Wednesday, August 15, 2007

The Trip - Spokane

We've been in Spokane the past few days, parked in the driveway of my mom's friends. We had people to visit, sights to see, and replacement parts to buy. And we were successful in all of it.

I picked up a couple of those Homes for Sale booklets, which I also did in Missoula and Kalispell. I wanted to get a feel for overall prices for someday when I leave California. Western Montana is a lot more affordable than California (which isn't saying much), with a decent house in a nice neighborhood averaging around $290,000, near as I can tell. Spokane was the surprise, because the houses cost less than Montana, around $200,000 for the same kind of house. I would have thought Spokane had more demand than Montana, but it looks like I was wrong. Either way, I can't afford a decent house in a nice neighborhood (assuming I had a medical job).

In Spokane, our sightseeing took us downtown. We walked through the Davenport Hotel, armed with a camera. The Davenport had been closed and in a state of disrepair for 15 years, and then "in March of 2000[,] local entrepreneurs Walt & Karen Worthy purchased the entire city block for $6.5 million, then spent the next two years of their lives--and $38 million of their own money--to make The Davenport Hotel grand again." (quote from the Davenport's history page). Here is the lobby:

I don't know how well you can see the detail in the ceiling crossbeams, in the balcony railings, and everywhere else. The Worthys' millions were well-spent.

The Spokane River runs through town, and Riverfront Park highlights the south bank and the falls, with the north bank finally getting more development than it had when I lived there.

This is where did most of my running, in a running clinic sponsored by the YMCA (the building on the right).

The clinic's main purpose was to prepare people for the Bloomsday race (7.6 miles at the time), held every year the first weekend in May. I ran it in '79, '80, and '81. And my average per-mile pace improved from 14 minutes the first year (we did a lot of walking) to 10 minutes the last. I'm not built for speed, just endurance.

The finish line was placed in a difficult spot for the runners, in front of Riverfront Park. The hard part was having to come up the long, steep hill that peaked at the corner of the park. The race organizers knew the challenge of that hill, and each year I ran it, they had the theme song from "Rocky" blaring at us, encouraging us to keep going just a little longer. And our reward was turning the corner and seeing the finish line just a short distance ahead.

Years after I left Spokane, an artist was commissioned to honor the runners of Bloomsday, so these statue/cutouts grace the corner at the top of the Rocky hill. I see myself in them.


Anonymous said...

Gee, I could of sold you a 1500 sf home on one acre for 169,000 in Spokane. It was in Morgan Acres.

SkyePuppy said...


I had one of those and sold it in 1980 for $35,000.