Today we travel from Montana to Washington as the series of our 23-day trip to the Olympic Peninsula of Washington continues.
The highlights of the day's events are in the video below.
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After we pack up camp in the Lolo National Forest and start the drive into Thompson Falls, MT for gasoline, the sky is noticeably filled with smoke. We remember seeing a forest fire information board in town. The information on the board confirms that there is a fire a bit east of Thompson Falls. Our travels are taking us to the west.
As we make our way from Thompson Falls toward I-90, there are many places where the trees are close to the edge of the two-lane road making a narrow shaded path with dappled light. The road follows a river much of the way, and the riverbed is thick with smooth rocks. In some places, the rocks are piled 6 to 8 feet high along the river.
While on I-90 in Washington, Bill says we should stop and look at the Columbia River. I agree though I have no idea what to expect. There is a viewing area with a large parking lot. As we walk closer, I cannot believe the vastness of the river and the gorge; they are so wide and deep. The ski boats on the lake are tiny in comparison. The rocky cliffs of the gorge and its ledge have sparse vegetation and dark steely gray in appearance. The dark blue of the water shimmers in the sunlight. The scene is almost otherworldly. It's an experience I didn't expect and one I shall not forget.
We find our reserved camp site, #22, in the Salmon La Sac Campground and park Ike and George. The closest town is Cle Elum and a river by the same name runs near the campground. We climb over the huge river rocks to enjoy the beautiful sounds of the Cle Elum River. The campground is in the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest of Washington.
We set up the rooftop tent. The picnic table and fire ring (it's more of a fire "angle") are down a nice wide set of steps made out of railroad ties. The picnic table level is a good 5 feet or so lower than where Ike and George are parked. Bill starts a fire and we get out the food for supper: tortillas, mashed potatoes, and little smoked sausages. We use our MalloMe roasting sticks (they're like long telescoping forks) to cook the sausages over the fire. Did you know you can get four sausages on one of those?
A young lady came to visit us a couple of times. Or rather, she came to check out our overlanding rig. The first time she was by herself and the next time she brought a friend to show. It was fun to watch and listen as she gave her friend the tour.
A family of deer comes through near camp at dusk. After a good night's sleep and breakfast we set up the privacy shelter and take our showers. We fill up the Water Bricks every chance we get, so our water supply is always ready. The water hand pump is a short distance away which makes the refill extra convenient.
All of the chores are done, everything is packed so now it's time to travel to the Olympic Peninsula of Washington!
MalloMe Roasting Sticks: https://amzn.to/2ulkedP
Smittybilt Overlander Roof Top Tent #2783: https://amzn.to/2vCRv2O
Coleman 3-Burner Propane Stove: https://amzn.to/2qzDzns
Coleman Stainless Steel Mess Kit: https://amzn.to/2uR9yol
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