Would love Road trip adviceóWA/ID/MT I90

Old Aug 24th, 2020, 12:07 PM
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Would love Road trip adviceóWA/ID/MT I90

As it says on tin.

I need to get to Rigby, ID this weekend. Yes, I know, itís a pandemic. This is necessary travel that I canít avoid. Amtrak is outógoes nowhere near. Flying is outóstressful and inconvenient. So itís driving. My back has been bugging me, so I will either need to stop frequently to stretch or break the drive up into 3-4 hr days.

Given the pandemic circumstances would you:
camp or stay in a budget hotel? Plan ahead or just stop when tired?

Any recommendations for better than average cheap lodging?

Recommendations for lake or river swimming, maybe? I donít think I want to swim in a hotel pool, but swimming really, really helps my back. Itís not a deal breaker if I canít do itóit would just be nice.

thanks!
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Old Aug 24th, 2020, 12:12 PM
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Ugh. Mods, would you please move this to the US board? I have no idea how I managed to post it in Europe! Sorry!
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Old Aug 24th, 2020, 12:24 PM
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Moved and tagged
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Old Aug 25th, 2020, 05:39 AM
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Leaving from Bellingham, right? How long do you have and how long will you be in Idaho?
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Old Aug 25th, 2020, 08:49 AM
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Yes, Bellingham. Idaho for two days.

Iím flexible on time, so a week-ish. Iíd rather enjoy the drive, and not end up in awful pain.
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Old Aug 25th, 2020, 05:38 PM
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I wouldn't worry about finding hotels to stay in right now--pretty open. Don't worry about swimming in the pool--unless its crowded, then worry. You could look up county/city pools in each town you stay in to see how they work. The pools around me are requiring reservations--BUT--you can show up to be on stand by and take a lap lane reservation. I have been swimming since May--in a lap swim only type pool situation. It's really safe and controlled. Are there other exercises you can do for your back if you can't get into a pool? The issue with ponds/reservoirs right now is the algae blooms. Tuns out they cut the monitoring program in our state so you don't always know which places have it and which don't!! I have been swimming in 2 reservoirs that are up higher in the mountains so cooler and no algae. But look out for that.
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Old Aug 25th, 2020, 06:04 PM
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I actually didnít think of algae blooms, thanks!

I did do a little community swimming this summerólap swim by reservation. And yes, there are exercises I can, and do do, but I originally went to PT for knee pain. Weight bearing aggravates it, driving aggravates it, getting down on the ground for yoga aggravates it... Then the back thing started and that took precedence. Itís been a frustrating summeró pretty much the only time I could do a good work out was in the water. Unless you count the apartment stairs that I drag myself up, and I do not.

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Old Aug 26th, 2020, 06:21 AM
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It is true that Amtrak goes nowhere near Rigby ID. The only way to get there using public transit would be to take the Coast Starlight from Seattle to Sacramento. It arrives in SAC at 6:15AM (sometimes early).
You have a 4-5 hour layover in Sacramento which gives you time for a great breakfast at the Fox & Goose south of the state capitol.
The California Zephyr leaves SAC at 11:15AM and is in SLC at 3:05AM MT the next morning. There are 5 buses per day from Salt Lake City that stop in Rigby run by saltlakeexpress. The first bus of the day leaves at 9:45 and takes 5 hours to get to Rigby. The only time I ever visited Rigby I went through the small museum whose main topic was a Mr. Farnsworth's invention of television when he was still in high school.
There is a 24 hour Denny's in SLC that I have eaten at. If you wanted to drive from SLC you could rent a car at the airport and be in Rigby in about 3.5 hours.
The "other" route not going through Montana is through Hermiston OR and Mountain Home ID using I-84. The difference in time driving and miles is negligible. Hermiston would be a logical overnight stop if you were going to make a 3 day trip of a 14 hour drive. I do not advise spending a night in Boise.

Last edited by tomfuller; Aug 26th, 2020 at 07:02 AM. Reason: added driving tip
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Old Aug 26th, 2020, 08:42 AM
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Tomfuller, I am truly amazed that you came up with a way to get there via transit. I donít think itís practical, but you are my hero🤣
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Old Aug 26th, 2020, 08:47 AM
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I would want to have reservations made myself (and/or pin down the best options from home). Plan out the timing in advance of how much you want to drive each day, then do some research on the lodging options in your price range. Just because places have rooms open, doesn't mean you'd stumble upon the best option looking as you drive by -lol! I say spend some computer time and find out your options in advance.

For water I'd check everything... lakes, swimming holes, hotel pools if open, even a room with a decent bathtub to soak. Again my opinion is you have too many small but special requirements that will make the trip a LOT better if you can meet them (short drive days, water/swimming, a decent place to sleep) so a bit of planning would help immensely. Good luck!!

ps - No no camping with a bad back. That will just slow you down and I don't see any benefit in this situation, unless we're talking a nice cabin by a river!!


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Old Aug 26th, 2020, 08:48 AM
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Originally Posted by marvelousmouse View Post
Yes, Bellingham. Idaho for two days.

Iím flexible on time, so a week-ish. Iíd rather enjoy the drive, and not end up in awful pain.
I'd plan a night in Missoula and then pick up I-15 in Butte and head south. I'd probably just drive from Bellingham to Missoula stay a night or two and then do the drive from Missoula to Rigby. The new Marriott in downtown Missoula is very nice. We've stayed there several times and have stayed twice since Covid started. They're doing a good job keeping everything clean.
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Old Aug 26th, 2020, 09:22 AM
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Thanks! Iíll check out the Marriott.

I know, I know, Suze. But camping is so cheap, and I miss it😢
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Old Aug 26th, 2020, 11:17 AM
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Well given it's this weekend, I'd probably take a fairly scenic route and cross the North Cascades and spend the first night around Winthrop, or if you're making good time and your back's okay, maybe push on to Coeur d'Alene. One more stop in Missoula (or Helena, which is a lovely town worth visiting) and then down to Rigby. Map

I'd consider returning via the Columbia Gorge, with a night in Hood River.

Last edited by Gardyloo; Aug 26th, 2020 at 11:23 AM.
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Old Aug 26th, 2020, 11:33 AM
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Originally Posted by Gardyloo View Post
Well given it's this weekend, I'd probably take a fairly scenic route and cross the North Cascades and spend the first night around Winthrop, or if you're making good time and your back's okay, maybe push on to Coeur d'Alene. One more stop in Missoula (or Helena, which is a lovely town worth visiting) and then down to Rigby. Map

I'd consider returning via the Columbia Gorge, with a night in Hood River.
I actually really like that idea, gardyloo. Definitely something to consider.
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Old Aug 26th, 2020, 03:37 PM
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Camping with a bad back is entirely possible. Gear is the deciding factor. There are some amazing sleeping pads and pillows that make all the difference.
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Old Aug 26th, 2020, 05:22 PM
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Originally Posted by mms View Post
Camping with a bad back is entirely possible. Gear is the deciding factor. There are some amazing sleeping pads and pillows that make all the difference.
do you have any recommendations for that, mms? Even if I donít camp this time around, my pad needs to be replaced.

Though the back is less of a problem than my knee, when it comes to camping. Itís getting up off the ground that is the real struggle!
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Old Aug 26th, 2020, 06:11 PM
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mm--I love my REI Stratus pad. It blows up very quickly, is insulated, and the edges are a bit higher so you don't roll off. I am a side sleeper and this offers a really good cushion for the hips. You could couple that with the Z lite Thermarest for extra cushion if you want. We couple those for snow camping in the winter as it keeps the heat in better. I definitely get it about the knees. After my 3 knee surgeries, I have a very hard time being on my knees at all, and so do the roll over thing to get up. These pads are super comfy and I can pack up my bag etc while being on my knees on either of these pads. What pad do you currently have? If it is something like the old Thermarests, you can pair that with the Stratus for extra comfort.
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Old Aug 26th, 2020, 07:02 PM
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Originally Posted by mms View Post
mm--I love my REI Stratus pad. It blows up very quickly, is insulated, and the edges are a bit higher so you don't roll off. I am a side sleeper and this offers a really good cushion for the hips. You could couple that with the Z lite Thermarest for extra cushion if you want. We couple those for snow camping in the winter as it keeps the heat in better. I definitely get it about the knees. After my 3 knee surgeries, I have a very hard time being on my knees at all, and so do the roll over thing to get up. These pads are super comfy and I can pack up my bag etc while being on my knees on either of these pads. What pad do you currently have? If it is something like the old Thermarests, you can pair that with the Stratus for extra comfort.

I think it was something like an xl REI camp bed (I canít find the exact one on website any more.) I loved it, itís just seen better days. I was looking at an exped megamat but before the pandemic and back issues, I was debating on replacing my tent. Now Iím just feeling cheap and in pain. And Iím annoyed at myself, because I think I might have enjoyed summer more if Iíd gotten the camping stuff in shape. Stupid 2020.

layering is a good idea. I think I might have an old thermarest in storage, going to check that out.
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Old Aug 27th, 2020, 05:44 AM
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mm--Those old thermarests are great! We still have some that are 20+ years old and we still use them on occasion. REI has a big sale starting tomorrow, so that might be a good time to replace your tent Sorry, I am a really bad influence, haha! You still have all of September to get out
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Old Sep 4th, 2020, 05:44 PM
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Trip turned out great, folks! I stayed in Spokane Valley, Helena, Gardiner, Ennis, and Spokane. Drove through Yellowstone which has been on my bucket list for a long timeódidnít really plan on it, but Montana is so gorgeous that I was enjoying the drive.

MT hotels had pools open by appointmentóI signed up at the front desk, and had each pool to myself for an hour. It made a huge difference with my back, though unfortunately, Ennis hotel had no pool.

Montana is less reliable than both WA and Idaho in mask wearing. If someone is considering a similar trip, you might want to plan around food delivery and chain Hotels. The Chain hotels were the only places that seemed to actually put effort into enforcing the mask mandate. I didnít stay anywhere that I felt unsafe, or that was unclean, but there were definitely a few incidences of ďno, thanks, Iíd really prefer to wear my mask and take my food to goĒ.

yellowstone was great, in terms of masks and hygiene. I walked a lot, whenever I got out at an uncrowned spot. The only place I didnít care to linger was the old faithful complexóI bought a water and huckleberry ice cream bar and skedaddled. Too many people. The visitor centers were closed, of course but I was still surprised by how much was openóIíd thought the tourism rep in gardiner had said the gift shops were closed, but that wasnít the case.







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