US Trip 2017 – Day 19 – The long way to Ellensburg

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The route this day took us from West Yellowstone to Ellensburg. But not the shortest route. We wanted to find some virtual caches, and another Jasmer challenge.

Approximate time on road/out caching: 14 hours
Total miles driven: 463.3 mi / 745,6 km
Total cahes found: 34
Total DNF: 3
States visited: Montana, Idaho, Washington
Famous places visited: none
Most memorable cache: GC1FMQF Echo & Wanapum Viewpoint Earthcache
Biggest surprise: How early we arrived at the hotel
Weather: Mostly sunny, windy
Highest temperature: 90°F / 32,2°C
Lowest temperature: 48°F / 8,9°C
Roadwork: Yes

An early start

We had a long way to go, and a lot of caches to find. So we got up early, and left the hotel at 6:20 am. One of many good things about getting an early start, is that the traffic is very light. Another great thing is that we get to enjoy the sunrise.

Let’s get to the border

While planning this trip we did consider doing a short detour to get one more county. But we decided that the day was long enough as it was. So we didn’t have that much planned before we got close to the border. We didn’t stop at all until we got to GC130XB Highway 2 Hieroglyphics, on the other side of Kalispell.

When we got a bit closer to the border, something ran over the road in front of us. We believe it was a wolf, and that’s the story we’re sticking to. So cool!

Going back in time

A few caches later, as we arrived at the Idaho border, we suddenly went back in time. And we didn’t even have to get to 88mph first! We just had to cross the border to the Mountain time zone. Magic!

Virtual caches

The reason we was on this strange route, and not the shortest route to Ellensburg, was GCGRCF Fieldtrip of History and GC5D6 The Map Maker Virtual Cache. We did find some other caches along the way as well; there’s a lot of them along this highway! The earthcache GC1WW23 Lake Pend Oreille was also a nice stop.

Another virtual cache

The last virtual of the day was in Sandpoint, GCF630 Community Spirit. The new counties we visited was a nice bonus to all the virtual caches.

Before visiting the virtual cache in Sandpoint, we did a quick stop at Home Depot to see if they had any nice cache containers we could bring back home.

Another Jasmer challenge

After a couple more stops, we stopped at the Idaho version of the Jasmer challenge, in Post Falls. The second Jasmer challenge on this trip 😀

After the challenge, and the other nearby cache, it was time to cross the border to Washington. And the next stop wasn’t until an hour later, at GC2MTWB One After 904. We’ve driven this stretch of I-90 several times before, so we’ve already found most of the special caches.

A quick detour

We did a quick detour to Ritzville, to find GC1YJKH mowfun and GC47KBG Civic Minded. Two caches with many favorite points. And wow, they did not disappoint! Awesome caches, well worth the detour!

Windy

After a couple more caches along the way, we arrived at GC1FMQF Echo & Wanapum Viewpoint Earthcache. We actually thought we would be here too late to see anything here (after dark). So even though this cache was on our plan, we almost counted it as a bonus cache.

Getting to GZ was a bit harder than it looked. Extreme winds made it hard to walk on the uneven surface (yep, we took the hard route), and we had to be careful so we didn’t loose our papers, GPSr or phone. A very fun experience! 😀

Early arrival

After the earthcache, we didn’t have too far left to drive. And we arrived before sunset. (Okay, only 1 minute before. But still before!)

We ended the day with a nice dinner at the nearby restaurant, and a walk to the cache closest to the hotel.

Pictures

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