on the blog.  Exciting, I know.  But Tuesday will mark the official kick off of the tour.  Exciting things lay ahead!!!!

2 Replies to “Day Sixteen: T Minus One”

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