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  1. #1

    Default Four days in October: Wash/Ore

    so, i've been lurking around this website for the better part of a year now, and i finally have my own road trip to plan and so can finally ask for advice (i am constantly astonished by the many miles driven, backroads taken and attractions visited by the road-trippers on here).

    i live in bellingham, washington (about 1.5 hours north of seattle), and every year during the fall i like to take off and drive around for a few days. the past few years, i've gone to the coast, either of oregon or washington, and this year i think i'm ready to go east.

    this is what i'm working with: i have four days (potentially five provided i discover my self-motivation and get a lot of work done in advance), i like to drive between five and six hours a day total (that's driving time, not counting the time it takes for me to stop and wander around) and i'd sort of like to make a loop through eastern washington and down through northeastern oregon, then west and north back to bellingham. i want to take as many backroads and scenic highways as possible (for me it really is about the driving--pretty much my favorite pastime--and not the destination) and my budget (since this is typically the only vacation i take in a year) is certainly not luxury-level, but i'm not poverty-striken either. any/all route, attraction, hotel, restaurant, resource suggestions would be most welcome.

    thanks so much!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Western/Central Massachusetts

    Default Good time

    Welcome to the RoadTrip America forum!

    We have several members that are intimately familiar with the territory you are exploring. I've always wanted to explore the Pacific Northwest.

    Around five hours drive time a day is very doable, and will leave you with time to explore; sometimes it isn't just about the driving, but that can be relaxing, too.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Some Options

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America forums.

    My own trip to the western Washington and northern Idaho (covered in this thread) was great. Many, many years ago, I also did a trip up the Columbia River through The Dalles. I don't remember a lot from that trip except that the scenery was great. One good, dispersed attraction that might make for a good excuse to travel some back roads through northeastern Oregon might be the John Day Fossil Bed National Monument. I think you'll have a very enjoyable few days.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    Default Enterprise & Joseph!

    Quote Originally Posted by bivious View Post
    so, i've been lurking around this website for the better part of a year now,
    Thanks for jumping into the fray -- Lurkers are always welcome, but we really appreciate those who step up and join us in the discussion!
    i'd sort of like to make a loop through eastern washington and down through northeastern oregon, then west and north back to bellingham.
    If you have time -- take the Pendelton Woolen Mills tour -- it will blow your mind. Wallowa Lake is a great place to check out and wander a bit. You are really going to enjoy Joseph -- a decade or two ago, the region's lumber industry hit the skids and some local artists decided to tap the strength and skill of the local residents by establishing a world class foundry business. The monumental bronze sculptures that can be found downtown rival the trendiest of the arty cities of the world.

    Also be sure to take Little Sheep Creek Hwy east and south of town out to the Hells Canyon Overlook. Awesome! You can then drive south to county road 86 and head down to the Powder River before making your way over to Baker City. This area of Oregon will entrance you.


  5. #5


    thanks so much for all the good ideas! keep 'em coming. i will take all the info i can get.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula

    Default Hey Fellow Washingtonian!

    I went to college in Bellingham. LOVED it up there. Beautiful area, close to the beaches and the mountains, and with lots of lakes and forests. What more could a person want?

    I would go east over the North Cascades Highway and enjoy the Methow Valley. Winthrop is kinda touristy but very cool. I'd head to Omake then north to Tonasket, then take 20 to Republic. Very cool, wind-scrubbed land. Harsh with its own beauty. When you get to Lake Roosvelt, there's lots of water activities. Find a marina and rent a boat or a ski-doo.

    You can continue east or go south on 3 past Inchileium (sp?) and then take the ferry across the lake. I've not done this yet but it sounds like fun. I think it's only a 3-4 car ferry. Then continue on through Colville to Spokane.

    An alternative would be to go south east, then south, from Winthrop so that you go through more of the Methow Valley and the Lake Chelan area. If you have time in Chelan, take the Lady of the Lake to the Stehekin area. This area is only accessible via boat and has a small population of people who live there. It's beautiful and there's some good hiking. Make sure you visit the great bakery in Stehekin before going back to Chelan and continuing on your way.

    Then drive east to Coulee City and then north up to Grand Coulee Dam. I love this area. The coulees are awesome. Make sure you stop at Dry Falls. This is the aftermath of what was one of the biggest waterfalls ever seen on this planet when the inland sea broke through the ice and poured out forming the coulees. Also awesome. I don't know when in the summer they end, but the last time I was there they had a very cool laser light show on the face of the dam at night. And the dam itself is amazing. I don't know if it still holds true but, at one time, it was the largest concrete structure in the world by mass.

    Hope this gives you some ideas to get you started.

    I would continue east to either the Coeur d' Alene area or go south into the Palouse and/or the Riggins area of Idaho before heading back home. There are some cool things to see in the Nez Perce area, too.
    Last edited by RoadTripper Brad; 08-31-2006 at 10:04 PM. Reason: Coeur d' Alene for Judy

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