Sunday, July 03, 2011

There and back in a flash

This post is all about a road trip we took showing some of the contrasting landscape we drove through, and it is done so my family and friends in New Zealand, can see just how different the territory is between Western and Eastern Washington.
Friday late afternoon, we left Whidbey Island for the long drive to Moxee which is just the other side of Yakima WA, to compete in a pistol match on Saturday.

We arrived at the range close to 8pm after stopping and enjoying a dinner at Big Red's 50's style diner. We parked our RV and settled in for a quiet night before Saturday's pistol match.

From where we park the RV there is a spectacular view out across the countryside, and the sunsets are more than spectacular.

As day slipped into night, we could see lights from the community in the distance light up, twinkling softly against the shadowed mountains far behind.

Ty timing Mr C
Saturday dawned bright and sunny and we knew we were in for a scorcher of a day. We left Whidbey Island in the upper 60'sF and they were forecasting the upper 80'sF for Moxee. I was less than happy with that news as I do not do well in the heat. You can see the high berms surrounding this bay, and I can tell you, if there is no breeze, you feel that you are being slowly baked in an oven.

Sure enough, it was hot, hot, hot. I found an old, past it's best umbrella in the RV, which gave me some much needed shade, as I wrote down the times for the guys on our squad. When it came time for me to shoot, I made haste and got it over and done with as quickly as possible, so I could get back in my shady spot. Fortunately it was only a five stage match and we were done shooting by about two pm, and back on the road for home. But, we did stop on our way out of town at Dairy Queen for a large Blizzard. Yummy! and just the thing to cool us down.

From where our RV was parked looking back up towards the first bay.

A view out across miles and miles farmland and orchards to the mountains in the far distance. If it were not for irrigation, this vast land would still be a dry, sagebrush covered desert.

With Yakima behind us, we had miles of driving through hot dry sagebrush covered terrain, climbing a couple of very steep passes before dropping over the other side into greener farmlands.

I have always loved this view of miles of rolling farmland, with the spectacular mountains in the distance.

Such a lovely view, and I really prefer green to brown *grin*

I was in awe of the wind turbines my brother took me to see when I was back in New Zealand a few years ago, especially when I stood at the base of one, and now here we have them in Washington, harnessing the power of the wind.

There is a lot of construction going on, on Snoqualmie Pass, in fact, quite often there is a report on the TV that the road will be closed for an hour or so, so the workers can get some blasting done. They are removing thousands of tons of rock to widen the highway to three or perhaps four lanes.

We certainly have beautiful scenery in Washington State and when driving Snoqualmie pass you will be in awe. Of couse if you live here, after a while you are inclined to take it for granted, but I can imagine how visitors would view these majestic mountains.

How can you not be in awe at such beauty?

Back to reality, driving the freeway.
Mr C had a white knuckled grip on the steering wheel, of our non power steering RV, as we went through Bellevue. For a change the traffic was a little lighter, but still no fun to drive with some of the idiots on the road.

What a welcome sight, there is Whidbey Island across Puget sound, and the Mukilteo ferry dock just down the hill. We were lucky that there wasn't more traffic waiting to get to the island. When we left on Friday and drove up this road, the vehicles were backed up in the ferry lane, for miles. There would have been a two hour plus wait for their turn to board the ferry for the crossing.

There she is, the Cathlamet and we will board her in just under an hour.

At last, we are driving the dock to take our place on the ferry.

There are two, actually three decks on this ferry, if you count the passenger deck up above. On the left and right, there are upper and lower decks, with two lanes a piece, then in the center, are three lanes. This is where all the larger vehicles are parked, semi trucks, RV's etc. then smaller vehicles take up the remaining space. It is only about a 20 minute crossing to Clinton, Whidbey Island, then just a 15 minute drive from the ferry dock to our home.

So family and friends, there you have it. I hope you enjoyed going on this mini, ummm! vacation with us. *grin*
Oh! by the way, in the pistol match, I finished 4th out of 8, in my class.


edtNZ said...

TY for your road trip pictures of Washington State. The new camera seems to be performing well.

GAIL said...

That was fun joining you two on your trip over and back in such different country. Great photos and story!
Hugs, Gail