Checking In From The Road

Last modified on June 28th, 2008

I left Vancouver yesterday to set out on a mini adventure. First, I swung by Langley to have lunch with my dad, and laid out a few options about where I was going to go. During the course of the meal I eventually finalized on doing the North Cascades Highway in the United States, and headed out shortly afterwards.

I spent about an hour waiting in the line-up to cross the border. Considering I didn’t really have a final destination, the border guard was actually pretty nice to me and even chatted with me for a bit about life in Vancouver. I made it to Rockport on the first night, and set up camp near a little river.

I didn’t have a book to read or anything mildly entertaining, so I just sat in front of the camp fire with a few beers and relaxed. Later that night I invited myself over to a neighbors campsite and enjoyed a few more beers with Brian and Sara, both from Bellingham.

They were both a ton of fun, and even started feeding me free beers after a while. There’s was a little pub up near the highway that we ended up heading up to for an hour or so. After that, I retired to my little spot beside the river.

I actually overslept this morning, and missed the official check-out time by an hour. I decided to continue along the North Cascades highway (which is only open in the summer time), stopping at a few picturesque spots along the way. My favourite was Diablo Lake, pictured here:

I was actually pretty beat today, and really didn’t feel like being in the car. I pushed myself to get to Spokane, since it’s a large city close to some major highways. I couldn’t find a campsite I liked near here, so I’m currently holed up the first hotel I saw that offered free wireless internet.

I’m debating heading further east tomorrow, or perhaps finding a nice campground near here and relaxing for a day. I’m leaning towards the latter, since I wouldn’t mind a day of reading or sitting by a stream.

I actually picked up a GPS unit for my car on the way down here, and it’s been really great to have. In fact, it seems pretty strange that I ever traveled without one. If you want to stop, you just click what you’re looking for, and a list of whatever (gas stations, hotels, camp grounds) comes up and you can pick which one you want to navigate to. Plus, it always gives you a real time estimate of “are we there yet?” so you always know how much longer it is.

8 responses to “Checking In From The Road”

  1. Sebrina says:

    I really like the way you vacation, I think. Diablo Lake looks very pretty. A stream and a book sounds quite lovely.

  2. Amber says:

    Hey! You’re only 2 hours away from me now! I frequently day-trip to Spokane & Coeur d’Alene. Seriously D, you’re the coolest vacationer around…I can’t believe you only now just got a GPS!

  3. Rebecca says:

    We went down one of those “only open in the summer” highways in April when we crossed the border near Osoyoos… yeah.. wasn’t prepared for all that snow and the tire spinning 😛

    Have fun, be safe!

  4. Keira-Anne says:

    Amber beat me to it, but I was going to say that you should definitely visit Coeur d’Alene. I spent the Fourth of July there a few years ago, and it’s a very sweet and quaint town. I hope you have a great trip 🙂

  5. Gregg says:

    Your basically at Coeur d’Alene right now, so if you don’t want to go any further, find a camp there. My childhood was spent going to family reunions there, my grandfather’s family was so big that we’d take over an entire campground for a weekend.

    My grandparents lived a few hours south in Lewiston, ID; and I spent a month every summer there and even lived and went to college there for a few years. Hit me up if you want some camping recommendations in the area; my grandparents were avid outdoors people. I’d probably head down there if I were you and then start heading up the Clearwater river, there is a ton of beautiful places to camp along there. In there later years, my grandparents always set up a camp for the entire summer at Dworshack, which is the third largest dam in the US and dams the north fork of the Clearwater. There is a huge reservoir behind it with lots of camping. Then a great way to go back would be to follow the Snake river and then the Columbia along the Washington/Oregon border to the coast.

  6. Raul says:

    Coeur d’Alene? Sounds VERY French – do people speak French there?

    I’ll have to go on a road trip with you sometime, Duane! You’re stellar in this kind of adventures!

  7. Stewart says:

    Cool to see you found SR20 – I love that road! In fact could easily spend a vacation along it – so much to see and do including the excellent North Cascades Institute – which is close to Diablo Lake but deliberately hidden from the road.

    Got through the road as late as the end of September, but the road maintenance crew do an excellent job of keeping it open as long as possible. Another great website for the are is of course

    Enjoy your Vacation!

  8. Sarah-Renee says:

    That is a beautiful drive, one of my favorites. My family lives off of Hwy 20 just north of Sedro-Woolley and growing up we used to road trip to just outside of Omak to visit friends, some of the best horse riding country out there. The drive through Couer D’Alene is impressive, I last went through there in 2006 and even though we took the main Hwy 90, it was still an amazing drive. If you’re ever in the area drive through Baker Lake, it has some excellent camping spots. You have to drive around and passed the lake for the good ones, but it’s awesome none the less. Another good one to hit in Washington is out on the peninsula, the Ho Rainforest in the Olympic National Park. The moss growing on the trees look like curtains it’s amazing. Have fun!

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