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We hit the road in the new Nissan Rogue Sport crossover, which provided a comfortable, dependable, and versatile home base on wheels as we wandered some of the most beautiful roads in the US – from Coeur d’Alene, Idaho to Glacier National Park, Montana.
Our road trip sled was the 2017 Nissan Rogue Sport - a new model which is a little smaller than the Rogue, with sportier styling, and a starting price of just $21,420, making it super affordable.
As we set out on our course from Spokane, Washington to our first night's destination, we stumbled onto this beautiful unspoiled oasis, located outside of Troy, Idaho. We could have set up camp there and been pretty darned happy.
Instead of roughing it, we spent our first night in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, overlooking the lake, which is a great place to enjoy all kinds of water activities. The Coeur d'Alene Resort is also home to a stunning golf course, with its own floating hole.
We started the next day with a fantastic parasailing ride over Lake Coeur d'Alene, which offered up a unique vantage point at the end of an 800 foot tow line. If you've never parasailed before, there's nothing quite like quietly floating hundreds of feet in the air without a care in the world.
Time to hit the road again. Fortunately, there was plenty of cargo space in the Rogue Sport for all of our gear - and all the other stuff we would pick up along the road.
Among the many delicacies of Idaho and Montana is the humble huckleberry, and we'd be remiss not to grab a delicious cone (and a shake) for the road.
Making our way through Idaho and into Montana, there was natural beauty at every turn. It's something us city dwellers need to get out and see more often.
A welcome respite awaited us at the casually elegant and rustic Firebrand Hotel in downtown Whitefish, Montana. It's a lovely little lakeside town filled with great shops and restaurants, and just about 30 minutes from the entrance to Glacier National Park.
We awoke the next day and made our way into one of our country's greatest treasures, Glacier National Park. The park was officially established as America's 10th national park in 1910, but it was millions of years in the making.
The view from Lake McDonald in Glacier National Park is simply stunning. The park's snowmelt each year provides headwaters that travel all the way to the Pacific Ocean, The Gulf of Mexico, and Hudson's Bay.
We were thrilled with the comfort of the Rogue Sport's cabin. The seats were some of the most comfy we've had the pleasure of sitting our butts in, and the ride was smooth and well balanced as we zigged and zagged through the twisty switchbacks of Going to the Sun Road.
The views along the Northeastern edge of the park, heading from Montana to the Canadian border are unequalled. This stretch of road is typically open from late June through October, then closed due to snow and ice.
We spent the night just outside of the park in a fantastic little gem called Glacier Under Canvas. The camp provides luxury tents with features like comfy beds, LED lighting, heat, and clean, modern bathrooms and showers.
Early the next morning, we made our way back to the park entrance, and set off on an 8 mile drive upstream with the Glacier Raft Company. If you can, ask for Russell to be your guide - he was amazing.
The whitewater along the Middle Fork of Flathead River can range from ferocious Level 4 rapids in May and June as the snow melts, to easy Level 1 to 3 in late July through August.
As we made the trek back on a different route through Idaho, we came across Lake Pend Orielle, the state's largest lake, which offered up dramatic sunset vistas, and unspoiled nature as far as the eye can see.
Our final night's stay at the idyllic and gracious Estate on the Lake B&B in Dover, Idaho provided us with a crystal clear sky and a spectacular show of stars floating overhead, a fitting end to our awesome adventure.
Many thanks to Nissan USA for setting us up with the Rogue Sport, and arranging for some amazing adventures and accommodations.