Montana road trip – day 7

Although I wouldn’t say that the best was saved until last, driving through the Cascades was certainly a fitting end to a pretty amazing week away.

Having booked in to another small motel in Omak, Washington, it was time to leave Bonners Ferry. Our new best friend YELP wasn’t to enamoured by our prospective inn for the night, but it was the only place available and had a “you get what you pay for” ring to it. Turns out that we wouldn’t be paying anything as a drive around the outside was enough to make the decision that this was indeed a place to pass over.

So, next stop, Winthrop. We left the somewhat desert like Okanogan County and stared to get back to more forest like terrain. Winthrop is know for being a ‘wild west’ town, a kind of cowboy equivalent to Bavarian Leavenworth. This provided a neat second bookend to our introduction to strange town USA. Not strange weird, just strange, in an out of place sort of way. As it turned out, Winthrop was full and although we’ll certainly head back there to investigate, the homing instinct led us to carry on westwards.

The revised plan was to drive through the Cascades and grab a room around Burlington overnight. Naturally the last minute room didn’t happen, but the Cascades did. Although I wouldn’t say that the best was saved until last, driving through the Cascades was certainly a fitting end to a pretty amazing week away.

Utterly stunning would probably be an understatement. Where Glacier National Park and the Logan Pass was majestic in it’s scale, the Cascades felt close up and personal.

Maybe that closeness made for a more memorable experience, maybe it was making the journey near sundown, whatever it was, it was superb.

Note to self. Revisit on a bike!

Feeling suitably overawed for the umpteenth time in a week, it was back to civilization. The overnight stop around Burlington was essentially to visit the outlets. A out of place end to a week of splendid scenery and wilderness was to be immersed back in to consumerism. However, as with a number of things on this road trip, plan ‘b’ had to be adopted as once again we couldn’t find a vacant room. Another night in the car was not on the agenda, particularly being back in a built up area, so despite it being late, BC it was to be.

A sprint up I5, across the border and back home for around 1.30am.

The roadtrip was over. Some 2600 Km had been covered and more memories were filed and locked away, ready for recall and replaying on the personal Super 8 screen of the mind.

Comment of the trip, made to a guy whilst sailing on Flathead Lake in Montana. “This is the furthest east we’ve driven since arriving in North America”  The proposition of Montana somehow being mentioned in the same sentence as ‘east’ was met with a confused look. Montana is real cowboy country. Montana is west.

The wonderlust will continue and 2012 will hopefully add a new twist to the roadtrip; scootouring, or 2 go mad on Vespa’s. I can’t wait.

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