By Bubbles, Photos by Joy

Being on the road for an extended amount of time, for nothing other than to explore and experience the world around you, can bring you a strong sense of freedom, the very same freedoms our forefathers and founders have fought for over the last two-and-a-half centuries; we, as Americans, have celebrated the birth of our nation and the sacrifices made all of our lives, yet this year seemed so much more special.


Our next leg of the Odyssey of Awesome brought Joy and I back to our hometown of Spokane, Washington, where we had the chance to meet up with close family and friends and share the experiences we’ve had thus far.

There’s something captivating about the sight of Spokane as you approach from the west (I-90), buildings stacked next to each other, with Mt. Spokane in the background; no matter how long you’ve been gone, nor how long one may have been living there, it never ceases to bring a sense of peace…it’s home.

Our plan for this holiday was to spend time with close friends and family, separately and together. Joy met up with her loved ones and traveled to the city of Sandpoint, Idaho, where she and her family had planned to watch the fireworks on the shores of Lake Pend Oreille, while I spent my morning and early afternoon with my parents and brother in Suncrest (WA), for their annual car show.


The show was set on the football field and track of Lakeside Middle School, where my brother and I both had spent our pre-teen years. People from all over had driven their beautiful vehicles–cars, trucks, motorcycles–so people could marvel…and marvel we did. These machines came from a variety of eras, from the early 1960’s (and before) to more modern-day.

Even for a not-so-much car junkie, like myself, the show was a sight to behold; it was very hard to leave when surrounded by both beauty and history. I was fortunate enough to attend the show with an actual car-lover and enthusiast, my brother, Floof, who could tell you the year, make, model, and engine just by glancing at a vehicle; cars are his world.

(Check out our visit to another Show in “Floof’s Auto.” )

For someone like yours truly, who only enjoys driving cars and making a lot of noise, it was enlightening to be able to learn about the history–along with the makings–of some of these breath-taking machines; what gives them their name, their value, and their power.


Visitors were also treated to live music as the day progressed, showcasing the local talent, as well as food vendors and other booths for people of all ages.

As the day continued, it was time for me to hit the road, bound for Sandpoint, where I was invited to watch the fireworks with Joy and her family on the lake, where they had reserved rooms at a local beach hotel. It was a perfect day for going to the lake, the sun was out, not a cloud in the sky, and yet there was a slight breeze, keeping things from getting too hot.

The city of Sandpoint manages to keep a small-town feel, though attracting larger crowds for events such as this, and for being located along a lake. The park area–where the hotel was located–gave a perfect view of the water and its surroundings, ideal for the upcoming firework show. Boats and jet-skis could be heard making waves off in the distance, slower ones could be seen floating in and out of the marina.

One such boat was made to look like a pirate ship, whose captain was taking visitors along the lake for tours, armed with a water “cannon” to soak unsuspecting victims on and off the water, all in good fun.


Time spent with family and loved ones is never wasted, yet also rarely seems to be enough; nevertheless, the evening in Sandpoint was more than worth the ride. As the sun began to set, more people–locals and travelers alike–trickled onto the beach and park areas, preparing for the upcoming light show.

Fireworks themselves can be stunning, as they illuminate the heavens, but there’s something completely captivating about watching a ball of fire reflect off of the water…there was no looking away.


The 4th of July is a day to celebrate the birth of our nation, and the freedoms our brave service men and women have sacrificed so much for. This year felt all the more special; there’s something about being on the road, exploring the land, that brings a sense of freedom. Like much of the sights we have seen, the people we have met, and the adventures we have had on this journey so far, one can’t truly experience any of it unless he or she were to do it first-hand; a screen just doesn’t have the impact as real life.

The Odyssey of Awesome continues, as we travel back toward the desert to meet new friends in Albuquerque, New Mexico. COME JOIN US!!!