Kevin Standlee (kevin_standlee) wrote,
Kevin Standlee

Lewiston to Ontario: Smoke Over Idaho

We slept in an hour this morning in Lewiston. After showering, I popped down to the breakfast room and brought a tray back for Lisa and then for myself, the better to make use of the wonderful suite we got last night. But we had a significant portion of the length of Idaho to traverse today, so we got moved out and on the road just after 11 AM.

Lewiston Smothers in Smoke

The Holiday Inn Express Lewiston is high above the city, and just before we left, I snapped this photo of the smoke covering the valley in which the city sits. You can just barely see the mountains across the valley, which we had descended last night.

Lisa did the driving, both because she's better driving when towing and because she was more alert than I was most of the day. Because of the tow, we simply can't go as fast as when we were coming the other way. The fatigue was no fun at all. At one point, we seriously considering ending the day early at McCall ID and spending another extra day on the road; however, this would have meant we would have had to be up extra early at Winnemucca, get home, unload, and immediately drive to Reno to return the rental trailer. As it currently stands, we can get home on Friday and unload at our leisure, as the trailer is not due back to Reno (at the U-Haul dealer near the Atlantis; those who attended Renovation may have noticed it between there and the Peppermill) on Saturday by 3 PM.

Smoke Over Riggins

At Riggins on US-95, we stopped for lunch. There was somewhat less smoke here, but it was still in the air.

Load Check

We checked the load in the trailer. Everything was secure, and nothing had shifted in transit. We continued on, deciding to make up our mind when we got to New Meadows, the junction of US-95 and ID-55. By the time we got there, we were both feeling somewhat more alert, and decided to continue on to Ontario as planned.

Shortly after leaving New Meadows, we were tooling down US-95 when Lisa briefly glanced down to pick up the smoothie she'd got back in town. I called out, "Lisa! There's deer on the road ahead!" Sure enough, a family of deer (two adults, two fawns) were crossing slowly ahead of us. Lisa braked as hard as she dared with the unbraked trailer behind us and laid on the horn. The deer expedited their departure. It all happened too fast for me to get a picture.

Deer aside, US-95 isn't as interesting a drive as ID-55 is, but it's probably faster, partially offsetting the fact that we can't drive as fast. My minivan has a 4-speed automatic transmission and a 5000-pound towing capacity, and that trailer is nowhere near its capacity, but it's very unhappy towing the trailer through the hills. Lisa had to keep it out of overdrive most of the day; otherwise, it would "hunt" badly.

At Weiser ID, we stumbled upon a Bi-Mart store. Lisa still has her family's Bi-Mart card, even though the nearest store to us is in Oregon. There's somewhat less of an incentive to shop there because Idaho does have sales tax, but we needed to use the restroom anyway, so we picked up a few items we could use.

Because of the time-zone change (Lewiston and northern Idaho is in PDT; parts of southeastern Oregon and southern Idaho are in MDT), we got in moderately late to Ontario. They upgraded us to a hot tub suite (a better one than on the outbound trip through Lewiston, as the tub is in a separate room instead of being part of the "bedroom" area of the suite), we ordered pizza, I got the Giants game running on the computer, and we collapsed around the room. Fortunately, the hour we lost getting here we'll reclaim when we cross back into Nevada tomorrow afternoon after lunch.

The smoke has mostly cleared around us here in Ontario. Here's hoping for an uneventful penultimate day of our Worldcon journey.
Tags: hotels, lisa, sasquan, travel, wildfires

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