The weather remained fairly nice for travelling today. We crossed the last bit of Idaho and into the southeastern part of Washington State, over the Snake River, the Columbia and finally the Yakima River. The land is either rolling sagebrush and cheat grass hills or irrigated farms, vineyards and orchards. Apples and pears were abundant and I wish we could have brought a box of my favourite Honeycrisp apples home with us. They were so cheap direct from the farm!
We had some trouble at the state park campground. Apparently it's in the white-knuckled control of the most anal bunch of hall monitors we've ever run across! We drove in, found a campsite that was not on the reserved list, popped our fee in the box and tried to settle in. Nope. Mr. Ranger flung (literally) our envelope back at us and ordered us out to the parking area to wait until the registration booth opened at 2pm. Less than an hour away. Nobody was in our spot. What was it hurting to stay there and go visit the booth when it opened? OBVIOUS. Mortal. Sin.
So we waited in the designated area. And registered as required. And were then told we still had to wait until 2:30pm before we could occupy our campsite. Because someone may be cleaning it or something. Not. Happening. Wait some more. I just wanted to settle in and go for a walk! In the many many campgrounds we have encountered this was the first time ever that things were so regimented. We've had to wait before for the previous tenants to vacate. No problem. This was the first time we've had to wait over an hour to occupy our site when it was totally open and ready for us. Just because they could make us wait. Jerks.
Anyway, we finally got to go on our walk along the levee above the Yakima River:
The trail around the pond was pretty:
October 1 - HOME!
We had decided that we weren't going to stop for one more night but just to press on for home. Enough already! We had already picked up our supply of our favourite Tillamook cheddar cheese at a Safeway the day before so all we needed was gas to get us home. The border crossing took about 20 minutes to get through but was relatively painless. It's so nice to be in our own place again! It feels like so long since we've been gone. Remember we left on July 30 so the total is actually 64 days, all 10 provinces, 12 US states, and 11,000 miles or nearly 18,000 kilometres! Oy.
We had a great time but take note - we'll never do anything that crazy again. Remind me I said that if I start hinting about another marathon trip, OK? Done.
People keep asking what we liked best. No idea! So many highlights and everywhere had it's beauty. I do think it was colder in general than I was expecting. It was never actually stinkin' hot! We were feeling cold more often especially in Newfoundland. Even the desert was tolerable. When you bring clothes for every eventuality and you use all the medium temperature items while the shorts languish and you're often reaching for an extra fleece top, you know it's not your regular hot summer weather. We used either our electric or propane heater especially in the mornings. Yellowstone especially was only 4C when we got up but heated up to 21C in the afternoons. Makes it hard to get out of bed when you can see your breath!
We managed to pace ourselves well most days so we weren't pushing too hard to get to the next place. Experience has taught us the hard lesson that we need to stop and make tea and coffee and to eat regularly while we travel. Not good when your brain shuts down due to low blood sugar! So much more pleasant all around when rested and fed.
Do you know I forgot to even mention what happened with the rock that we took to The Rock! Aggie elected not to stay in Newfoundland and little Magic decided to stay with us as well. But we did find a new rock to come home with us. Meet Newfie:
I bought 2 souvenirs too. This turned and carved olive wood reamer will be perfect for the limes I struggle to juice:
And there ya go! Hope you've enjoyed coming along vicariously on the trip with us. We are so glad to be home but incredibly happy that we did this monumental Great Transcontinental Trek! It was an amazing experience. Now we're singing the Ruby Slipper Song - there's no place like home. There's NO place like home.