After saying our goodbyes, like most of our days we didn't really have a plan, just get as far as we could. It was such a pretty drive with all the fields of canola. We pulled up for fuel at Pincher Creek and a coffee and a bite to eat at Tim Hortons. It sure was a day of goodbyes as we knew Timmy wasn't in America.
Driving along we came across what looked like a landslide and pulled up to read all about it. It looked so recent but it was actually in 1903 that 600 residents of the town of Frank were sound asleep when the landslide occurred. Of the approximately 90 victims of Frank's slide only 18 have been recovered, the rest are still buried under the rocks that killed them. The Indians called the Mountain, Turtle Mountain as they said it was slow moving and never settled near it.
Back in the car and off we go driving out of Alberta and in to British Columbia for a bit before crossing the border in to Idaho.
Leo quickly pulled up at one stage and I said, "What are you doing?"
He says, "This looks like the perfect place to catch a trout".
I don't know how he was going to catch this trout but he stood there looking for quite a while and then eventually as he turned to walk back towards the car a huge fish jumped out of the water. He thought I was pulling his leg but it truly did.
We drove in to a town called Bonners Ferry at about 6pm so found a room at a Motel and Casino on the Kootenai River. We didn't have a go at the Casino as even though it was huge it was just all slot machines. We did get to have delicious trout for dinner though.
After a lovely breakfast overlooking the river we set off leaving Idaho and we were back in to Washington where we pulled up in the small town of Sprague. It was 30 years ago that Leo and his traveling companion, Danny were having a beer in Peggy's Bar when they met Herman who took them home to his ranch and they stayed there for about a week. Leo wanted to show me Peggy's Bar but unfortunately it was no longer, actually most things in the town were closed, what a sad old town. It looked like an empty movie set from an old western movie.
We then went on to the tiny town of Lamont, population 70 it said on the sign as we entered. It was here that we met Henry and his wife Linda. Henry is Herman's nephew and he visited us in Australia in 1988.
We followed Henry and Linda out to the Ranch, Harder's Hangout. We certainly weren't in Canada anymore!
Herman was in town so we sat around the kitchen table and talked to Henry and Linda. Henry knew a lot of the same people we knew so he was keen to catch up on everyone's news. He talked of how he loved his trip to Australia and how he didn't want to leave the Cosgroves as Leo's Mum was such a good cook.
Henry got Linda to dig out his photos from 1988 when he was visiting Australia.
Leo was quick to remind Henry that he told Leo that I was too young for him but I'm thinking that maybe what Henry was trying to say was, "Ditch her, that hair do is NO GOOD!"
Henry then took us for a drive around the property.
Herman came home and he was absolutely blown away that we now lived in China and just couldn't believe it. Every now and again throughout the night he would say, "China.... I just can't believe it."
Of course Herman wanted to know how that Danny Pobar is going and he asked, "Do Australians still listen to Slim Dusty?" and
"Do pubs still have rooms you can rent upstairs?"
I loved listening to Herman's stories of when he visited Australia in 1974, bought a motorbike and worked on various big stations.
Unfortunately Henry and Linda's son, Harry who is 24 and works on the Ranch with them was away on holidays so we didn't get to meet him but Linda's son came over for dinner.
I was chatting away to him and then I thought, OH MY GOD is that a pistol on his hip and tried to just keep talking normal. Then I thought maybe it's a toy....
Then I thought, don't be stupid he is 41 years old he won't be carrying a toy pistol and kept trying to talk normal.
Then I hear Leo blurt out, "Is that a pistol on your hip?"
"It sure is", he says.
"What are you carrying that for?", Leo says.
"Self protection", he says.
I was quick to say, "Well, I'm a really nice person so you don't have to worry about protecting yourself against me".
He then brings in an assault rifle that he had in his car and Henry pulls out a pistol from the linen cupboard and hands it to Leo and says, "Check this out but careful it is loaded".
I said, "So you can do the groceries with a pistol on your hip?"
He said, "Yes, I can go anywhere but in a school or Court House."
That night as Leo gets in to bed he says, "We will have to get up early in the morning and get going by 8 if we are going to catch the plane".
I said, "Don't worry, I'm ready to go now".
Don't get me wrong, they are lovely people but who needs to carry a pistol for self protection especially when they are going to their Mum's house for dinner. I'm thinking Americans might think a little differently to me.
No worries getting up and going this morning. We had a 6 hour drive ahead of us to get to the Seattle Airport.
I just had to have a quick stop to take a photo of these long horns along the way though.
Leo just had to have a quick stop to check this crop.
Then another quick stop to check out the Columbia River which is one of the 7 Wonders of Washington State.
We got the rental car back no worries and had a good flight home. We packed in as much as we could in the two weeks we had been away. The only thing missing from our trip was Clancy, hopefully he will be able to join us on our next adventure.