Well, we took our first family vacation. (this article is still in progress)
The funds were limited and life was just not giving us much of a chance to set money aside for the trip. Every time we would make some progress, life would toss another hurdle. Â Ultimately we just bit the bullet and boogied out of town.
After an eight hour trek we met Gigglez’ mom in Colville for lunch, she would take care of our cocker spaniel while we were in Idaho.
It was still two hours to my Mom’s in Sandpoint Idaho, but it was a wonderful drive on a gorgeous late afternoon. Â The family had never been to my mother’s so there were some “are we there yet”s and “how much longer”s. We did roll through Gigglez’ home town, so it was a nice diversion from the drive time as we heard about various events from Gigglez’ youth.
It was the first time I had been to mom’s place in around ten years. There have been significant changes to the entire town. It was amazing to see the business that has moved in (and out) of that little town.
It was really good to see mom, often I only get to see her at our annual family picnic (reunion). She was just pressed into retirement due to health issues, which was another reason that this vacation went to Northern Idaho. My younger sister is very concerned that mom needs to come off of the mountain and move back to Vancouver.
Tuesday morning we jumped back into the Tahoe and headed south to Athol Idaho, the home of Silverwood. If you are like most, you have never heard of Athol, nor Silverwood. You are not missing much but not knowing about Athol, it is a typical small town of about 600 people. Silverwood is another story, it is a theme park. The owner had found out about a roller coaster that was about to be scrapped from a major theme park in California. He was able to acquire the coaster and move it to his home in Athol and reassemble it. He had also gotten a few carnival rides and opened his park to the public. Over time he has built that park up and it has four roller coasters, two wooden, and two metal and expanded with a water park. Silverwood will get it’s own subpage off of this one. Wednesday we went back to Silverwood for a day in the water park. Oh our white bodies were not ready for that kind of sun and fun… All in all, we had a blast and closed the park out for the second day.
Thursday we scooped up my mother and took her on a geocaching trip. We had to run into town and hijack a a wireless connection to get the locations for our stops. I had a goal to add Idaho and Montana to my map of caches hit. So with all five of us on the move, we worked our way to Montana and mom really enjoyed the geocaching. At one of our stops, the cache owner approached us and let us know about another travelbug that we were missing out on. their TRUCK has a big travelbug sticker/magnet on it. I thought I was going to hurt myself laughing at that. I did have to grab a couple pictures to prove it to my fellow cachers. We returned to the homestead and I tried to recreate a dinner that mom used to make as a kid. We learned some things in that process but I doubt if I will make that again, but mom and I enjoyed the making of dinner together again.
Friday morning, time to head out and go rescue our puppy (okay he is almost ten) from his sitter. We got a call from the sitter, Freckles had escaped on Wednesday! We left Idaho in more of a hurry that we had intended. It was another beautiful morning but all of our minds were pretty preoccupied. (There will be another sub-page about pets soon) We arrived in Kettle Falls after a little over two hours of mental torture as the best and the worst rolled around our heads. On Wednesday the sitter had business to attend to and Â rather than put Freckles in his kennel, she left him inside with her dogs. The only problem was that she had a dog door and he simply wandered off. Wednesday night he ended up at a home up the road that does animal rescues. They fed, watered, and brushed him. The next morning, they let him out to do his business and play with a dog that he seemed to have bonded with. A few minutes later, he was gone again. Went spent the rest of the day going up the access roads calling for Freckles. The residents along the road have not seen him and say that they do have a cougar on the hill. Gigglez and I are all too aware that in that area, many pets do not come home if they wander off of their property. We, reluctantly left the mountain without our beloved dog. Needless to say, the Griz clan is devastated. Â The sitter, is trying really hard to give us a year old female basset hound to make up for our loss, which is a kind gesture. We want a male, light colored cocker spaniel. I do not think the cubs care what the dog’s breed is, they just want to fill the gaping whole in their hearts. Gigglez and I really want the cocker spaniel as it is a breed that does not cause problems with Gigglez’ allergies.
We returned home with a longest drive that we have ever shared. Â I am glad that we still had a few days of our vacation left to allow for us to grieve before resuming the work week. Those of you who are not pet owner, will not understand and that is a double edged sword…