On The Road
The day has finally arrived and a fully packed car pulled out of Wendy’s and Joe’s driveway in the late this afternoon. Joe thought it odd that I was making a mid-afternoon departure. He said most people begin a long car trip in the late evening or early morning but I’d put off our departure for 3 days and I was eager to get started. Over the past week it seemed that the trip was never really going to happen.
Then, with a last wave, the trip began.
Every weather channel warned of foul weather and the threatening black clouds gathered in support. I was trying to convince myself that a wet tent wasn’t going to be so bad, but I was definitely having a hard time resolving the loss of summer sun and refreshing dips in the river. At Snoqualmie pass the clouds hung heavy, engulfing the surrounding peaks.
I was pretty resolved on camping in the rain this first night, until we drove over the pass. The sky was mostly clear and blue with only a few patchy clouds. My original plan had been to make it to Idaho the first night but that beautiful sky gave me a better idea… camp in my home turf.
Since we had plenty of time, I made a stop along first stop on the iron horse trail to let the dogs stretch their legs.
after a quick hike down the trail it was back in the car to find our camping spot.
While we sauntered up the trail I schemed about our camping spot and decided to make a visit to an old haunt of mine called Salmon La Sac. It would be a 40 mile drive out-of-the-way but knew it would be the perfect spot.
I knew that the throngs of summer campers would be gone and we’d have the place to our selves. It’s a long slow windy drive through several tiny towns, one of which is Rosalyn. Rosalyn, is where the TV show Northern Exposures was partially filmed yet it still holds its simple quaintness. These towns brought back memories of traveling in remote Alaska. Short dead-ended streets with only a few tired run down houses. Tin roofs and snow mobiles. Speed limit, on the only road north to south, is 25 miles an hour. I stopped at the Market to by a lighter.
As we picked up speed past town, the dogs started to get excited as they picked up the unforgettable scent of the deep woods.
About 13 miles out, we started to pass a few National Forest parks, all of which were closed for the winter. How disappointing.
Finally we came across a little camp area with a restroom, dumpster and about 5 campsites to choose from. I picked the site that looked over the river at the end of the cul-de-sac. I was eager to get the tent out and see how it was to set up. I’d only set it up once before in the Wahman’s front yard, and it was a bear to maneuver. It’s a big tent made of a polyester/canvas mix making it heavy and awkward for one person.
Despite it’s size, I LOVE LOVE this tent. In general I love things that are well thought out and this tent is. The construction is detailed and it has many extraordinary features. Here is a link to setting up the TENT.
The evening was seeing more and more blue sky. The weather seemed to be coming in from the north but the clouds were getting caught up in the mountains and breaking apart as they entered the valley. We’d found our rain shadow.
Although we’d hardly traveled very far on our first day out, with the combination of a fall sunset and the slight over cast, dusk was already with us and we were ready to settle in for the night.