Slight detour from Hwy 2, hot springs call

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Jimmy Smith stepping into Rose\'s Hot Springs in Hot Springs, Mont. By Julianne Crane

Originally we had planned to follow US Hwy. 2 from Spokane east to Michigan on the first leg of our RV trip around the edges of the USA.

However, this morning we got up early after a mostly sleepless night brought on by sore muscles, accompanied by numerous other aches and pains–the result of pushing our “mature bodies” almost non-stop these past two weeks packing and closing down the apartment.

Jimmy suggested that we head to Hot Springs, Mont., and take in a soak. He didn’t need to say more. We recalibrated the GPS and followed Hwy. 95 north through Sandpoint, then southeast along Route 200 through Hope and Beyond Hope, Idaho, to Plains, Mont., then north again along Route 28, turn west on Montana Road Hwy. 77 to downtown.

There are several different soaking opportunities in the area. We settled on Rose’s Hot Springs (north on Spring St. a few blocks on left). It has one small, very clean outside pool of constantly circulating hot mineral waters. Cost $5/day on honor system.

While there, we met a couple of fascinating sisters traveling by car from Minnesota after visiting their mother. Both women, Eriena Goktas of Oregon and Donna Reutov of Alaska, were born in Brazil. Their grandparents had immigrated from Russia to China in the 1930s, then to Brazil when war broke out with Japan. When Eriena was 8 and Donna was 5, their family moved to the United States when they received sponsors in Oregon.

After two hours in and out of the hot springs, we were back on Route 28 north to Hwy 93 that hugged the breathtaking Flathead Lake to Kalispell where we finally jumped onto US Hwy 2 to Glacier National Park.

Flathead Lake near Kalispell, Mont. By Julianne Crane

Photos: Top: Jimmy Smith stepping into hot mineral springs pool at Rose’s in Hot Springs, Mont. Bottom: Flathead Lake near Kalispell, Mont. Photos by Julianne Crane.

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