We got up ridiculously early, because we had a mission. And that mission was to be to Seattle (our next destination) as early as possible (preferably by 4:00pm) – we had a boat to catch! SO, we started out our morning SUPER early.
I had high hopes (for some reason) that crossing over the border into Idaho would put us back on the map in terms of cell service. It didn’t. And in a lot of ways, it wasn’t really much different than Montana. I DID notice, though, that after spending what seemed like an eternity in Montana, Idaho seemed to fly by. Being a little further north in Idaho, we were in the narrower part, so that made it go even faster.
Wanting to get a little more exercise in than the day before, we decided to stop in Wallace, Idaho, and hike the Pulaski Tunnel Trail. Not going to lie, when I read about it, I thought we would actually be hiking IN the tunnel, which was largely the pull to this particular trail (tunnels kind of have the same appeal as bridges to me). We did not do any hiking IN the tunnel, but rather hiked to VIEW the tunnel. Also in my reading, I read that there was an 800 ft increase in elevation on the trail. Now, I have done a significant amount of hiking in the state parks in Minnesota, and while I always have my Fitbit on and am always curious to see how many “flights of stairs” my hikes register, I have never really known what my actual increase in elevation is. I imagine it could be found with a little research but I’ve just never done it. So 800 ft is kind of an arbitrary number for me. I wasn’t sure if it was a lot or not. The fact that it was notated in multiple places though, made me think maybe it was more than I believed it was. For the record: 800 feet is not that much. Is it a workout? Yes. Did it make me sweat a little? Yes. Did I have to stop and take a couple of minute long breaks along the way? Yes. Could I have done something more difficult? Definitely yes. I never doubted whether or not I could finish the hike. So if you’re one of those that also struggles a little with whether or not 800 ft is a lot, rest assured that if you find yourself in this direction, this trail is definitely doable.
The Pulaski Tunnel Trail is a 2 mile in and out trail (4 miles round trip) and it follows a little creek and wanders its way between two large hillsides covered in trees. The ending of the trail overlooks the Pulaski Tunnel. This was kind of a unique trail in that there is actually some history tied to it regarding fires in 1910 and Ed Pulaski who rescued 39 firefighters from the wildfires by taking shelter in the tunnel. You can learn more about the history behind the trail here. It was really a peaceful hike with the sound of the water trickling down the side of the hill. Indy was able to walk into the stream and cool his paws off and get a drink of water and we all got some good exercise and fresh air after our long drive the previous day. I would definitely recommend hiking this trail if you’re in the area because it’s kind of the perfect length (in my mind) and gives you decent workout while still being quite peaceful.
I want to talk about Wallace, Idaho a little bit before we move on to the next part of the saga. Wallace is a cute little valley town if I’ve ever seen one. It’s right off the interstate (in fact, the interstate goes right over part of the town) and as you drive down the main street, which is lined with cute little shops, it looks like you are driving straight into the side of a huge hill (I don’t think it’s mountain?). Because you kind of are. It’s just a small town, almost in a valley of sorts and surrounded by tree-covered hills and almost all sides, with cute shops. And cute homes. We didn’t stop at any of the shops because it was Sunday and they were closed. And we didn’t really have time. But to get to the Pulaski Tunnel Trail, we did have to drive through some of the residential areas and there was even a little canal that ran alongside the road we were on. Right through town. Such a unique little place.
After our hike, and before we got back on the interstate, I had my driver pull over so I could take a picture down the main street of this little town. While taking pictures, we had our first (and only) run in with the police. The policeman pulled up behind us and I was certain I was going to get lectured on the fact that I was standing in the middle of the street trying to take pictures (I WAS watching for cars and my husband was helping me watch for them, plus it was just a sleepy, small town so there wasn’t much traffic). Turns out, the Wallace jail was just to the right of where we had stopped (I had no idea) and he had to make sure that I wasn’t taking pictures of the jail in an attempt to plan a jail break. Apparently that has happened before? He said he knew when he saw our Minnesota license plates that he realized that wasn’t what we were doing but decided to stop and chat anyway. He let me finish taking my pictures and then we continued on our way.
Immediately after leaving, I took advantage of the five minutes of cell phone reception we had and started looking up real estate in Wallace, Idaho and texted my boss and told him that I was probably moving. I’m still not ruling out the possibility.
So, random other observations of Idaho, in general?
- Also less trees than I was anticipating. Once again, I was expecting heavily forested areas, but there wasn’t really much of that.
- Less farms than expected. I don’t feel like I saw any. Isn’t Idaho supposed to have boatloads of potatoes? Then again, I feel like we spent so little time there that maybe I just didn’t notice them.
- Real estate in Wallace. Fairly Reasonable.