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PNW, Part 3

June 28, 2010

Wow, this trip report is taking just about as long as the trip itself did. By midday Monday, people who’d come in for the graduation had left or were getting ready to go, including me and Mr. Karen and Dale and Joan. We’d rented what Enterprise considers a full-size car, which will hold four adults if only two or three of them brought luggage. In our case, all four of us had luggage, so Dale and Joan ended up in the back seat with a suitcase between them for an arm rest. We headed off for our scenic drive to Idaho and had just gotten through the first town on the North Cascades Highway when Joan realized she’d forgotten some medications back at Kathy’s house. Since one of those drugs is keeping her cancer in remission, it was kind of important that we get them. We thought about having Kathy overnight them, but getting deliveries on the mountain isn’t the easiest thing, and since we weren’t too far down the road we just turned around. It took a few tries to get someone to answer a phone at the house but in the end my niece met us at a gas station about halfway back to the house and handed over the goods.

 On our way again, we didn’t miss the turn for the scenic highway in that first town as we had on our initial try, so things were looking up. We spent the rest of the day enjoying the views. Seriously, the scenery was so entrancing and ever changing that I never reached for my knitting, which is my usual mode when I’m the passenger on road trips, and we never plugged the iPod into the car stereo or listened to the book on CD we’d brought. We made a quick stop at Gorge Creek, where Mr. Karen and I hopped out to take a look. I did not appreciate the very long drop to the creek bed as viewed through the metal grate of the bridge walkway, but it sure was stunning to see. A little later, all four of us took in the spectacular views at the Diablo Lake overlook. I was so glad we had; when we got to the Washington Pass overlook, we found it was closed for reconstruction and we couldn’t get anywhere near it. We stopped for a very late lunch or maybe it was an early dinner in Winthrop, which enforces an Old West theme in architecture; even the gas station had an old- timey frontier look to it. We finished our day in Omak, Washington, in the high desert.

 Our second day on the road took us through still more scenery, including a cow sitting right by the side of the road, just chewing her cud and watching the cars go by. We stopped for lunch in Colville, Washington, at a place we wouldn’t have found if we hadn’t missed the turn for Route 20 (these towns can be tricky), and then looked at even more scenery before we got to our condo in Idaho. Having driven up the mountain to get there, we looked at the weather forecast and decided to drive back down again to have dinner at a restaurant on the beach, since it seemed likely that might be our only shot to see it without a curtain of rain.

In our next and final installment, we enjoy Idaho in early summer, except for the part where Dale and Joan and I get yelled at by a local.

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