Make sure to catch up on Day 2 before reading Day 3 & 4. 😉
On Day 3 of our cross country trip from Wisconsin to Washington State, we finally hit Washington and the mountains. Although, we actually saw the Rockies before we saw the Cascades. I always love it on our trips when we see the mountains for the first time. Just something about them. Maybe it’s because we only have big hills in WI and nothing that can compare. If you’ve never been in, around or over any mountains, one more thing you need to put on your travel to do list.
Here’s a snippet from Day 3:
Day three of our trip was fairly uneventful which, when traveling across the country with four children, is generally a good thing.
We stopped at a rest stop just east of the Rockies where the kids discovered a community of friendly prairie dogs. There were dozens upon dozens of them and they would come right up to the kids and eat out of their hands. Occasionally, they would even climb onto the kids’ laps or shoe tops. It took me quite a while to tear the kids away from their new friends and load them back in the van. I half expected a prairie dog stowaway to accompany us to Washington.
We reached the Washington border around dinner time and a familiar weight settled on me. I love The Evergreen State, but it carries quite a bit of baggage for me. Estranged friends; an ex-wife and her family; the small town where I grew up, with its ghosts and mixed memories. Leaving the security of home to return to my old stomping grounds is always a bit of a doubled-edged sword. Dawn was ready with some comforting words of wisdom however, and managed to relax me a bit.
There are a few different mountain passes that you can take through Washington. I especially like Stevens Pass. At the beginning of the pass, if you’re going east to west, is the quaint little Bavarian village of Leavenworth. We’ve never stayed there, only driven through, but it is quite the tourist attraction and is a place we like to go through on our travels.
Here’s a snippet from Day 4:
Day four began with my now customary frappe and a trip through the Bavarian village of Leavenworth. Nestled in the shadow of the Cascade mountains, all the businesses in Leavenworth have been fashioned with old, Bavarian-style storefronts that give the entire town charm. If you’re ever out this way, I highly recommend driving through.
Leaving Leavenworth, we proceeded through the Cascades, by way of the beautiful Stevens Pass. Waterfalls, rivers, trees, and amazing rock formations accompanied us through the mountains.
The beauty of the mountains was quickly forgotten when we proceeded to get lost in Everett and waste an hour trying to find our way out of the traffic-congested city. Eventually, we escaped and made our way on to the ferry that would take us across the water to Whidbey Island.
We found it a little curious that our ferry ride had an armed Coast Guard escort. We’re told they were running routine drills. Regardless, I guess we should be grateful that the Washington state ferry system is in no immediate danger from Somali pirates.
We eventually reached Coupeville, the small town where I was born and where my sister’s family lives, in what used to be our grandparents’ home. It was wonderful to see everyone again: my mother, my sister and her husband, and my two-year-old niece, Sydney, whom I hadn’t met before.
You can read the full article here.