Today we drove 146 miles. The first 60 miles of our drive was through the same dry, rocky, hilly, and treeless countryside to which we had become accustomed. Unfortunately, at least for our car's transmission, much of the drive was uphill until we reached the Manastash Ridge at elevation 2,672 feet, about 1,900 feet above the elevation of our campsite on the Yatama Nation Indian Reservation and around 1,100 feet above the city of Ellensburg located just to the north of the ridge. The view from the Manastash Ridge shown in the above photograph is looking down into the Yakima River Valley and the City of Ellenburg. Off in the distance are Washington State's famous Cascades Mountains where we will cross today.
This topographical map of Washington State shows clearly the type of terrain through which we passed. Our drive began just south of Yakima shown in the lower center of the map along I-82. To the west of us both of which could be seen in the distance as we drove northwest, were the snow capped mountain peaks of Mt. Adams and Mt Rainier the two highest mountains in Washington. Just south of Ellensburg we connected with I-90 which we then followed across the Cascade Mountains to our final destination in the city of Issaquah located about 15 miles east of Seattle. Incidentally, for those of you who live in the Boston area, did you know that you can drive all the way out to Seattle, Washington on I-90. No maps needed, Just I-90.
We made the huge mistake of again getting up early and then heading out to downtown Seattle by 8:30 am, just about the same time as the 660,000 residents of Seattle were all headed for work or play. The traffic on the interstate was bumper to bumper for almost the entire 15 miles into downtown Seattle. We knew immediately that no matter how beautiful we would find the city, the hustle and bustle of the roads and the city crowds would probably dampen our levels of pleasure. As it turned out, it was hard to enjoy Seattle. The parking was expensive and the downtown driving for this old man was just too much.
Tomorrow we head for Portland. Perhaps we will spend less time within this also large city and spend more time exploring the Columbia River Gorge or the North Oregon coast line. We shall see.