The route to Canada has taken me up through Washington and into Idaho before crossing the border on Hwy 95 into Canada. Traveling through Washington gave me another opportunity to stay at a Thousand Trails Campground while I have my one year membership. The other TT campgrounds that I have stayed at haven’t convinced me to renew the membership but after staying at Crescent Bar TT I may be rethinking renewing my membership. Crescent Bar sits along the Columbia River near Quincy Washington. The campground is very well kept up and the sites are spaced far enough apart so it doesn’t feel like you are on top of your neighbor (unlike the other TT campgrounds that I visited). In the area there was a town that had a variety of shopping opportunities along with some good hiking trails nearby.
Planning around the thunderstorms Cory and I did a hike to Ancient Lake. Getting to the trailhead early was a good idea as this can be a popular hike. As it was a weekday and before noon we only saw one other person on the trail until we were almost back to the car.
Ancient Lakes is a cluster of three small lakes nestle at the head of a flat bottomed, cliff ringed valley called a coulee in these parts of Washington. The Ancient Lakes coulee is carved into the orchard-covered Quincy plateau and faces west, toward the Columbia River. The year-round Ancient Lake Falls is actually runoff from the many orchards on the plateau above the falls and all of the hiking guides warn about drinking the water even with a purifier due to the pesticides that flow off the crops (kind of scary what is going into our water tables and our produce). This part of Washington is known for its apple orchards which can be seen for miles along the roadways.
The Ancient Lakes Hike is a level 5-6 mile roundtrip hike. My foray into including hiking maps in the blog starts with this one:
We had an interesting visitor on the hike as a coyote was seen running across the plateau in front of us before he circled around and tracked alongside our hike checking out Cory and I as we hiked along the trail. It was a bit concerning when he “dissapeared” as he could have gone anywhere but we never saw him again. I took some shots of him with my regular camera lens but by the time I was able to fish the telephoto lens out of my pack and swap it on to the camera he was gone.
The hike was a great way to get out between the storms and get some exercise in for both Cory and I.
“The one who follows the crowd will usually get no further than the crowd. The one who walks alone, is likely to find himself in places no one has ever been.” ~ Albert Einstein
Staying at Crescent Bar also gave me time and opportunity to get some things done before heading into Canada. Shopping trips, laundry as well as an appointment with the glass repair to fix a windshield chip on the motorhome were on the list.
Leaving the Quincy area and heading north I had decided to cross into Canada in Idaho. This gave me a chance to stay at an Elks Lodge campground in Coeur d’Alene. After the Escapees Rally with the help of other Escapees members I became a member of the Elks. It is a great way to not only find folks all over the country but many of the lodges have RV parks or just parking for RVs at their locations. The lodge in Coeur d’Alene had sites with power and water hookups in town and close to many amenities.
Even though there for just one night it gave me a chance to hit the pool to get some laps in. The pool in Coeur d’Alene is located at the Kroc Center opened in May 2009. It is a beautiful facility (one of the nicest pools that I have seen) and it looks well used by the community. Development of The Kroc Center was made possible by a $70 million combined capital and endowment grant from a bequest to The Salvation Army by the late Mrs. Joan Kroc, widow of McDonald’s founder Ray Kroc. As a condition to the significant Kroc grant, the community also raised $8 million locally, representing a total community investment of nearly $80 million. A great way to build a great community center.
What better after a good swim than a stop at one of the local breweries. I selected the Tricksters Brewing Co mostly because of their cool logo! Fortunately the beers were quite good and considered filling my growlette but wasn’t sure I could get it across the border into Canada the next day.
“Give me a woman who loves beer and I will conquer the world.” – Kaiser Wilhelm
It was a good last night in the US before heading north. I would be less than truthful if I said I wasn’t a bit worried about the next leg of my travels. Traveling through Canada up into Alaska is a journey of a lifetime but does make me a bit nervous. Far from home, in another country and at times a long way from things like repairs will make the journey not only exciting but challenging as well. Alaska here I come!
“Traveling is a brutality. It forces you to trust strangers and to lose sight of all that familiar comfort of home and friends. You are constantly off balance. Nothing is yours except the essential things – air, sleep, dreams, the sea, the sky – all things tending towards the eternal or what we imagine of it.” – Cesare Pavese
Even so the journey is worth the effort……..