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North Cascades and Vancouver, British Columbia

by Stephanie Casher on August 10, 2006

It’s pretty crazy to me how as much of this country that I’ve seen in the past month, that things are still able to awe and amaze me. I swear, as we make our way West, the scenery just gets more and more gorgeous — and after the South and the Tetons, I didn’t think that was possible… But yet again, around every corner I see things that just leave me speechless…

After we left our river campsite in Twisp, WA (the most quiet, serene, peaceful place I’ve stopped thus far), we took a scenic drive through the North Cascade Mountains in northern Washington. GORGEOUS. I highly recommend the Hwy 20 scenic loop. There were rivers that ran alongside the road, snow-crusted mountain peaks that loomed above us, and the most surreal mountain lake I’ve ever laid eyes on…

I’m not exactly sure how/why the water was that particular shade of turquoise, but it took my breath away.

After we toured the Cascades, we decided to take a detour and head into Canada, lol. Not on the original itinerary, lol, but Meg really wanted to see Vancouver, and since I’m all about flexibility and spontanaiety (this summer ;-), I was happy to oblige. The border guards hassled us a bit upon entry (good thing they confiscated all the contraband in South Dakota!), and they took our pepper spray, but they were friendly and funny (unlike the asshole cop in South Dakota), and after a brief interrogation, they let us through. We spent the rest of the day cruising around Vancouver and having a gay old time…

Apparently some refer to Vancouver as “San Francisco North”, and I would totally agree except its much cleaner and prettier. Water everywhere, bridges everywhere, and a bustling city without the graffiti and homeless people. We drove all over Vancouver and didn’t see one slum, ghetto, or run-down area. The trees in Stanley Park were lush and very much reminded me of the South (minus the humidity). The exchange rate worked in our favor so we got more for our money everywhere we went (we splurged on a hotel and a nice dinner to celebrate!), and Megan fell totally in love with the area (she’s abandoning her plans to move to South Dakota or Montana now, favoring the Pacific Northwest). All in all, it was a wonderful day — the memories of speeding tickets and flat tires far behind us. Thank God.

We’re making our way home now, and after 4+ weeks on the road, I’m ready to be home. I miss my kitties something awful and my body is pretty sick of spending 6 hours a day in the car, lol. So while I expected to be sad that my most awesome summer vacation is drawing to a close, I’m actually ready to come off the road. We should be home by Saturday or Sunday. I can’t believe I’m two states away from coming full circle on the trip of a lifetime…

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