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USA Washington

Snoqualmie Falls, Washington

Heading south from Vancouver to Las Vegas, stopped by the Snoqualmie Falls, Washington. Heck of a lot warmer here on the west coast then at home in Ottawa (-1C vs -25C). As mentioned in my previous post, the day had started off foggy and I had some concerns that I might encounter delays at the border but things had gone well and I was ahead of schedule so aside trip to Snoqualmie Falls was just the break from driving that I needed.

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I still had to worry about getting through Snoqualmie Pass with the possibility of some visibility issues and some snow at the higher elevations so, although I might have liked to have explored the area around Snoqulamie a bit more, it wasn’t long before my gear was packed back into the truck and I was on my way again.

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USA Washington

Snoqualmie to Yakima, Washington

Snoqualmie to Yakima, Washington Road reports from Snoqualmie Pass indicated that aside from a bit of poorer visibility, I should have no problems with road conditions. Snoqualmie Pass and a couple of other ridges between Snoqualmie and Yakima were the areas that concerned me the most when I was planning this winter road trip so getting through this area without any serious issues would certainly help keep me on schedule. Therefore, after making a tourist-style stop as Snoqualmie Falls, I was on the road again heading skyward into the mountain passes. Although the road was clear and dry, up ahead I could see that I would be soon encountering fog and possibly snow squalls. DSC_7476-roadway DSC_7479-roadway DSC_7480-snow-ahead DSC_7482-snow-ahead DSC_7487-road-signs DSC_7499-fog-ahead Although the fog and low-lying cloud cover reduced visibility to near zero for some short stretches of this portion of the trip and required a drop in speed on occasion to 30mph, there was no area where the roads were slippery so no need to install chains or rely on the 4 wheel drive capability of my brother’s truck.  At some locations, there was a heavy coating of frost on the trees and fences and gave the landscape a truly magical appearance. DSC_7500-Roadside DSC_7504-frosted DSC_7506-one-way-sign DSC_7507-frosted
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Made it into Yakima, Washington without encountering any new problems once we began to drop in elevation form the higher passes and ridges.  Next day, would be the stretch from Yakima to Twin Falls.

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USA Washington

Vancouver, B.C. to Snoqualmie, Washington

The day started off fine. The kayaks had been loaded the night before so my plan was to leave reasonably early from my brother’s place in Burnaby, B.C. Was cool enough overnight to deposit a light film of frost on the windows but that was easy to remove.

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Hadn’t counted on the fog,though, so had a bit of difficulty getting onto #1 and getting off onto #15. Once I got that bit of directional difficulty sorted out, it was a straightforward trip to the US border at Blaine, Washington.

I was a bit concerned that I might encounter some difficulty at the border. After all, here I was, driving a truck that I didn’t own, transporting three kayaks that weren’t mine, and carrying a large bag of camping gear. The border agent asked numerous questions but in the end was just as interested in asking about the adverse weather conditions in Eastern North America (ice storm and -25C temperatures) as he was in slowing down my travel. We both agreed that -25C was colder than he wanted to experience and, with that decided, he sent me on my way.

The last time that I drove in the Seattle area, I was driving a Miata. This time, I was higher up in the cab of a Ford 350. The traffic certainly easier to deal with when you can see over top of most of the vehicles in front of you. Didn’t help me much though when I was supposed to make a highway change. Found myself in the wrong lane at the time and the better manoeuvrability of the Miata might have come in handy. Eventually got lined up to head east and started to climb into the mountains. My next challenge would be to get through Snoqualmie Pass. I was ahead of schedule and the weather forecast was fine so when I reached the area of Snoqualmie,I decided to play tourist and go to visit Snoqualmie Falls before heading through the pass.(More Snoqualmie Falls images)

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