Wednesday, July 08, 2009

A rattling noise

Flathead Lake, Montana Click to see this photo's flickr page

More from The Road Trip:

We settled into Newport, Oregon, content to be like the town: quiet and sleepy.

The car, though, had other plans and started to make a rattling noise.

It was a Saturday and there sure weren’t any auto repair shops open on Sunday. We had to decide: stay and get the car checked in Newport? We’d be behind one day, though. Or, drive ahead so that we could stop in a larger city, like Portland or Seattle or Spokane, to get the car checked there?

We gritted our teeth and drove on.

We drove East from the coast towards Corvallis, passing small farms, idyllic in the lush peacefulness of the morning. The cows looked very content; none of this “Happy Cows come from California” business.

The further east we drove, the less grey it got. When we got to Interstate 5, we turned North. The car didn’t seem to mind the freeway, its rattle silenced by the faster speeds and straighter route. We passed through Portland, then Seattle, then Bellevue... We discovered that in Washington, the Rest Stops have snack bars, staffed with real live people!. With hot coffee. For free! Most stops also offered homemade cookies for a donation, tended by what looked like the local kids. We sure didn’t mind making our pit-stops along the way in Washington.

We drove until Spokane and found a hotel, very, very late. The next morning, J would take the Mustang in to hear its (and our trip's) prognosis.

As is often the case, at the Ford dealer, no one could reproduce the rattling sound, even though J drove around and around with them. The mechanics inspected the car and said it shouldn’t explode to bits or konk out on us. We squinted in our doubt, but somewhat reassured that the car wouldn't explode, headed on.

We were in Idaho briefly as we passed through the skinny panhandle part of the state and headed further East, stopping in Flathead Lake, Montana. So very close to Glacier National Park, but ready to just call it a day. We managed to get a room that looked out onto the lake. We spent some time, our cameras set up to take a photo of a great sunset over the lake that never quite materialized. With the steady sound of rain on the lake, the long, low horns of ships and the songs of birds at twilight, we slept very well, straight through sunrise.

All the photos are here, including a few more shots of Flathead Lake.