We finally bid farewell to Rand and Angie and packed up for our departure from Seattle. Before we actually hit the road, we borrowed some caulk from the garage and recaulked the main seam down the middle of the roof. It had developed a small hole and water tended to puddle right near this hole. Fortunately we have experienced almost no rain on the entire trip so far!
We drove south and then east on I-90. After passing through the Cascades we entered the great Columbia Plateau, a large depression where so much of the earth’s mantle flooded out in great lava flows that the crust eventually collapsed downward. A massive earth-scale turning of the soil, if you will. It is now a semi-arid savanna full of grasses and shrubs. I was a bit surprised as it reminded me of parts of New Mexico. Not exactly what I was expecting in the great Pacific Northwest!
We crossed the Columbia River at a small lake created by the Wanapum dam near Vantage. Shortly after our crossing, we took a scenic turnout and snapped a few pictures of the river below. A bonus was the wild horse sculpture on a nearby hillside! We stayed one night in an RV park near Moses Lake.
The next morning we packed again and took off, stopping after only 17 miles in Moses Lake itself. We got gas and breakfast, and upon returning to the vehicle I noticed that I had left the AC power adapter for the Coleman cooler on top of the Montero. Oops! Somehow it had managed to stay put. Disaster averted.
Eastern Washington had another surprise for us, dust devils! And unlike most of these we typically see in Texas or New Mexico, these were tall rope-like funnels. They were very reminiscent of landspouts, just without the clouds above. At one point we saw several of these all in one area.
In Spokane we stopped to see someone whom I only knew only from the internet. Gregg Thurman was someone who introduced me to investing in options. He trades almost exclusively in Apple stock, so we share an interest in both investing and Mac gear. We stopped by his antique car restoration shop and he gave us a tour of his wonderful old cars, and his project Mustang/GT, as well as his awesome Ford GT, one of only 4000 ever made. We’re both talkers, so Dixie ended up wandering around and taking pictures. We only stayed for a couple of hours and then took off to the east since our destination for the night was in Montana!
Unfortunately, Idaho had other plans for us. We managed to bypass a big traffic jam in Spokane by visiting Gregg, but while we were in Idaho, just after going through the 4th of July pass, we ourselves were passed by three different State Troopers in a big hurry. Unfortunately the 4th of July Pass is also the last exit for six miles. Soon we passed a trooper setting out flares on the shoulder, lights flashing. And then we stopped. Eventually Dixie went walking down the road, rounding two curves, but she still couldn’t see what was stopping traffic up ahead. The word being passed back through the truckers was that a big rig had caught on fire. Great.
During the next hour we saw ambulances and wreckers come and go, and eventually we were moving again, slowly. Hope the driver got out in time!
We were obviously much later getting in to camp than we had anticipated. We had no cell phone service so I didn’t get the voice mail when the RV park tried to call us, but I later found Google Voice’s attempt to transcribe it! LOL
Fortunately we made it in long before they closed the gates at 10PM. I was tired enough that we even stayed an extra night, just to recuperate. But we made it to Montana!
Click the picture below to see the entire photo album!