Back in the U.S.: Stops in Seattle, WA & Boise, ID
Overall Trip Distance: 6,741 Miles
Back in the US of A! It was a real contrast to our wide-open, no-traffic drive through the Yukon when Jason and I got stuck in 6 lanes wide of bumper-to-bumper traffic on I-405 in Seattle yesterday afternoon. I’m starting to wonder if coming back to civilization was a good thing or a bad thing! Nevertheless (or always the more, as my Grandpa would say), we have successfully arrived in the Lower 48 and it’s been a great (shorter) last couple of days on the road.
We got out of Cache Creek bright and early on Tuesday and made our way down the Trans-Canada Highway with the Fraser River at the base. It was gorgeous scenery, turn after turn. There were a total of about 6 or 7 tunnels of varying length as we made our way southbound. The town of Hope was as charming as it sounds, and one stop we made there was at the wrecking yard for Jamie Davis Towing. Jamie’s company is famous because it’s featured in the Discovery Channel “Highway Thru Hell” TV show. Since the roads are so critical to keep commerce alive, and the weather conditions can be so rough, Jamie’s business deals with all sorts of hardships.
Jason and I were treated to some of the best hospitality I’ve ever received, a little ways down the road in Abbotsford. This small B.C. city resides just on the north side of the United States border. Pam’s beautiful place which overlooks the valley is home to two Acuras: her 2006 TSX and 1991 NSX (and a couple of motorcycles). She is a truly genuine Honda fan, and a gracious hostess. Pam fixed us salads to-go and let us catch our breath for a few minutes at her home before we headed out on our way.
The border checkpoint at Abbotsford moved fairly slowly but we got through in about 25 minutes. The U.S. Customs agent recommended that I stop at a gas station and clean off my license plate. Ha!
Jason and I weaved around through some beautiful northern Washington back roads before connecting with Interstate 5 which led us south to the Seattle area. Our first stop there was to visit my friend Lance at his shop in Woodinville and take a look at a beautiful 1992 Acura Integra GS-R which he’s been restoring. He even let me roll 234,567.8 miles on a quick test drive.
Yesterday evening, I met up with some family members and friends at a bar & grill not far from my motel for a bite to eat. They all told me I must’ve brought the nice weather with me because it’s been so rainy in recent weeks (it’s Seattle – go figure!).
This morning, Jason and I walked to the IHOP next to our Motel 6 in Issaquah and shared one last meal together before parting ways. He’d decided to continue heading south through Oregon and California, but I needed to head more east and begin making my way toward Idaho and Utah. I got out on the road headed eastward on Interstate 90. While attractions along I-90, I-82, and I-84 were pretty slim, it was nice to be able to set the cruise control. The interstate climbs through a beautiful pass in the Cascade Range called Snoqualmie Pass at a little over 3,000 feet in elevation.
My car rolled 170,000 miles right at that location.
Once the terrain leveled out a bit, I arrived in Yakima and met up with a long-time friend named Chris who works in the school district there. Chris and I met 11 years ago at a Seattle-area Acura Legend meet and we’ve stayed in touch ever since. He still has his Legend but has also added a couple of other fancy cars to the stable: A Mitsubishi 3000GT VR-4 and a Mercedes-Benz 500SL. I must say, he has great taste in cars! We met up briefly to catch up and I got to check out his Benz up close and personal. The retractable top is fully automated with the touch of one button, and the open/close procedure is quite the complicated sight to behold!
From there I went on into Oregon by crossing the massive Columbia River. In Oregon and New Jersey, gas is not self-serve. I fueled up in La Grande and an attendant asked me if I wanted premium and how much to add. I asked her to fill up the tank. Another guy worked on squeegeeing my windshield while I waited. It felt odd having someone else do those sorts of tasks for me! Oregon and New Jersey are the only states with that law. Actually, “all” gas sales used to be full-service until 1947 when California was the first state to adopt self-serve. It caught on.
This evening I crossed into Idaho and I’m staying the night with my good friend Josh who you all know as the 497,500-mile TSX guy from TSXTravels.com. Josh and his Great Dane pup Abby are great hosts and I’m about to settle in for the night’s rest, but we took his TSX out for burgers at a restaurant called Ram and my friend Kevin met up with us for some chat, too. Tomorrow, I continue on into Utah and chopping another 400 or so miles off on my return drive to Phoenix. Thanks as always for following along!
A few more pics from the last couple of days.
Downshifting to let the car’s engine brake for me on the steep grades of the Trans-Canada Highway 1
One of the many tunnels we passed through
Hell’s Gate Airtram – I would like to try this sometime. I bet it’s like the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway.
Another tunnel on Highway 1
Bathroom break in Yale, B.C. at the Esso gas station
Railroad tracks running through the canyon
Visiting Jamie Davis tow company
Pam’s home in Abbotsford
Pam with her immaculate Acuras
Pam fixed us a delicious salad. My mom will appreciate that this was the best-rounded (and most colorful) meal I’ve had this entire trip!
U.S. border delays as shown along Highway 1
More info on the delays
Trip timer has now maxed out!
Out for a test drive in the Integra GS-R
This Band-Aid was a clever way to “fix” a bruised Lexus RX
Dinner with family…
… and friends!
That’s Tony and his wife Justi – and this is their immaculate 2005 BMW convertible.
Later that night, I met up with Stephen who drives this beautiful 1994 Legend GS
More of Chris’ Mercedes. I love this car! Don’t mind the dirty ILX in the background.
I thought Yakima was a nice town! Just the right size.
Back in Idaho. Feels like forever since Jason and I passed through this state a little over a week ago!
My Idahoan friend Kevin and his 2016 Mazda 6 after dinner.
Headed back to Josh’s in the famous TSX
Quick shot with Josh
Signing out for the night!