Okay, so a little backstory is needed. Back in 2007 I met a wonderful woman (Amy) through the ministry that I was involved with. We continued to do ministry on and off together until she recently relocated to Japan for her husbands’ job. We have been able to stay in touch through Facebook and Instagram. I knew she was from Idaho, so before we set out to explore this state, I contacted her to get some tips on must see areas and things to do. In one of the conversations, she stated that her in-laws owned a little motel/cabins business that has some RV spots. It is in the middle of the state in a sleepy little logging town. That is just what we like!
I contacted Colleen at The Outback and explained who I was and what we’re doing. She was gracious and said to contact her when we were ready to come out there. Because of our Stanley dilemma, we were now ahead of schedule by 1 week. I felt bad putting her on the spot, but called to see if we could come earlier. As she is waiting for her husband to get out of surgery, she says sure, no problem! They should hopefully be there before we arrive the next day. She then proceeds to inform me that my friend Amy’s parents and oldest daughter will also be there the same time as us. How cool is that?
After we have arrived and parked, Colleen came to greet us and invite us to dinner with their family. We didn’t want to intrude on family time, but they were soo genuine and nice, they made us feel right at home. We got to meet everyone (even Harv who had ankle surgery the day before) and learn more about their family and the area of Idaho that we were in. They invited us to a parade the next day, cowboy church, and the rodeo on Sunday. We were looking forward to really getting to experience small town America!
After dinner, we came back to the RV to find a leak in the toilet area (clean water line thankfully!) with some water damage. Gannon spent the next morning going to the hardware store and fixing our leak. We missed the parade, but that afternoon we took a drive around a scenic loop of the North Fork of the Clearwater River. It was soo beautiful. We found a spot to pull over and let Jack play in the river for a bit.
Sunday morning, we attended Cowboy Church in the neighboring town of Weippe. It is the area where Lewis and Clark ran into issues on their expedition and were only able to continue and be successful with the help of the Nez Perce tribe. We had some worship (which I knew most of the words to) and a great message from pastor Jaime. Afterwards, they served hot dogs and nachos. There was a rodeo in town and we really wanted to go, but was not sure about being exposed to that many people from all over the US. Plus, we had to do laundry and grocery shop before we headed out for 4-5 days of boondocking.
Harv, Colleen, Dave, Kathi, Hannah, and Sarah could not have been any more welcoming than they were to us! We understand now, why God had us change our plans to be there when we did. We have new friends for life and Gannon has some good new books to read thanks to Dave (Amy’s dad).