Day in Liberty Lake

We got all our revised travel plans sorted out yesterday, except that the hotel here in Liberty Lake was booked solid for tonight. This morning they had a cancellation, so we are able to keep our room for another day. That means we’ll move on to Prosser tomorrow, the first of a string of easy drives on our new and shorter route.

That gives us today for shopping and exploring in the Spokane area. Naturally, we began with the morning walk. The front desk guy told us a nice walking/cycling path runs right by the hotel, and if we turn left, it would take us down to the river for yet another dreary river walk. Actually, it’s amazing how different each one is. This one has a paved path about ten feet wide, smooth enough for roller-blading. It runs along the river, but trees and shrubs allow for only a partial view of the water most of the time. Cyclists seemed to outnumber all other users combined. There were a few joggers and a few walkers, but no skaters of any kind. According to the sign, there might also be horses, but we didn’t encounter any. As for the cyclists, they varied from the serious spandex types on racing bicycles to a guy with a banana bike straight out of the sixties. With an actual Esso tiger-tail attached, no less.

There is, I suspect, a kind of unwritten hierarchy of fitness people, with the racing cyclists and runners at the top, and then the moderately serious cyclists and joggers, then on down through the power-walkers to the casual cyclists and lowly dog-walkers.  With my free weights and dorky sweatband, I believe I fall firmly into the power walker group, along with those oddballs people who walk with ski-poles. A water bottle is the minimum requirement to be identified as one of this group, and will usually earn you nods from the higher grades. Serious runners rarely speak, even to each other; they are ‘in the zone’ perhaps, or maybe just out of breath. Most others will say hi and I was startled this morning, when I was in the middle of a set of high/low lifts when one walker said ‘wow’. In the months since I took it up, I’ve only seen one other weight-walker, and that was on a beach in Mexico. There was a book once, called Heavy Hands, that promoted it, but it went out of fashion with leg-warmers and roller disco. So maybe it was that kind of wow, like for the banana-bike guy. Maybe she thought she’d walked into a time-warp! 

Our goals for today were to get Caroline’s hair washed and straightened, do a little clothes shopping, pick up some fresh groceries and try to find Liberty Lake. We’ve been here three or four times, and we’ve never actually seen the lake the town is named after. 

Rather than our usual picnic lunch, we treated ourselves to lunch at Hay J’s. Our real motivation was to drop by and see if we could make dinner reservations for tonight. Success. Also, lunch was good. Caroline gorged herself on the veggie sandwich and I had the salmon entree. 

While she was in a hair salon, getting her hair done for just ten bucks (it takes an hour – that’s way too cheap!) I went to a sporting goods store and poked around. I didn’t buy anything; I was thinking about some new golf clubs, but this early in the summer, they aren’t on sale yet. We did find a couple of tops for Caroline, and a new pair of shorts to replace the ones that are now too loose. 

After shopping, we went to see the lake. It was kind of disappointing. Most of the lakeshore is taken up with private homes and there is just a tiny boat launch to provide public access. Even the campground is located in an overgrown bay a long way from the open water.


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