Washington Road Trip Journal

"Goin' on a Field Trip"


Day 9 - Great Falls, MT to Kennewick, WA

by David "Sumoflam" Kravetz

September 5, 2007: It was finally time to leave Great Falls and head towards Washington State.  It was sad to leave my wife and my daughter and grandsons and head out again, but Sol and I needed to head to Spokane to meet a couple of the Troubs' band members at the airport and then head south to Kennewick, WA.

The drive was beautiful.  We headed west on Montana 200 to Missoula and then caught I-90 west to Spokane.  Following are a few sights along the way:


L-View as we left Great Falls on MT-200.  R-Same road about 30 miles in.



L-Roger's Pass, Montana.  One of many passes along the Continental Divide on this trip. R-View of the valley below


Shortly after leaving Roger's Pass, we drove through the picturesque town of Lincoln, MT.  There were many log cabins dotting the side of the road and the whole area looked fun.  We went through too early to stop, but there were some nice places I would like to visit on my next trip to Great Falls.



L-Hi-Country Trading Post, home of some good beef jerky  R-Wheel Inn, home of the Famous WheelBurger



Some views along I-90 as we entered Idaho.  The scenery was just marvelous on the drive

from Missoula to Coeur d'Alene, ID


More from I-90


After entering Idaho, we drive through spectacular scenery over Lookout Pass and into Kellogg.  Nothing much in Kellogg but the unusual building seen below:


This is Miner's Hat Realty.  It can be seen on the right of the freeway as you head west through Kellogg, ID



Nothing beats Lake Coeur d'Alene.  It was a crystal clear blue lake as we passed it.  It went on for miles.


My original trip plans did not really include a long stop in Coeur D'Alene, but I was asked by Bobby Cochran, one of the two lead guitarists for Antsy McClain and the Trailer Park Troubadours, to drop off a couple of CDs to a man named John Rook.  It turns out that John has been a friend to the Cochran family since the early days of Eddie Cochran, the singer famous for the song "Summertime Blues" and many others.  Eddie was Bobby Cochran's uncle and, as we found out during our visit, John Rook actually toured with Eddie way back in the 1950s.



Radio Program Director extraordinaire, John Rook, with Sumoflam at John's home in Coeur D'Alene, ID


I will not go into great deal about our visit with John, but will mention that he has an illustrious history in radio and was one of those responsible for initially bringing the Beatles and the Rolling Stones to the United States early on while he was a DJ in Pittsburgh at KQV radio.  For a man that has spent time with many famous people, John is as friendly as can be...extremely personable and certainly still young for his years.  Solomon and I sat in fascination as John told us stories of his travels with Eddie Cochran, of his meeting with Burt Lancaster and the effect that had on his life.  We learned of his disappointment that many rock "greats" such as Pat Boone had never been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, which led John and another man to create the "Hit Parade Hall of Fame".  Obviously, those of you that know me well know that I have always been a musicologist and that I love music history and trivia.  John Rook is a walking encyclopedia and we could have spent hours with him had we not had to scoot on to Spokane for some meetings.  Click on the link below to learn more about John Rook.  You too will find him to be a most fascinating individual.



  John Rook with Eddie Cochran in 1959

(photo courtesy John Rook)

As disappointed as I was to leave, we had to.  I am certain to get back with John Rook in the near future as I am determined to do an article about him for "Enjoy the Ride" Magazine, which I contribute to.

The drive from Coeur D'Alene continued to be beautiful almost all the way to Spokane.  Once in Spokane I made a quick stop at Airstream of Spokane to meet Nick and Karyn, the owners, and to also do some filming for a commercial that Antsy McClain will do for them in the very near future.  Airstream of Spokane is one of the main sponsors of the Columbia County Fair performance of Antsy McClain and the Trailer Park Troubadours in Dayton, WA on Sept. 7/8.

I then made a trip to the Bing Crosby Theater (formerly the Metropolitan Theater) in downtown Spokane to set up a date for the Troubs to perform.  This is a vintage theater and of the type that Antsy McClain loves to perform in.  We set a date for March 28, 2008 and we are thrilled to have this opportunity.  Built in 1915 as the Old Clemmer Theater, this theater began as a silent movie house.  It has changed names a couple of times, but was recently purchased by the Crosby family and renamed in Bing's honor as this was the theater he got his start on a magnificent musical and acting career.  I really loved the tour of the facility and can't wait to hear the Troubs live in this grand theater.

Sumoflam in front of the Bing Crosby Theater


After another visit to Airstream of Spokane, Sol and I were off to the Spokane Airport to pick up the bass player (Matt Hall) and the drummer (Joe Rayhbuck) for the Troubs' shows this weekend in Kennewick and Dayton.  We grabbed them and were off to Kennewick where we met Marc Harden, of the Mid-Columbia Reading Foundation, and others, at his home, for a grand barbecue dinner.


We finally settled in at the Clover Island Inn, on the Columbia River, for a well-deserved night's rest and in preparation for our show on Thursday evening at the same location.


Day 1  Day 2  Day 3  Day 4  Days 5-8  Days 10-12  Day 13  Days 14/15  Day 16

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