For those of you contemplating this tour, don't jump the gun on booking airfare just yet.  Help is on the way.
For those who don't know, Southwest Air is one of the few major airlines which does not particiapte in the big search engines Travelocity or Expedia.   Southwest's reservation system is presently accepting reservations only until March 6, 2004.  However, this will be extended in the next couple of weeks until after April 4th, the return date for our trip. 
The great news is that I did a series of searches using New York Islip,  Hartford, Cleveland, and other list-useful airports for March flights to Spokane.  It is supremely easy to book unrestricted flights for between $169 - $298 rt on the SWAir site as I write this.
I anticipate that the next monthly block of seats for late March-April will be similarly priced.  Not only that, once SWAir releases their next block, the other majors drop their own prices to compete with the earlybird SW buyers.  Watch and see!  Most people (including most likely me now) are flying into Spokane, so pro-rata van rental should be very affordable.
Accordingly, everyone can heave a big sigh of relief knowing that rt air will be also very affordable for this amazing trip!
One less excuse.....
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