A Trip Across the USA
Jon Vermilye's Photo Page

Trip Index

May 16 - Continued

We stocked up on food & ice at Albertsons, got a shopper's card, Stopped off to say good bye to Brian & Karin, Dean (their landlord) and Brian's parents, Bert & Pam. Then it was off to Washington. Route 200 through Montana & 20 as far as we got into Washington is another pair of roads through national forests, farm & ranch land and many small towns. The parts of Washington Route 20 that climb the hills have many switchbacks, but not as bad as 21 in Idaho. We stopped for lunch at a picnic ground next to the Priest River in Idaho, but the geese were a bit pushy. Finally stopped a few miles down the road at a combined boat launch / picnic ground.We stopped at Kettle Falls, WA to get milk, some snacks & a Safeway Shopper's card. It shouldn't be too long before we have every shopper's card that exists!

We have already gone over half the planned miles for the trip (5100) somehow I suspect we will exceed out expectations! Stopped for the night at Canyon Creek National Forest Campground. Again, like Craters of the Moon, there are no fees because the campground doesn't open until the 26th. I'm not sure what more you get for your $6.00 - the campground has no water, and pit toilets (that are already stocked with toilet paper). There are about 2-3 other campers spread over some 30 campsites. Very quiet, lots of pine trees & a bubbling stream. Great!

Of course, since there is no water, it would mean morning coffee made from ice chest melt again. I am willing to subject myself to that, but not others, so while the rest of the crew was communing with nature, I jumped into the car & drove 20 miles back to Kettle Falls for a jug of water. Communing with nature is great fun until it started to rain - actually, it would qualify as a downpour. Luckily, we already had the tents up, but when I got back the happy campers were huddled in Don & Anne's car. Only problem there is with all three smoking, ventilation was necessary - Note the umbrella placed to keep out the rain.

The rain has stopped, we have dined on ham & cheese sandwiches, and are ready to call it a night.

Keeping an Eye on Us
The Family
Note the Umbrella to Keep Out The Rain


May 17 - Into the Cascades, Almost...

Went for a walk this morning & met two Moose (or Mooses - not sure which they would prefer.) They are quite a bit bigger when walking than when viewed from a car, but they ran the other way faster than I did my way. Unfortunately, I didn't have my camera with me, so I went back, found them again, and took a great picture of the trees they were standing in. There is a prize for the first person to email me with the location of the moose in the photo below. What? Can't find them? Oh well, it was a neat experience to see them from 15' - 20'.

We then took to ride to the top of the mountain - a one lane with pull outs gravel road. Believe it or not, the road was on my Delorme mapping software, although not quite in the right place. On the way down I saw what I first thought was a big racoon. At second glance, I realized that it would have been a very big racoon, and all brown. Our first bear of the trip! It was a small brown bear, and no, I didn't get a photo, but Don did see it running away.

We headed west on Washington Route 20, through more passes, flats (called parks in Colorado, not sure about here in WA) and lots of pleasant scenery. Stopped at a Subway for lunch - got s Subway card to add to my shopper's card collection. Stopped for the night in Winthrop, WA. Although it was a little early, there isn't much else until the Cascades, and no idea if anything will be open at that altitude. We stopped at a KOA, and had a bit of discussion about tents or renting a Kamping Kabin. They had one 2 room kabin (Hey - I didn't pick the spelling - they did) left. It had just finished raining, and the people who run the place told us they hardly ever get rain - "14 inches a year & half that as snow." Carol somehow knew that we needed the Kabin. It cost a bit more, but since I am now typing this in a pouring rain listening to the trees across the river blowing down, lightning & thunder all around us, and the electricity is off in the entire valley, I'm kind of glad she wanted a night inside. Of course, it is still a bit of a walk to the bathrooms, but it's dry!

A little before the storm we went up Twin Lakes road a little east of Winthrop up to a resort called Sun Mountain. Wonderful views of the valley, and many wildflowers are in bloom. Well worth the trip up.

There is a Moose Here!
Carol Packing up the Tent at 40 Degrees
The View of the Valley From Sun Mountain
Our Kabin, # 16
The Wild Flowers Are Out


May 18, 2004 - Into the Cascades for Real

Well, the power came back on, the electric heater in our room worked, and we are happy Kampers! Maybe last night's rain is unusual for the area - there were trees floating by in the river below the campsite. Anyway, we are off to the Cascades.

Wow, Wow, Wow, well at least two wows! - The Cascades are beautiful. I know I keep saying that about everywhere, but these mountains are spectacular! Many glaciers, lots of snow still on the ground, and, because we are here, rain.

We have been told by the manager of the KOA that we should hire ourselves out as rainmakers. I'm beginning to believe we could. We keep hearing that there is rarely any rain in all these areas we are going to, but every time Don or I get out of the cars to take a photo, it starts to rain.

We did get a few - samples are below. Photos don't do the park justice. Moving even a few feet changes the view. Even with the rain, the mountains against the clouds were great. We also met a very friendly bird. Either people have been feeding him & his friends, or they just love people. They would often land so close that I couldn't focus on them with my telephoto lens, sometimes right at your feet.

After going through the Cascades, we drove through Rockport State Park. We thought of staying there, but, as usual, as we got out of the car it started to thunder and lightning. The trees in the park are old growth. I don't know if the photo below captures the size of these things, but the branches are the size of normal trees. And they are about 200' in the air. And directly over the tent sites. And did I mention Lightning? Anyhow, we headed for a motel. We are at the North Cascade Inn in Concrete, WA. And it is raining. And Thundering & Lightning (are those words?) And, of course, the power went out, but this time only for a minute.

We had dinner at the inn attached to the motel - Good food!

Well, until tomorrow...


Washington Pass, The Cascades
A Stream in the Cascades
A Very Friendly Grey or Canadian Jay at Washington Pass
Us in the Cascades
Rockport State Park
Rockport State Park


May 19 - Anacortes at Last!

We pulled into Anacortes Ferry Station at 12:30 & watched the ferry leaving for the San Juans - sort of like Nantucket! The next one is at 3:30PM so while waiting, we checked with Radio Shack for the location of WiFi or high speed internet connections. According to them there aren't any. Stopped at the library & they sent me to the Penguin Coffee Shop. Since Radio Shack is now a phone & computer rather than electronics store, you would think they would know something about the connections available in their town... We are now at the Penguin updating the page.

Till later.


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Last Update: March 25, 2012