Sunday, March 30, 2008

Spring Break - Friday, the long drive

I forgot to check the weather reports. It was clear and cold in Kelowna when we left at 6:00 am after saying good bye to my parents. We stopped at Tim Horton's for fresh donuts for Trevor & a muffin for me, and then it was south to the border at Osoyoos. It's only 2 hours going this way vs. 5 hours if you go over the the 97C (connector) and the Coquihalla toll highway to the Trans-Canada Highway. We usually go the I-5 route and use those, but I was thinking I'd have less weather issues if I stuck mostly to the valleys & high desert on the 97 down to the border of Oregon.

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 :)


Lee said...

Washington gas does give us more MPG then Oregon Gas. Dang near another 100miles per tankfull.

When we first noticed this we thought our gas gauge was broken. Nope, the refill was about what the inditatior said.

Then we thought that maybe Washington has more downhill one way. Nope, got the same good milage comming home.

Maybe it was just some fluke with that car. Nope, all four vehicles we have taken up and back have shown the same results.

I can only think its this. Our gas comes from California by truck. California has to add a bunch of crap to it's gas to make additive people rich.

Washington gas overall costs a bit less then most of the gas in Oregon, but close to a push.

Oregon gas costs less then California gas. Even though we do not condone self serve.

Go figure...

Re-Navy!! said...

i know cali is so expensive!! anyways glad you got home safe!!! such a relief!!! lol i love blogging!!

Crystal said...

Wow! All that snow! I'm kinda liking my 65 degree weather and sunshine here! But the Italians are still wearing scarves, boots and down jackets. I thought the winter fashion ended at Easter... apparently it's still too cold.

Sound like you guys had a nice trip though!

prestoffcenter said...


See, you guys have adventures too!

Totally different down here around 10 degree lat.

We wake up and it's already 80. ANYTHING you do works up a sweat.

A breeze makes it nice. Right now it's almost 10 pm and I'm on deck in shorts and t.