A five-hour road trip from Seattle in an Inferno Red Crystal Dodge Journey put us in the middle of a playground we had only heard about. From Spokane, Washington, to Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, then north to Sandpoint and out to the town of Superior, Montana (40 minutes east of the Idaho border), for six days we immersed ourselves in activities that would easily make a great episode for a travel program like "Globe Trekker."

With our 10-year-old grandson, we did a little cross-generational bonding that included whitewater rafting, rock (wall) climbing, bungee trampolining, horseback/trail riding, and mountain biking and spent a day at one of the best water and theme parks anywhere in the country.

We ended our first day of travel by staying the night at the Davenport Hotel, a historic turn-of-the-century hotel in downtown Spokane that's been converted into a boutique dwelling. It retains the ambiance of the early 1900s, but features the comforts and appointments today's traveler expects. We joined 100-plus folks at the Rockin' B Ranch for a excellent dinner including BBQ ribs, sirloin roast, chicken, baked beans, salad, cornbread, dessert, and a serving of slapstick cowboy comedy. Located at Exit 299 on I-90, the Rockin' B Ranch atmosphere is casual and lots of fun.

The next morning, to fortify ourselves for the day's adventures, we had a Chicago-style breakfast at Frank's Diner. This old railroad observation car converted into a diner served patrons in Seattle for 60 years until it was moved to Spokane.The chefs at Frank's possess two very important skills: They're excellent fast-order cooks, and they can create a huge number of quality breakfasts for the hundreds of hungry customers who arrive each morning. They prepare and serve 15,000 eggs and 2.5 tons of hash browns every month!