Day 5 – Aliens and Other Things that go Bump in the Night

Day 5 was spent traveling from Minnesota, through Idaho, and into Washington state. What should have only taken 4 hours of driving, turned into an 11-hour adventure!

To start everything off, as soon as I was ready to leave, a storm broke out. Internet was already spotty in Ronan, but now I was also faced with not having my GPS. Fortunately it is my default to always have a plan B, C and D! So I pulled out my road atlas and tried to identify the route that I would need for the day. Of course, this should be the one day I had planned to really go off the beaten path.

Not too long into the journey, the weather broke and clear skies were on the agenda for the rest of the day. Also on the agenda, were several meetings. Since internet continued to be a challenge, many of my meetings took place parked along the side of the highway when it was getting close to time to log in again, and I was able to find service.

I am thankful that I had scheduled comparatively few miles for the day, because I ended up driving around a city in Idaho that took my breath away. I was so taken by the views from the highway that I turned around to try to get some pictures. In doing so, I found a scenic byway around the lake!

The city was Coeur d’Alene. Coeur d’Alene means “heart of the awl”, so named because they were known to be sharp traders.

After spending more than 2 hours exploring this beautiful place, and noting several institutions of higher education and that my Indiana nursing license was recognized in Idaho meaning should have no trouble getting a job there, I set back on track toward my evening accommodations in Elk, Washington.

My host’s instructions were to text as I was getting close. I then met them at the entrance to their driveway, and from there I followed them up to where I would spend the night between the lavender and honey bees.

Rick and Paua left me to get settled in while they ate dinner, and said that they would be back up at 7:00 p.m. to distill some lavender oil if I was interested in watching. Was I interested? Of COURSE I was interested!

The rest of the evening I did a little shopping, learned how to distill lavender oil and clean the buds, and exchanged stories with my hosts. Eventually it was time to turn in and I set about my new found evening routine.

Not long after shutting everything down, the interior lights of the van suddenly turned on. They stayed on about 15 seconds, and then they shut off. I was in the field by myself, the doors of the van were locked, and the keys were across the way from me hanging on the wall. Just prior to the lights coming on, I had heard some rustling outside of the van. I just assumed that it was a deer or some other creature wondering who was in their space. Given this bizarre twist of the lights coming on, I decided I should take a quick walk around the outside of the vehicle. Doing so confirmed that I was by myself, so I decided I would just go back to bed and try not to think about it. Once I fell asleep, I ended up staying asleep until morning. That night was the first night in not days, weeks, or even months, but YEARS, that I have slept without waking at some point in the middle of the night.


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