Getting There - Aneel's Travelogue

< Previous: Seattle | Getting There - Aneel's Travelogue | Next: Dam to Lake >

Across the Cascades Grand Coulee, WA, Monday, 22 August 2011 6:40pm

I left Seattle almost on schedule. I was out of Lauri's house before 10am, but I had to make a stop at the post office to mail some stuff back to myself. I decided it wasn't worth the space to carry a sweatshirt in addition to my fleece jackets. And I picked up an inflatable camping pillow from REI that seems like it'll be more comfortable than my down camping pillow, and will pack down to about a fifth of the size. Even with those changes, it's still difficult to fit everything into my luggage. I'm carrying significantly more food than I was before, but little else should have changed.

This was the first day of the trip that I didn't have spectacular weather. It was a warm, but overcast day. That might have been for the best, since I rode all day without my liners in, and was still warm.

My route took me east across the Cascade Mountain Range. As soon as I got out of the Seattle Metro Area, the air started smelling wonderful. In the foothills, there was a strong note of conifers. At higher altitudes, it was just pleasantly crisp.

I stopped at Deception Falls in Snoqualmie National Forest and did a nice, if short loop hike around the falls. There are some ancient, huge Red Cedars along Deception Creek, but they're disappearing because the forest is too crowded for their saplings to get the light they need. The same thing is happening to the Douglas Firs. Unless a fire or some thing else clears the area, Hemlocks and Alders will crowd them out in a few hundred years.

As the afternoon wore on, I crested the Cascades at Stevens Pass and started down into flatter country. There's a lot of fruit grown in this area (the famous Washington Apples, for example), so I stopped at one of the numerous places selling local produce and picked out enough that I had to search for places to put it all. I end up with blackberries, cherries, peaches, and pluots. The blackberries were the best. Right out of the fruit shop's refrigerator, they were deliciously cold, juicy and sweet.

There was a brief area where orchards gave way to grain fields, and then I entered the territory near the Grand Coulee. US-2 runs through a valley between buttes. They're a familiar shape, but a color that's new to me, a grayish brown with green markings.

I'm checked in to a motel about 2 miles from the Grand Coulee Dam, where I'm hoping to catch the laser show this evening.

236mi in 9:13


(Anonymously) Saturday, 27 August 2011 6:09pm

Loved your reference to WCW!

aneel Saturday, 27 August 2011 8:31pm

World Championship Wrestling?