Sorry it’s been a while since the last post. The past couple weekends, travels stayed within DOMA’s backyard. After a pleasant Friday night with colleagues, your correspondent enjoyed some solo hiking and a film on Saturday. Today, I elected to take myself out to breakfast at the Cottage Cafe. There is a reason you will probably have to wait for a table. These people do things properly and I love the fact that they are still appealing to a broad spectrum of humans who appreciate an awesome, classic meal. Service, food, and coffee all were more than ‘right on.’ Area residents probably already know this and were ahead of me in line (and I guess they could’ve skipped this introductory paragraph). Seriously: Chicken-fried steak, hash browns, over-easy eggs, english muffin.
What should one do after such an epic brunch? In this case, walk it off at Manito Park in Spokane. Though the wind was blowing chillier, it was a beautiful autumn day with fast-moving clouds and some sunlight that felt as good as the last ray of light flashing green on the horizon at the end of a day at the coast. Spokane residents are fortunate to have a place like this and understand that enough that admission is free. Evergreens are wonderful as Northwest residents know, but it was a pleasure to see some dramatic and beautiful foliage too. The Japanese garden, not surprisingly, managed to capture this balance perfectly.
Speaking of evergreens, with so many conifers, a person might wonder how this park stays so well-groomed. I came across the answer early in my wanderings. Have you ever seen so many pine needles? I confess that when no one was around, I allowed myself to fall back into the closest pile. It was denser than you’d expect, but soft.
There is a conservatory in the park filled with amazing bromeliads, succulents, cacti, and other unusual plants. Though I have been through many deserts, there were some species there that were new sights for me.
I suppose I shouldn’t digress too far from the coffee world. At the end of my afternoon, I returned to Coeur D’Alene for an Americano at Vault Coffee, an attractive new space in the heart of the city’s downtown. I guess I am new enough to the area that I don’t know all this town’s history, but I appreciate a place that thoughtfully references its own history; that of its place. You can certainly get great coffee here. It’s exciting for me to see a locale like this anywhere and I hope people will give this place a chance, even if it doesn’t exactly fit with their own vision.
I wish every time that my solo hikes and contemplative walks would produce some grand vision or profound insight but I emerge with the same faults and weaknesses as when I put on my hiking shoes or trainers. I do feel like I am doing better at living in the moment though: relishing an autumn breeze, absorbing October sunlight, savoring good coffee and a proper meal. There are still some things we can all agree upon, aren’t there?