Day 15 – Monday 24th August
We took our time this morning. It was good to have wifi again and try and catch up on some of our correspondence so we were in no rush. It’s such a beautiful house too – why would we want to? So we got lots of photos uploaded before heading off around 11am.
We only made it as far as the town before stopping at a fabulous little sandwich bar listed in Trip Advisor as the best place in Coeur d’Alene to eat. We got chatting to a great couple who were estate agents, whilst we ate our mega sandwich. The USA is proving to be a really friendly place 🙂
We drove on and into Washington State. We took this route as it was recommended by Cory – Alanna’s boyfriend who had greeted us at the house last night, and he had told us it was a pretty route to take
Although the forest fires meant that it was still very hazy in places, we could tell it was quite striking scenery (just not a very good time for photos though unfortunately). Then we stumbled upon a huge crack in the ground. Our first thoughts were “oh my gosh have we taken a wrong turn and ended up at the Grand Canyon” Yes that’s how big it was. Probably nowhere near as big as the GC but big enough to stop us in our tracks.
We found the visitor centre and got the full story inside. We were at a place named “Dry Falls”. Not very imaginative but it is an apt name. This place would have been bigger than Niagara prior to the iceage but an unfortunate crack let all the water out and there are no more falls – just a huge scar on the landscape where they would have been. It was HUGE!
We drove on as we needed to reach our campsite, and took just a small diversion to see some metal scultpures that had been place on a hill further along this ancient river gorge.
Our campsite tonight at Qunicy Lakes is down a very very long gravel path and we picked a spot next to a lake. Very pretty but too many midges once again. We could hear the coyotes howling again tonight but they didn’t wake us up
Day 16 – Tuesday 25th August
The mozzis did
All night long they were buzzing around our heads. Yes someone had let a load in the tent last night – guess who? Name begins with B!
So all night long we were jumping around as they buzzed in our ear until eventually we put Luci Light on and had a swatting session around 3am.
We got up early and headed off in the direction Cory had suggested again and came to …..
Germany! Yes Bavaria in the USA is called Leavenworth. The Visitor Centre told us that back in the 1950s or 1960s the town was going through a slump in trade as no one was passing through. A committee was organised to come up with ideas to improve trade and they decided ( because of the mountains) that they could be a mini Bavaria to be something different.
Well it seems to have worked as it is a very good take off. The village green with the bandstand even pumps out Bavarian music all day long.
The buildings are all very pretty and apparently all done without any town or government funding – all at each individuals own expense. Well Done Leavenworthians – it looks great!
This area of Washington is very different from the first part – it’s very green with fruit farms everywhere we look
. Cherries, peaches, nectarines and apples seem to be the most popular and we stopped at a farm shop to take advantage of the local freshness. Yum yum!
Bed tonight was at Money Creek Campsite. It was quite cold and a bit damp as we were in a forest. Not sure how those fires are getting going!
Day 17 – Wednesday 26th August
We drove to Seattle today. A quite drive-by Microsoft for Bryan and a quite spin of the city and we were done. It’s a nice clean looking city though with character buildings. It was also a lovely sunny day which we are assured doesn’t happen very often.
Destination Puyallup. No we don’t know how to say it either!
Strange little town. Weird people. Um. Strange. not sure what to say about it really.
Strange little hotel who told us that despite checkout being at 11am, none of the vacant rooms were ready at 12:30 when we arrived and we would have to come back at 3pm
Ok so onto a strange little cafe. As we were eating they started piling the chairs on the table. They closed at 1:30 – in the middle of lunch!
Next stop – now this was really weird – a little museum. A 120 year old house belonging to some really significant important local (now dead) people, was being looked after by enthusiastic fans. As we entered we were greeted by Emily Howard from Little Britain – I’m A Lady!
Who told us all about these really significant important local (dead) people. Mr & Mrs Meeker. She was the wife who built the house and he was – wait for it….. drum role…… a man who fought to get the Oregon Trail remembered. Wow! he didn’t even start it. Well we don’t suppose much else happens around here so at least it keeps them out of trouble.
We went back to our motel and had to take the disabled room as the beds in all the other rooms were tiny and definitely would not sleep 2 people. Are they tiny around here?? Don’t think so!
Anyway, it was just one night and there is no danger of us ever going back there so we got on with it.
Now this is definitely the highlight of today; this evening we went for a drive to eat in the neighbouring town; Milton. We stopped at the Mexican recommended by Trip Advisor and ordered our food. The portions were huge and it was very tasty and we dug in.
As Bryan broke open his burrito, a large piece of green plastic fell out.
We called the Mexican waiter over and Bryan asked him if he had lost something – and pointed to the plastic.
We expected many reactions but not the one we got.
He broke into a big grin and said “you found it! So that’s where it went – I looked everywhere for that”.
Jody said “not everywhere you didn’t look in Bryan’s burrito!”
He then went on to describe how when he was using the printer a piece of it flew off and how he had turned the place upside down looking for it
. By now we were both laughing as the mans reaction was just classic.
Bryan asked him if he would like his bit of plastic back and the man nodded gratefully.
Oh we can’t wait to get to Mexico!
Day 18 – Thursday 27th August
So we left this weird little town as quick as we could and headed north. North to the USA / Canada border and our friends beyond.
It was still quite a drive away – about 4 hours away but we made good time.
We just had a short wait at the border control – and this was unusual for us as we were driving ourselves across for the very first time. We drove up to the window and presented our passports. UK citizens do not need a visa to enter Canada by land at the moment although that will become more like the USA and Australia system where you apply on-line for a visa waiver come next year
So our passports were all we needed and all our paperwork and documents for Rosie.
We were very surprised when the border official said he was Canadian and that we hadn’t gone through USA border controls first. Normally you have to exit one country then move on across no mans land to the border control for the new country.
Still we didn’t complain – just a few random questions and we were in!
Dale and Tannis – we are on our way 🙂