Monday, January 2, 2017

September 17, 2016 - Penticton, BC to Spokane, WA

Edith arose very early this morning, was hoping to get her last picture of the sunrise over the mountains and the beach before we leave for USA.  Unfortunately, it was very overcast. Last night the weather app mentioned it will rain today, but it had not rained yet.

While we were getting things organized in the Lil’ Home (LH) Wayne, Janie and Spots came over to wish us well on our journey.  Even though we had not left we missed them already.  We had already planned on visiting Vancouver, BC next year summer, so we will see Wayne and Janice again.  We really enjoyed spending every waking moment with them.  We thanked Wayne for his time in taking us to places.

It started to drizzle, and we hurriedly hooked the Jeep to the LH.  Wayne and Janice were still waiting around.  Finally, it was time to leave and we bid each other 'so long 'til we meet again'. Wayne and Janice were staying at the campground for few more days before going back to Surrey, BC.

It was 9:30 am when we left Wrights Beach RV Park.  We turned left to get on Highway 97 South toward Osoyoos, BC. Beautiful vineyards/orchards and lots of fruit stands along the way. If you are a wine drinker you will enjoy visiting wineries and sampling their wines (some for a small fee, some for free).

We arrived Osoyoos, BC at 10:15 am, looked for a place to pull over to check to be sure we have all the necessary documents ready before entering back in USA. Yeah, we should have done that before we left Penticton, but we did not think to do that.

We entered USA/Canada border at 10:30 am, were questioned for a while. After questioning we were ordered to pull up to the inspection lot.  The female border agent requested to enter our LH for inspection which we obliged.  The first thing she did was to open the refrigerator, pulled out the fruit/vegetable bins.  She took out tomatoes, sweet peppers and limes (no no, not limes - Edith needs them for her beer). She did not take lettuce, apples (unlabeled), sweet onions, cucumbers, etc (we were puzzled, but were not going to ask her why). She asked us if we had bought anything while we were in BC and we told her we bought bottles of wines. No problem! Whew! After 10 minutes of inspection she stepped out of the LH, turned around and, while waving, said “Welcome home”.  While it was nice to be back on USA soil we already missed beautiful British Columbia.
After leaving the border we took Washington 20 East (Scenic Route).  Winding roads, but very beautiful. The scenery was so different from British Columbia. No vineyards, just apple orchards. The tree leaves were bright red or yellow. The clouds were hanging all over the mountains as we continued to meander. 

We stopped at Bear Trapp Junction to get diesel ($2.72 per gal-credit price) for the LH. While filling up the diesel tank we picked up coffee and snacks.

We were still driving on WA 20, entered Colville National Forest, beautiful drive. Had to bypass two overlooks (one was Sherman Pass). We went to Sherman Pass Overlook 2 years ago when we had the camper van.  it was 49˚ at over 5,000’ elevation.It started to get foggy.  It started to drizzle, but the visibility was pretty good. The road was good, also.

We have driven over 7,700 miles since March 4. We made a stop at one pullout 3 miles from the town to each lunch.

We made a right turn to get on Highway 395 South, crossing Columbia River. It was still raining when we drove through Kettle Falls, WA at 1:30 pm. 

There was a beautiful mural on the side of a building along Highway 395 in downtown Chewelah, WA. It is a story of the hunting ritual by the settlers, who were fearless hunters.  The woolly mammoth provided food, and their tough hide were great for shelters and clothing.
It was at 3 pm when we arrived Spokane city line. The sun was trying so hard to shine through the thick clouds, but did not succeed; however, the linings of the clouds were so bright it hurt our eyes!

We did not have trouble finding our good friend Char's residence.  She suggested that we park our LH on the side street across from her house, since there is a park where there are no houses.  After getting the LH set up Char came to meet us. It was so good to see her again.

Before our arrival Char informed us that she had been invited to a birthday party in Post Falls, Idaho (an hour drive east of Spokane).  We told her we would be happy to go with her to meet her friends.  On way to Post Falls Char picked up her friend, Marlene to go ride with us.

Char's friend, Annette became 50 years old and her family/friends gave her a party.  Her best friends flew in from Colorado to surprise her.  It was a small world because Annette and her best friend knew and went to school with Erwin's relatives in Colorado Springs, CO.
After getting back to Char's place we were worn out, but still had some energy left to chat with Char before saying good night.  

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