An evening spent at Rockin’ B Ranch makes our Idaho trip complete (although technically, this stop is in Washington). The Cowboy Supper Show begins with a cheesy satire on the Old West, before a large crowd gathers to enjoy the best fixin’s of a BBQ dinner: ribs, beef, chicken, cornbread and more. The real show begins with Dusty, the crusty cowboy, who takes the lead and emcees the show, saving the best for last when a talented group gathers on stage to perform country favorites accompanied by fiddle, guitar and violin, not to mention bass. This is a fun night out, especially for families.
One last day ahead of us, we take to the road and drive along blankets of fields growing wheat, lentil and garbanzo beans as far as the eye can see. From Coeur d’Alene, Idaho to Pullman, Washington, we stop at Paradise Creek Brewery, originally a wine bar and restaurant in the Old Post Office, where I enjoy my first Hoe’s Daddy Dunkel, a German Dunkelweizen that is dark, yet unintimidating in taste.
Mike Hayton, general manager at Paradise, gets his hops from the west side of Portland, and his Cougar Gold mac ‘n’ cheese dish from Washington State University’s Cougar Gold cheese. But it is Hector’s Revenge that catches my palate. The name is derived from the ghost of the Old Post Office, and is a strong, malty brew aged in a merlot barrel. And then there’s the Postal Porter, a delicious, dark, rich, creamy roast-coffee taste. For the college students, The Dirty Blonde is the most popular, as it’s easy to gulp down several glasses. And the Pullman Water is more like a training beer, very watered down, and great for freshmen. Oh, and everyone gets the chance to brew — every Wednesday is home brew club at Paradise.
On a hot summer’s day, the Paradise Hoe hits the spot and mellows us out for our next visit … on a two-hour walking ghost tour with retired high school history teacher Gary Bush ($18/per person). We meet Gary at 301 Main St. in beautiful downtown Lewiston, Idaho.
During our two-hour tour, we enter town buildings to which Gary has a key, and we head downstairs, deep into the throes of the former underground passageways, and a former jail cell, with scribbles on the walls from former cellmates offering their John Hancock’s and their time set to serve. We walk along buildings that are paired with spooky stories of “working girls” boudoirs and the most talked about murder – and most interestingly, the “blue lady” of the house where Gary’s office is located. Phantom activity continues, but the best way to learn about it is to drop in for a tour.
Our last night is spent at Red Lion Hotel in Spokane, a convenient spot to sleep before catching a plane from Spokane Airport back to Boston, where fond memories of North Idaho and its surrounding areas continue to be shared.
Click here to start at the beginning of the Idaho chronicles.