Day 10 - July 12th Wednesday
Distance travelled for the day - 705 km
Total distance for trip - 5578 km
Route - Vancouver BC - Spokane WA
After a couple days of work and meetings in North Vancouver I embarked on the return journey to Toronto. I was excited to get back on the bike and experience the adventures in front of me. I was curious how the ride back through the USA would differ from the trip across Canada.
I left early and made good time across the Narrows Bridge in Vancouver without too much traffic. I stopped for gas before the border 'just in case'. And the only thing the customs officer asked me was "where is your first stop?" "Spokane," I replied and I was on my way.
It was an incredible day, I took the long way through North Cascades National Park and stopped to enjoy the views. Washington State has a diverse landscape with snow capped mountains, rivers, plateaus and flat plains.
Diablo had a viewpoint where I took the photo below. The lookout went to the edge of the cliff and made for a good photo but made me a bit weak in the knees. I don't like heights.
I rode through Blaine, Marblemount, Rockport and Concrete National Park.
After the ride through the mountains I stopped in this little gem of a town. Winthrop is an authentic Western town. You can see from the buildings that it is intentional and when I spoke to a shop owner he told me that there is a town ordinance for the type of font you can use on your storefront. He also told me that shopkeepers used to do a showdown everyday at high noon, complete with holsters and guns, but in this day and age someone might think it was real and take matters into their own hands with dire consequences.
After a coffee and water and some advice on where to get "good gas" I continued my ride east. It was really hot with temperatures reaching the high 90's F (37C).
I continued on through Brewster, Twisp and Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest.
The next stop along the way was the Coulee Dam near Grand Coulee. The dam was impressive and there was a very unique viewing area to see and take photos of the dam. I've never seen anything like it. It was circular with columns and stood high above the parking area.
I had planned on staying in Spokane for the night but all the decent hotels were booked. There was a Porsche rally in Spokane that weekend. It was 8 pm by the time I arrived in Spokane and I was pretty beat from a long day of riding. I had 9% battery left on my phone and used it to find a hotel in Spokane Valley. It was the Oxford Inn & Suites and they had one room left. Spokane Valley was another 20 minutes ride east and by the time I checked in it was after 9pm. Exhausted.
What I learned from this experience and what I am learning along the way is that Americans travel in the summer, in America. It's going to be more of a challenge to get a hotel without reservations well in advance.