After I left Hope on Friday morning (September 3rd) there was a considerable amount of traffic on Highway One – it did, after all, go to Vancouver. It may see strange, but I was totally unprepared, psychologically, for all of the businesses and the stores and the amount of traffic on Interstate Five! It wasn't exactly culture-shock, more like sensory overload. Too much all at once. It didn't take long before my nerves were shot!
Almost on the verge of Panic, I exited onto the first highway I saw that would take me away from there – Washington State Road 20. I got through the heaviest traffic area and on past Sedro Woolley. The first State Park that I came to had a “Campground Full” sign, the second park was closed, the third one didn't have a campground. Not good. Then I got to the little town of Rockport. And they have a Municipal Park with a beautiful campground along the river. All of the RV sites were taken but there were still a few tent sites available. Lucky me! It was early afternoon but I stopped for the night anyway. No telling what, if anything, would be available on down the road. It took a while for my nerves to get settled. A nice hot shower helped immensely as did sitting down by the river and watching the water flow by.
Saturday morning, looking at the map, I realized that if I continued east on State Route 20, I'd be going through the Cascade Mountain Range and through the middle of North Cascades National Park. Neither of which would be bad, by any means, but I needed internet access and/or a cell phone signal. So it was back towards Sedro Woolley.
With my errands completed, and because the clouds had blocked out the sun, I decided to go south a short ways on I-5 to Everett and pick up U.S. Route 2, which is a scenic highway through the southern Cascades and Wenatchee Mountains. When I got over Thompson Pass, the clouds disappeared and I saw sunshine and blue skies once again. It was a beautiful drive though I took no pictures to prove it! The landscape changed as I drove east on the other side of the mountains. Fewer trees, brown hillsides, open vistas.
Near Wenatchee U.S. 2 joins up with U.S. 97 and turns north, following the Columbia River, so I did too. Highways run along both sides of the river, I stayed on the west side on the “alternate” route and stopped at the small town of Entiat where there was a municipal park and campground alongside the river. It was almost perfect. Large trees shaded the campground and dotted the riverside. Two nights I spent there, soaking up the sunshine and basking in the warm temperatures (low 70s) and light breeze, generally just taking it easy.
The view from my campsite, looking northeast.
From the north side of the park, looking toward the west. The campground was nestled amongst the trees on the western shore.