Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Across Washington into Idaho - what a change!

Woke up this morning among big Cedars and Redwoods, drove through a desert and now coming back into mountain Lodgepole Pine.

Coming into Leavenworth WA, there were some beautiful streams (rivers) I think the pics of the rapids are the Icicle River. Then come in to Leavenworth which is a replica of a Bavarian Village – it is beautiful and charming. Evn the commercial establishments – the Bank of America, the McDonalds, etc have to be done in Bavarian architecture. Again, very obviously charming and touristy.

Then coming out of Leavenworth in just a few short miles, the place turns into a desert. I had heard that Eastern Washington was very arid, but I had not expected the real desert look to it. There is a lott of irrigation – from the two great lakes that are part of the Columbia River – Banks and Roosevelt – and from those two, there is enough water for major fruit production. Miles of Washington Apple trees and grapes too.

Then on to Grand Coulee dam. Some pics of Lake Banks. Weird seeing such a huge body of fresh water in the middle of such an arid landscape. Then the dam itself is huge. 500 ft tall. It was started as a smaller dam in 1933 and then was expanded to generate electric power for Hanford to purify Plutonium. It was eventually completed in 1950 and is one of 14 dams on the Columbia River. Wow – Jeopardy, here I come!

By the way, had to add the picture of the road sign. I guess that was for the benefit of the blind drivers who could not see the rocks.

So, anyway, on to Spokane and I had a little time to spare, so I decided to get my third and hopefully last oil change on the road. Well, took a couple of hours and some waiting in traffic – in Spokane? C’mon! So, by the time I got to campsite #1 – it was full. On to alternate – it was full too – what are all these people doing? Did they all retire from Philip Morris at the same time?

So, anyway, I’m here in Sandpoint Idaho in a pet-friendly Days Inn. 364.1 Miles today, 48.18 N, 166.33 w

Plan to stay on Route 2 but will start looking for a campsite by about 3:00 pm. Will be in mountain Time in Montana. I figure 4 more days to home.

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