Also, gas was 1.26 a liter in Canada. With the exchange, it works out to more than $5 a gallon!! So if I could avoid getting gas in Canada, so much the better. I was able to go back & forth from Omak, WA without a fill up :) Washington gas is awesome. I don't know why, but we have always gotten great mileage, no matter what car we were driving.
The border crossing was easy - no line at 8:00 am. In fact, I had to go through on the truck side, since the car side was still closed. You only answer whatever questions they ask, and you are always very respectful.
We got gas & a few things at Safeway in Omak, and that's when the snow started. All the way through Washington until we got down to the Columbia river!! It was mostly just little flakes, but continual for the whole 7 hours that we drove through the state! I was worried about Blewett Pass, but it was fine - we were a few cars behind the snowplow, and they plow down to the asphalt, so I never even slipped at all. I had all-weather tires, but chains were in the back if I needed them (which I didn't). But sheesh! It's the end of March!!
We stopped at a rest stop just before the big gorge above Yakima (but you couldn't see it through the snow cloud) and I had to use the ice scraper to get the 1/2 inch-thick crust of ice off the bumper up to the hood of the van. It was on the headlights & everything.
All the areas that were clear of snow when we came up were covered. We stopped at Goldendale just before crossing into Oregon, and filled up the car for the last leg home. Just after that, the snow finally stopped.
Once we were going along the freeway along the Columbia, we had a lot of hail come down, but only little pellets, so i was good. I don't often see hail built up on the side of the road though.
We arrived home at 7:00 pm. We probably would have made it sooner, but we were going slow over the mountains & stuff. That was fine though - no accidents or any other trouble along the route. It's a long drive, but if I didn't do it this way, we wouldn't have been able to visit. It's worth it :)