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3 Flags - Day 1

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Start Location: Everett, WA
Ending Location: Ponderay, ID
Miles Today: 380
Trip Miles: 380
States Visited: 2
Low Temp: 55 degrees
High Temp: 83 degrees
Min Elevation: 65'
Max Elevation: 3020'

Route Map:

Well it never fails. This has been one of the driest summers on record in the Northwest and we have had very little rainfall for the last 2 months. But at 9:00 this morning, about 20 minutes before we left, it started to rain. Nothing else to do but don the rain gear and head out anyway. It really wasn't too bad though since the rain only lasted about as long as it took to get to I90 - maybe 45 minutes or so. But we left the rain gear on until lunch since it was pretty cool.

The first half of the trip was pretty uneventful and the weather pretty dreary. We crossed over Snoqualmie Pass and went by the ski areas which look pretty bleak this time of the year. Things picked up a little bit by the time we got to the Columbia River. Unfortunately, what picked up was the wind, especially going across the bridge, the cross winds were very stiff. Once across the river we stopped at the Wild Horse Monument. We think this is new since we haven't seen it before. It's a series of statues of wild horses set up on the top of a high hill overlooking the Columbia River. The wind was so strong here that it was very difficult to take a photo without something to hold onto so you didn't get blown around.

Strong winds must not be too unusual around here. We stopped for lunch and all of the picnic tables at the rest area were protected by wind fences - and they were definitely appreciated.

After lunch we spent much of the ride to Spokane dodging the tumble weeds that were blowing all over the road and breathing the dust that was everywhere. Linda attempted to get a picture of one of the tumble weeds and finally managed to get one. It was pretty difficult when we were moving at 70 miles an hour and the tumble weeds were moving about 30 miles an hour.

Finally, the wind let up a little about the time we arrived in Spokane. We were also able to get off of the Interstate and start following route 2 into Idaho and ultimately to Ponderay, where we are staying for the night. Tomorrow we head out for Glacier National Park. Let's hope it's not raining.