“Let go those things holding you to the mundane for without them only then can you truly soar!” - Anon
Why is it every novelty shop, gift shop or pharmacy store has quotes such as this posted up on wood, canvas, metal, paper and yes I even saw a rubber stamp. In East Wenatchee Washington where we used to live there was a Hobby Lobby with an entire section devoted to these inspirational(?) quotes. They were so pervasive as to begin spreading into other sections like some sort of blight. Our last stop, Leavenworth, had at least 4 shops seemingly devoted to every manner of display – I even saw toilet paper printed with them (come to think of it, perhaps the best use yet.)
Why is it only the redneck shops or the country style gas stations have the really accurate and useful quotes? Such valuable advise as “No finger pulling allowed.” “Please keep your horse outside.” “Cuss all you want but absolutely no spitting.” I saw one several years ago in Wisconsin, “Here cutting the cheese is an avocation.” Yep, I too looked up avocation in the dictionary.
Why all these questions? It all boils down to where we have been lately. Our first stop, Republic Washington is a prime example. This is a definite western mining town tracing its roots back to the late 1800's. The main street consists of small stores and shops, most in the original buildings. The people are friendly, outgoing and the ones we met were willing to help at the drop of a hat. What is missing, and we did check, was the novelty shops, gift shops and otherwise with those silly quote signs. In fact, there was a complete lack of the “tourist candy” opting instead of presenting an honest small town. Our first look convinced us the Lake Curlew/Republic area is a place we wanted to stay a while and explore.
We pulled in to what has to be the most immaculate RV Park we've ever been in.
With the good comes the bad – sort of. No cell service. We had to go into town (about 4 miles) to the Republic Brewery to actually get cell service so we took advantage of a tasting flight of their award winning concoctions. My favorite? A homemade non alcoholic ginger ale, followed by a root beer that actually included the roots and spices! It was also the place we spotted a truly useful display:
Another award winner in the area is the Scott Brothers Coffee. Odd having a coffee roaster in north central Washington but there you have it and their brew is oh so good. In the process we got the full history and a thumbnail lesson in the art of roasting to bring out the best in the beans.
We reluctantly left Winchester RV continuing our trip to the east via Bayview Idaho (a Navy base in the Idaho panhandle ?) and set down in Ronan Montana. This really small town on the way from Missoula to Kallispell was our central location for checking off two bucket list items; the National Bison Range and the Miracle of America Museum. I believe the pictures will say it best:
|The gate guard.|
|We shall not pass until he is good and ready to let us pass.|
Probably the most oddly arranged and a real eclectic collection of stuff resides at the Miracle of America Museum in Polson Montana. I've left out the gun collections, various shops and trades, the area 51 exhibit and the aircraft. Check them out on the Internet, then GO THERE. You won't be disappointed.
|FMCA coach number 7490|