Friday, August 12, 2011

Summer 2011 road trip day 2

Given the splendid weather the day before I expected to wake up to a sunny day again. Imagine my surprise when I looked out the window and saw a foggy, grey landscape.

It was early in the morning though, barely past 6am. I was itching to go, so had a quick breakfast of toast and yoghurt and was on the road by 7am. I headed east into Sedro-Woolley where I joined highway 20, the road that would take me across most of Washington state that day.
Very quickly, things became rural and I entered North Cascades National Park not much later. The road became scenic very quickly and started winding its way through forests. The fog was gone by now and the temperature was going up so I dropped the top and the adventure truly began! I did notice some signs announcing road works "for the next 30 miles" so that had me a bit worried. There were some spots with flaggers and construction areas and soon traffic ground to a halt. Sigh, not what I was hoping for but hey, it was a good opportunity to take a quick break and stretch my legs.

Once past this area I plunged deeper into forests along a lovely, windy and scenic road so the delays were soon forgotten. The first real town I hit was Winthrop, I get there around 10am. This little town has an old-style Western type feel to it with lots of wooden storefronts and historic looking buildings. I parked the car and took a look around.

I found a very good little coffee shop called Noca where I fueled up with a cappucino and a scone. Little did I know this was going to be my last food until dinner!

After Winthrop I continued on to Okanogan where I headed north on the 97 until Tonasket where I headed east again on the 20 towards Republic. The road continued through a mixture of forest and sweeping grasslands, meadows, farms and tiny little towns. It was way past lunchtime by now but I failed to find anything appealing. I had high hopes every time I entered a small town, to find another place like Noca but I was invariably greeted by a strip of fast food restaurants and very little else. I'd have to be on the brink of starvation death before I eat fast food so I carried on, hungry and fervently hoping the restaurant in the resort in Cranbrook would be good.

Past Republic lies Kettle Falls, then Colville. The road was great but the construction bug was present here too. There was also a lot of gravel in places, at some point the car went into a bit of a skid when I hit the brakes before a turn. This prompted me to rein her in a bit and take it easy. I sure was glad I wasn’t on a motorcycle, it would have been scary indeed! I did find a little area with a short trail through the forest there I took a break for a little hike, returning I got a nice peek-a-boo view of the car:

After the Colville National Forest I finally headed North past Metaline and back into Canada.

It was almost 4pm when I finally crossed the border. The border guard wanted to go through my stuff and was momentarily baffled when he asked I pop the trunk and I asked him which one. The Boxster has two trunks, one at the front and one at the back. He ended searching both. His colleague wondered where the engine was, I had to explain what a mid-engine car means. In the end they were quite impressed and let me go. I headed north-east towards Creston and my destination, the St. Eugene Golf resort and Casino just past Cranbrook. This is a very stately property that looks quite impressive and is located in a very nice spot.

I got there at 6pm so it was an 11-hour day. I was completely fried by the time I staggered into my room and spent some time puttering about before having a long shower and going in search of food. After seeing the prices at the main restaurant which were a bit high for what I knew I was going to get, I decided on the lounge instead.

The beer I had went down exceptionally well, after that I had a plate of smoked meats and sausages followed by a pasta dish and crème brulee for dessert. I was famished and wolved it all down.

I wandered around the place for a bit, a bit dazed from the marathon drive and the feeding frenzy I just had. I returned to my room and was fast asleep shortly after 10pm.

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