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Getting There - Aneel's Travelogue

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Dam to Lake Coeur d'Alene, ID, Wednesday, 24 August 2011 5:36am

The Grand Coulee Dam is quite impressive, but I think my perspective is a bit skewed. As I walked through the generator viewing rooms, the thought that kept popping into my head was: "Hey, this looks a lot like a Portal 2 level...". The laser light show projected on the dam actually does a surprisingly good job of telling about the history and purpose of the dam (intercut with goofy 80s music, random geometric shapes, and 300 foot high bald eagle illustrations—the guide promised us that funding has been allocated to make a new light show next year), so a lot of the information on the tour and in the visitor's center was repetition.

It's really impressive to see the huge structures up close. A few days ago, I was appreciating the thrum that my bike makes when you start it and let it idle in neutral while you're standing next to it. You can feel it rumbling through the concrete several feet away. That, of course, is nothing compared to the rumbling from standing next to an 805 megawatt turbine spinning.

I stopped in Spokane to buy a new pair of summer motorcycle gloves. The pair I had with me got soaked in a protein shake explosion (don't carry non-screwtop sports bottles in a motorcycle trunk, trust me), and one of the gloves shrank considerably. I was hoping that wearing it would get it to loosen up again, but that doesn't seem to be working. The shop gave me my first AMA (American Motorcyclist Association, not Medical) discount. Besides that quick stop, I skirted the city and pushed on into Idaho.

I think this is the first time my motorcycle has been in a non-Pacific state or province. Idaho so far turns out to be scenic and fun. Coeur d'Alene is a cute little city with lots of boutiques and eateries along the main strip. I'm staying in one of the nicest motel rooms I've ever been in, I had a delicious dinner, and I went kayaking at sunset on the lake, all within 8 blocks.

I like sit-in single-person kayaks. I think I'd only ever kayaked on sit-on two-person kayaks before, and this one was much more nimble and easier to control. Definitely something to do again. I was tempted to take another kayak tour with the same company, but they're fully booked for tomorrow.

130mi in 5:38

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