So my road trip begins. A long morning wrapping up getting out of home gets you not very far. Leaving home, I traveled East over the pass and turned north on highway 97 at Cle Elum. The construction is making good progress East of the pass; the drive goes much smoother than it did a few years ago for sure. Made good time through Wenatchee and continued north on Highway 97 along the Columbia River. This is typical Eastern Washington territory – hot and dry with large hills and river-cut ravines.
Just before highway 97 crosses the Columbia sits a riverside park. I couldn’t resist and went for a swim and hung around the park to dry off. After the nice break, I continued to travel north and hit sunset just before the border crossing. I was graced with a beautiful sunset and partially cloudy skies.
The border crossing was easy – I waited for Canadian Customs to process only one car. What a difference from the 3+ hour waits at the I-5 crossing!
Dinner at a pizza place about 15 miles south of Pendicton. While the food was just okay, the owners were warm, welcoming, and up for conversation. And, they were the only place open in that town anyways.
Next mission: try to find a spot to stop. I eventually made my way into Pendicton following signs for campgrounds near a provincial park. Well, no joy. I found the park but there was clearly no camping there. And with signs like “Black bears active” and “watch for snakes” I was having none of it. Besides, the place was located up a steep, narrow, dark road far away from people. It looked like the kind of place I’d go to when I wanted to get away from people – you know, like for a drug deal or something (not that I’ve done this, guys). Well, I was having none of that and eventually found a turnout that looked promising.
Psych! Never mind. Turns out that road gets a lot of traffic. Combine that with the 80 degree temperatures and there’s no way that I’m able to get any sleep. So, further north I went along the massive Lake Okonagan. I found a provincial RV site to spend the evening.
Day 1: 320 miles, 1 swim, 1 false campsite, 8 hours of driving
Check out this cool picture I got before I even started! I like flags, I like color, and I like reflections. The flag is in this photo 3 times! 3 is better than 1, right?
Photo from the first stop outside Wenatchee.
The Columbia river, with aforementioned swimming hole.
Click on the photos for higher resolution versions.