The constant traveling is starting to take its toll. We are all worn out, especially after yesterday’s whirlwind trip through Yellowstone. Today would be another long push, but it would get us very close to our final goal. We would be traveling from Bozeman, Montana to Ellensburg, Washington.
- The mountainous pass between Bozeman and Butte is spectacular, with sharp boulders and peaks.
- Smoke from western forest fires was terrible, obscuring many views.
- We had the location of the graves of Laura’s grandparents in Missoula, courtesy of cousin Rick Mauer. However, we were not able to stop because of our time schedule. We want to come back this way.
- Lunch was in the small Montana town of St. Regis at a tourist trap. We resisted the casino and trinkets.
- A 80 MPH speed limit on the twisting ascents and descents was terrifying.
- We crossed into Idaho and Mountain Time at Lookout Pass on I-90. The speed limits dropped immediately.
- Lots of construction along I-90 with single lane traffic.
- The town of Wallace, Idaho, is a quaint little village. We stopped in 2004, and I would have loved to have stopped this time, but we kept going.
- After a long descent we finally reached Lake Cour d’Alene and the town with the same name. Before we knew it we were crossing into Washington and approaching Spokane.
- Eastern Washington was about as desolate as our trip across the wilds of Montana. The smoke didn’t help.
- We stopped at the Columbia Gorge overlook. More smoke.
- In addition to the Columbia we crossed lots of bodies of water and rivers where I would have loved to have paddled.
- Speaking of which, I had my boats inspected no less than five times for invasive species – once on the trip from Rapid City to Bozeman a couple of days ago, two more times in Montana, twice in Idaho, and once in Washington.
- Finally we pulled into Ellensburg at about 5:00. When we checked into our hotel we discovered why it had been hard to get a room. This was the weekend of the big rodeo and county fair.
- We had a relaxed dinner at The Palace Cafe, an excellent spot. We took a quick spin through the town and found it to our liking.
- Back to the hotel to relax and for the final push to Samish Island.
Mileage – 566.1 miles