Travelling east along the 2, over Stevens Pass at 4067 ft, we stopped at a rest area where they were advertising 'Free Coffee'. We Talked to the volunteers who were manning the booth about their wonderful Town of Leavenworth, that had reinvented itself when the logging industry had moved out, and decided that they would go Bavarian.
Was a bit Disney but it had certainly kept their town on the map.
We then travelled North on the 97 stopping for lunch at the Lincoln Rock State Park and onto Okanogan where a lot of fruit is grown in the valley of the mighty Columbia river. Turning east onto the 155 and then onto back roads across the Colville Indian Reservation we ended back at one of my favourite camping spots on the banks of the Twin Lakes. It is so quiet here that you can really feel apart of what is around you. Tea'd and porridged we crossed the Gifford Ferry and followed more back roads to Bluecreek and Usk, before joining the 20 and then the 2 when we entered the state of Idaho. The far north of Idaho is very narrow and before we could fill up with petrol we were past Sandpoint and onto the 200 entering Montana. Joining the 56 we travelled north and stopped at a Forest Service camp ground by Bull lake. The weather over the last couple of days had been sunshine and showers but it wasn't cold and the showers weren't lasting very long.
Wondering how long Jill would sleep if I didn't wake her, we didn't rise until 0900 to very grey skies and the chance that any minute it would start to rain. We both thought it would be better to just get on the road, so me in a grumpy mood and getting grumpier, we rushed around packing up while I muttered to myself about what was the point of travel if all you saw was the inside of your eye lids! We arrived in Libby 'the city of eagles'
and had breakfast at the 'Last straw café' (some might say aptly named). We started talking to an older couple on the next table who had retired here after he had worked for Boeing in Seattle. Not being that fit any more and unable to go hunting, from his porch he shot game that wondered into his garden. They were very interested in our travels and without a word paid our breakfast bill, a great kindness.
Refreshed in body if not in mind, we carried along the 37 to Eureka and south east on the 93 to Whitefish, which looked a nice theme town and onto Columbia falls and the Glacier Inn Motel were we stayed for the next 3 night to try and sort ourselves out. By this point Jill had hit the bottle!
I knew that travelling wasn't going to be all roses, just seeing wonderful places and not having to go to work for a while. I had told friends before we left that I was sure it was going to be a spiritual journey and much as a physical one, but I thought that the spiritual journey would take the shape of great insights and moments of bliss. For me however, it has taken the shape of being overwhelmed with anger, a life long anger that I have done very well to hide for so many years and Jill has been the recipient of this. The more Jill withdraws the more angry I get which makes her withdraw even further and so the spiral carries on. Over the last couple of days we have given ourselves time to really try and understand our dynamic and things at the moment are back to our enjoying each others company, and getting more out of what we are seeing around us. Recognition of the problem helps sort the symptom so hopefully we are both on the path to relationship recovery.