After our day's ride, we could not find our hotel fast enough. Thankfully it was one of the bigger buildings in the city. The Davenport is one of those old historic hoity toity places that, as a biker, you might be hesitant to check into. I had heard of the place and had the strong recommendation of a friend (not to mention it's the #5 hotel in the world according to Expedia), so that's where we flopped. It turned out that the staff couldn't have been more accommodating for a pair of bedraggled scooter nuts fresh off the highway. Due to a small mix-up in the reservation, we ended up staying at the ultra-modern Davenport Tower across the street, but in both locations we were allowed to park right in the carport where the valets could keep an eye on our bikes. Despite the early evening hour, we were ready to crash into bed right then and there, but just two doors down at the Knitting Factory, Candlebox was playing, so we dragged our asses out for a good time.
New Yorkers and (Los) Angelinos might find the name "Knitting Factory" familiar as a concert venue, and actually Spokane's is owned by the same folks in an attempt to bring bigger acts to "second tier" cities. The place itself is huge with a good sound system, and good viewing from a multi-level balcony and floor. Mysteriously, the Candlebox show was not promoted in conjunction with the rally, but a few savvy bike guys showed up regardless. After the show, nightlife in Downtown Spokane was plentiful and varied, provided you're into consuming alcohol. With a hotel blocks away...we were!
The next day dawned, and (several hours later) we arose. Today was the day to check out the 100 Years, 5 miles to the east in Spokane Valley. Most of the events for the three-day rally were planned for Saturday, so that was our day to go. There was a rodeo, flat track racing, and a good number of national-class vendors and builders. However, there wasn't much in the way of attendees. The rally had moved weekends (from mid-August) as well as venues, so there is probably some dropoff to be expected. But with record-high gas prices and (I'm guessing) a record-high number of trailer queens in the world, bike events farther away than the next county might be off of quite a few agendas. I'm hoping that the promoter and the Spokane Visitors Bureau sticks with it. The rodeo was a blast with local motorcycle rodeo guys mixing it up with whomever decided to take their street bike out for a little abuse in the dirt, and the flat track racing in that tiny arena was well-run and competitive. Several of the big-name builders who had signed up had not shown, but the ones who did seemed to be pleased with the vendor experience, even if the crowds were small. More than anything, the area has some fabulous riding, which is how we spent our Sunday.
Just 30 miles east on I-90 is Coeur D'Alene, Idaho, along with a lake of the same name, while just beyond that are the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. Needless to say, the roads are spectacular. We opted for a ride around Lake Coeur D'Alene (pronounced Core Delayne) to what is allegedly one of the best steakhouses in the US: Wolf Lodge Inn. It was funny, in our trip around the lake, when we asked directions to make sure we were still on the right path, people kept trying to send us back around the lake and down the highway, even once we were more than halfway around! It seems that the locals fear the curvy roads that surround the lake and stay off of them as much as possible. This is boat country, and people are constantly asking, "Where'd you guys put in?" So the roads are both very good and practically unused. In other words: paradise.