I landed in Boise just after midnight. Suffice it to say, the flight had plenty of drama. Paul, 46 from Boise, had a heart attack on the plane and was brought into first class to be worked on by two passengers conscripted into action; a doctor in first class and an ex-law-enforcement officer from coach.
When we landed in Boise, the paramedics came onboard to take over. With the patient off the plane and in good hands, it was time to get on with it.
I found Ellie in the parking garage with the MiniTrail still on the back, just like I left them. I was a little concerned about the MiniTrail, so seeing them both was a bit of a relief.
Ellie was gassed up so I could have left immediately but I reserved a hotel for the first night. I was going to have some coil spring spacers installed to help my springs support the weight of the MiniTrail. I found a guy that would install them first thing in the morning.
I met John at the Commercial Tire on State Street just after 8 AM.
I explained what I needed him to do, then removed the MiniTrail so he could get Ellie up on the lift. Within an hour he had us on our way.
It was time to hit the road. There are three National Parks in Washington State and my plan was to start in the north and come south. That meant North Cascades National Park was going to be first.
I headed West from Boise on Highway 44 to catch Interstate 84 West toward Ontario. I crossed the Idaho-Oregon state line around noon.
I crossed the northeast corner of Oregon heading over Deadman Pass. I pulled off at the Deadman Pass Rest Area to stretch my legs and watch the sunset.
It had been dark for some time when finally managed to cross into Washington State.
Just after crossing into Washington, I saw a forest fire on a ridge outside Kennewick. It was a sign of things to come.
I drove as far as I could, choosing to drive on and sleep in a rest stop. I had no idea where I was but woke up with an awesome view of Mount Baker and a hazy view of Mount Rainer.
I eased into the day slowly, taking my time getting back on the road. From the rest stop where I'd slept, I continued toward the Wenatchee Valley.
I was going to take the route through Winthrop. Waze did everything it could to keep me from going this way. It was constantly trying to redirect me toward Seattle and into the North Cascade from the the western approach.
Near the town of Orondo, I stopped at a roadside stand selling peaches and pears. That was probably the best peach I've every eaten.
I'm glad I took the eastern approach because it is an outstanding drive.
From Winthrop, I drove west toward the Newhalem Campground climbing up Washington Pass.
I went over Washington Pass early in the afternoon.
There was smokey haze that gave the light a diffuse quality. I got out to hike the short overlook trail and get some photos of the pass that weren't take through my windshield.
On the west side of Washington Pass, I entered Ross Lake National Recreation Area and North Cascades National Park. Driving in from the east definitely took a while but the views were well worth the extra time on the road.
After 2,397 miles, I'd reached my campsite in the Newhalem Campground just after 6 PM. My site, #33, was perfect.
I'm excited to see what Cascade has in store, but my first priority is to relax.