2012 Travels travel blog

Carpe at Panarama RV in Kettle Falls, WA

Back in the "big city" with big traffic

Beautiful lake vista along BC 97

Getting close to the 49th Parallel

Welcome to the "Lower 48"

Downtown Republic, WA

Downtown Republic, WA

Sherman Pass along WA 20
This is higher than any pass along the...

US 395 bridge over Columbia River into Kettle Falls

Kettle Falls Welcomes Us

Thu, 16 Aug: Another two hundred miles and we're back in the US. We crossed into the US just before noon at Oroville, WA. This time our border crossing was uneventful. They asked if we had any fruit or veggies in the fridge, which we did. They asked if they could look in the fridge and did not find anything that could not be imported. Very professional and very polite.

But first, our day started at our own pace. No alarms or roaring trucks to awake us. We just got up when we got up. Again, since we were boondocking getting underway chores were minimal and we were underway at half past eight.

It was a sunny morning with temps in the sixties. We proceeded south through the town of Vernon, which was rift with stoplites and traffic. Nevertheless we proceeded apace and soon found ourselves out of town moving along a very scenic section of BC 97 dotted with lakes and very pretty vistas.

We had to go thru the larger town of Kelowna, with even more stoplites and three lanes of traffic. This is somewhat of a cultural shock to us after the scant traffic up north. Again we made it to the other side where the highway was windy and hilly with some pretty steep grades. It was slow going but we made it to the border about 1130.

As stated above, the border crossing was very easy and just before noon we pulled into the parking lot of a mall in Oroville and had lunch. Bob took the helm for the twenty mile run down US 97 to WA 20 where we headed east. This is a beautiful stretch of road that goes through some pretty impressive mountain passes and valleys. We passed thru the town of Republic with its well preserved main street with very well maintained buildings.

The forty mile stretch of WA 20 between Republic and Kettle Falls climbs to Sherman Pass at 5,572'. This is higher than any of the roads we took in northern Canada or Alaska, and Carpe's turbocharged Cummins handled it with ease. There was significant construction along the route that slowed us considerably.

When we got to US 395 on the west shore of the Columbia River we encountered construction on the bridge that reduced it to one very narrow lane. Bob handled the tight quarters with no problem and within a mile or two of the bridge we entered the Panarama RV Park in Kettle Falls.

Well, we're back in the "Lower 48" after three months north of the 49th parallel. We have high speed internet and reliable 3G phone service. We're at a full service RV park with 50 amp power for a fraction of what we paid "up north". It is hot out and we're using those 50 amps to run the AC units.

It'll take us a bit to fully digest what we've experienced these past three months. Once (and if) we do we'll share with you, but right now we're just kicking back and enjoying ourselves.

We'll be here until early next week at which time we'll make some decisions as to where we'll go next and when. Till then, stay tuned...

Mon, 27 Aug: We've been here for longer than a week and haven't done very much other than "vegging" out. Other than a day trip in the car to Spokane we haven't ventured too far afield. Rather, we've so enjoyed not being on the road or having to arise early or do this or do that.

We did wash "Carpe the Filthy" last week. The folks at Panarama RV gave us permission to wash our coach, and we took a first stab at removing most of Alaska and a good portion of Canada. The amount of tar on the coach (and car) is enough for us to pave our own road. That'll take further work, but at least the lumps are off and we can see the original colors. We were sore but proud when finished.

Tomorrow (Tuesday) we'll mosey east into Idaho for a few days before rendezvousing with Betsy at her place on Priest Lake.

Trip Summary
Miles this leg: 218.0
Total miles since Casa Grande: 7,980.1

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