We got underway from Anacortes this morning, battling smoke and later, Spokane traffic, while crossing Washington to our first stop on Lake Cour d’Alene in Idaho.
We covered 397 miles in about nine hours, including a last minute supply stop at Camping World, refueling a couple of times, a lunch stop at a rest area along the way, and a bit of Spokane rush hour traffic. I was surprised at our gas mileage, which was better than I expected at 10.8 mpg. I kept the average speed around 60 mph, creeping up to 65 on the downhills and flats and trying to hold 55 uphill. The RV handled much like a boat in small swells, wallowing back and forth quite a bit. It was loud but not unbearable, with most of the noise sounding like it was coming from the rear differential. Our RV has 116,000 miles on it, and I am wondering if they allowed us to take this particular one on a one way trip because it is time to go to the RV retirement home (or some unwitting buyer).
Gwen insisted that we play the license plate game, and given that we had thousands of cars blowing by us, it was a fun way to pass the time. We were astounded to see plates from 27 states before even getting out of Washington. There were at least two or three unique plates that we couldn’t identify because the cars passed too quickly!
We were originally planning to take Highway 20 from Anacortes through North Cascades National Park, but unfortunately, that route ran right into the area consumed by the two largest fires in the state, the Cold Springs and Pearl Hill fires. We instead went South and took I-90 across. The smoke was pretty steady, cleared a bit climbing over Snoqualmie Pass, but then socked in pretty heavily in the middle of the sate past Moses Lake.
By the time we got through Spokane, things had cleared up considerably. We had some really nice views of Lake Cour d’Alene as we were heading into the campground for the first night.
We’re now settled in for the night at Camp Cour d’Alene. We have electrical and water hookups, and are running the air conditioning to minimize smoke exposure overnight. Our goal tomorrow is to ride a rail trail called the Route of the Hiawatha along the Idaho/Montana border. We’ll see if conditions permit.