So - after two months being on the road almost every day it feels really odd to know we don't have to get up and hit the road in the morning! And - more than that - does it ever feel odd to be back to living in such a large space after being used to the confines of the camper for so long! There's something to be said for the limited size of the camper, however: it sure doesn't take much time or effort to keep such a small space clean inside! Outside is a different matter: Bruce has been outside for much of today trying to get all of the bug-splat off the camper.
As we set out from Spokane early in the morning it was a lovely sunny day - but with high winds buffeting us about. Wonderful scenery - craggy rocks and gullies - a huge difference from the prairies. We crossed the Columbia River at Vantage (near Beverly) and found ourselves back in some vast "empty" vistas - totally yellow - sage brush and desert and, yes, tumbling tumbleweeds barreling down the highway towards us. It's been some time since I've been in central Washington and I had forgotten how barren it is in places. But it all changed again as we reached Snoqualmie Pass. First, we saw signs that advised it would be a good idea to chain up. Then there were flashing lights to warn us to listen on the radio for "warnings". Everything changed so quickly! As we headed up the Pass, the rain that had begun became a heavy sleet and then it was thick snow - almost white-out conditions. Bruce and I were amazed that the lighted traffic signs were telling everyone to "slow down" to 55mph (that's MILES per hour!) in such conditions! No-one could have stopped at 55mph if they'd had to, so Bruce took up space in the left lane and slowed down to about 35 - and I, for one, was happy that he was acting as traffic speed policeman. We came upon an accident that must have just occurred because there were no emergency vehicles there at that point, but other vehicle drivers were assisting. A car at the side of the road looked as though it had rolled over completely. We saw three people sitting at the road-side, so we don't think there were any serious injuries so we carried on.
As we came down the other side of the Pass the weather cleared up very quickly, and it was hard to believe the extent of what we had just gone through. We then took a straight shot into Shoreline (north of Seattle), arriving early afternoon to visit with our friend, Geri. Had a lovely visit, too. We were thinking of heading on up to Vancouver that evening to have dinner with Geri's sister, Madeleine, and her husband Al, but there was no answer at Madeleine's when we called, so we had a drink with Geri while we waited to hear back. Bad move! My head was buzzing from the first drink, so then we three went out to dinner near Geri's house where we also downed a bottle of vino so it was kind of game over after that and we just went to bed in the camper outside Geri's house. Just Bruce and I that is - not Geri!
The next day we got on the road at a good time and got back to Gabriola on the 3:45pm ferry. We went like gangbusters to empty the camper as soon as we arrived because we heard there was going to be rain the next day and didn't want to be doing all the to-ing and fro-ing in the rain. Good thing we did - it was pouring the next morning. I can't believe how much STUFF I managed to get loaded in the camper!
Anyway, another great trip is over and my knowledge of the geography of this vast continent has been considerably improved. It ought to with over 17,000 Kms under our belts in the last two months!
Until next time, then..............