She knew someone who worked with a lady that had placed an ad for log furniture for sale and sent me the link. After looking at what was for sale, Dave and I decided we would purchase the five drawer chest and the two nightstands. I called and made arrangements to pick them up while I was in Montana, when the lady told me that they were heavy and her husband couldn't help load them, I figured he must have recently had back surgery or something. I was unconcerned knowing that we could remove the drawers to lighten the load and we had the furniture dolly. As several people learned of our upcoming drive to Coeur D'Alene, Idaho I was told to be prepared for wintry weather, have extra blankets, boots etc. I remember thinking,
"Pe-Shaw! Dave and I just spent Christmas in Yellowstone, how hard can it be?!"
Brenda and I headed out early that morning, planning to have breakfast at Cracker Barrel in Missoula. While enjoying our breakfast, looking out the window, it began to snow. My first reaction:
We headed west on Interstate 90 and as we came to the first mountain pass, (Fourth of July Pass) it began snowing harder. I have never driven this route before so I was clueless as to the second pass, (Lookout Pass) and how steep it is. I had already begun second guessing myself as to whether the furniture would fit in the back of the van. Never mind that we had already hauled an enormous load of household items all the way up from Texas, I chastised myself for not getting the measurements of the five drawer chest! I tried not being anxious, wondering what I would do if the chest wouldn't fit in the back of the van. The snow was falling heavier and accumulating on the interstate and becoming slick. Climbing Lookout Pass behind two semis, I could see a snowplow behind me. When we reached the top of the Pass and crossed into Idaho, I realized that the worst part lie ahead, going downhill. I shifted down into low, put on my hazard lights on and crept down the mountain behind the semis. Naturally I was passed by cars with Idaho and Montana license plates but I am sure that once they saw my Texas plates, they quit shaking their heads and wondering why I was being such a baby!! Fortunately we got down the mountain without incident!
Once down the mountain, I called the sellers and explained that I would be * forty-five minutes late due to the snowy conditions on the road. As it turned out, that was the first of several "God-winks" of our Montana trip. Due to being late, we arrived a few minutes after their moving truck got there. Brenda and I went inside and met the gentleman whom I was purchasing the furniture from; as it turned out, he was much older than I expected, they were downsizing and moving out of state. His wife was right, he would not be any help loading the furniture! We wrangled the two nightstands from the bedroom but couldn't figure out how to remove the drawers from the chest. I couldn't believe my ears when one of the furniture movers, a strong twenty-something year old, volunteered their help in loading the chest into the van!! They loaded all three pieces of furniture and it fit like a glove!! If we hadn't been delayed climbing the Pass, Brenda and I would have had to figure out how we were going to wrestle this stuff into the van by ourselves! I gave them a tip, (I really wanted to hug their necks!) and told them to enjoy lunch on me. I have to admit, I was feeling VERY pleased at this point!
I called Mrs. Mac who had invited us over for lunch and told her that we were on our way. It was such a treat meeting her for the first time face-to-face and spending a couple of hours with her and meeting her husband. Brenda summed it up later when she said,
"She and her husband were just delightful!"
After enjoying a delicious lunch of Elk Chili, Mrs. Mac had us follow her to a rustic furniture store nearby.
Brenda and I at Hauser Lake, Idaho.
We arrived at Wild West Rustic Furniture and I have to admit, I found myself becoming giddy as I saw all of the goodies on display! I was on the lookout for a sideboard or bookcase that I could put in the kitchen for displaying my cookbooks and antiques. Brenda pointed out one piece which was actually a TV Stand that would be perfect. As I hemmed and hawed, wondering if it would fit, she asked me for my mini tape measure which is on my key ring, then ran outside to see if we could fit it into the van. She came back all excited because she said if we put it in sideways, across the back captain's Chairs, it would fit! That clenched it for me. I ended up buying several things that day besides the TV Stand; purchasing two lamp shades as well as a skip peeled ladder to display our Pendleton Blankets. Fortunately, neither of these guys came home with me!
After hitting a quilt store we said our goodbyes and started the drive back to Montana. Once again, we had to climb Lookout Pass and once again the roads were slick. The scenery however was incredibly beautiful and with a heavy load of furniture in the van, we took out time, navigating the roads.
It was 9:30 PM when we got to Missoula and we still had 135 miles to go, in the dark and in the snow. Not knowing the road conditions and the potential for deer on the roads, we made a snap decision to get a room and spend the night in Missoula and finish the last leg in the morning. I am really glad we did although I must admit, I have never checked into a motel with just my purse! We had planned on going to church in Kalispell but flexibility was the rule and not the exception on this trip!
A summary of our productive day!
The HEAVY five drawer chest from Idaho!
One of the two nightstands from Idaho which might become end tables in the living room once we bring the leather sofa up from Texas.
The two new lampshades for the "Wild Wings" lamps. Dave found these unique lamps online and I hauled them up in the van.
The ladder for displaying our blankets, in the family room.
This will look fabulous once the kitchen is complete!