Fall Tour 2018 – Day 2. Sandpoint, ID to Orofino, ID

Brush Creek Creamery, a wonderful coffee stop at Deary, ID before hitting the glorious 30 km Hwy P1 to Orofino

Day 2 – The best sports car road in Idaho?  P2 – 30 km of driving Nirvana

We’re still reveling in the outstanding pizza we enjoyed last night at Second Avenue Pizza in Sandpoint. Honestly, the Second Ave Chunky Supreme pizza ($23.95) was one of the best pizzas I’ve had ever.

Second Ave had come highly recommended by the desk clerk at our motel, and after meandering Sandpoint’s vacant main street with most of the shops closed, we had forgotten this eatery’s name.  We asked a couple of locals on the street for a pizzeria recommendation and they immediately said, “Second Avenue Pizza.”  This is another one of those great, dining ‘finds’ that we will recommend to travelers and return to ourselves.

From Sandpoint it’s a short drive due South on Hwy 95 to Coeur D’Alene, with its irksome highway system that is frustratingly peppered with numerous traffic lights.  (For those of you familiar with the drive on Vancouver Island from Victoria, BC to Parksville, driving through Coeur D’Alene is much the same.)  There is constant stop and go.  It’s maddening.

We steer the Porsche West on Interstate I-90, exiting south on Hwy 3 to Saint Maries.  The section of Hwy 3 from Saint Maries to Bovil is classic ‘sports car country’, and for those of us who live in the flatlands, it’s a grin-inducing drive.  But the best is yet to come.

At Bovil, we join up to Hwy 8 to Deary, and there, we find the delightful Bush Creak Creamery, and stop for a coffee.

Bush Creek Creamery, Deary, ID

Coffee at the Bush Creek Creamery, Deary, ID

The Bush Creek Creamery serves up fabulous pastries

The Creamery is not what you’d expect to find in small town, Idaho.  In the early afternoon, locals are taking their afternoon coffee, and the decor is that nice balance of pretty and quaint, it’s what you’d expect in a larger, tourist-oriented town like Sandpoint.  It’s a nice break, getting out of the Porsche’s comfy seats, just being able to stretch our legs and enjoy NOT moving and having to drive.

From Deary, we re-join Hwy 3 which takes us to Kendrick, where the glorious, dense with 2nd-gear, P1 highway starts.  En route to Kendrick, our Valentine One radar detector lights up, and for the third time this trip, warns us as a county sheriff drives past us in a black Ford Explorer.

Hwy P1, Kendrick to Orofino – “This is the most fun I’ve ever had in a car”, Porsche 911 Turbo owner, Terry

I had been driving the Porsche since leaving Sandpoint, but after coffee in Deary, I knew Hwy P1 was our next section.  I told Terry he had to drive.

Hwy P1, I surmise, used to be a logging road.  I had first ridden it in 2003 while attending a motorcycle rally in Moscow, ID.  At that time, it was rough, a ‘paved’ hardpack mix of oil, asphalt and gravel.  In recent years, local authorities have seen fit to pave it properly, and it is smooth ashphalt.  The beauty of this road is it goes really from Nowhere to Nowhere (apologies to local residents in Kendrick and Orofino.)

There’s no traffic, and almost no farms, residences or other businesses on this 30 km stretch of road.

Once we hit the tight corners, switchbacks and (very) few stretches of straight road that connects, Terry tackles the road with measured determination.  We’re driving in a ‘sporting’ fashion, not crazy, and certainly not crazy fast.  We’re both familiar with the older generation of Porsche 911s’ nasty reputation of lift-throttle-oversteer – the old rear-engine bugaboo of the rear of the car snapping around in mid-corner if the driver abruptly lifts throttle.

We’re leery of this possibility (even though this generation of 911 has had that trait supposedly engineered out of the car.)

After driving P1 and arriving at the other end, Orofino, we roll into the Konkolville Motel.  It’s too early to check in, so Terry suggests we drive back and we do P1 three times, and at the end, Terry says, “That’s the most fun I’ve ever had in a car.”  High praise from a guy who’s owned Porsches for 35 years and done track days in them.

Map courtesy The Idaho Transportation Department

Konkolville Motel, Orofino, ID

My motorcycle friends discovered the Konkolville Motel some years ago.  With new owners this year (Ray and his wife Lisa) having taken over the business from the Chapmans, Ray and Lisa continue a special offering the previous owners started some years ago – a cook-it-yourself steak dinner that you order prior to your arrival.  For $16.98, you get a large steak that you barbecue yourself, and with that you get a garden salad and baked potato.

Ray and Lisa offer this 16 oz steak dinner- you cook it yourself on their barbecue

On previous visits, the Chapmans offered something like a 12-14 oz steak, but Ray and Lisa have upped their game; the Konkolville’s steak dinner is now a whopping 16 oz steak, and with the potato and salad ‘sides’, is more than enough for one person.

Because of Orofino’s strategic location in the heart of some of the best sports car and motorcycle roads in Idaho, much of the Konkolville Motel’s clientele are car clubs and motorcycle riders who visit in the summer.  It’s no surprise that some of my Edmonton-based motorcycle friends make it a point to book into the Konkolville Motel at least twice every summer.

The driving and riding to Orofino, ID is something every sports car enthusiast and motorcycle rider deserve to experience at least once.

From Orofino, tomorrow we’ll drive the famous Highway 12/Lolo Pass, a scenic drive to Missoula, MT that is always makes the lists of “Best Scenic Drives in the United States.”

Next:  Fall Tour 2018 – Day 3:  Orofino, ID to Whitefish, MT




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