Bearface Disguise

Andy Clarke

I woke up before everyone else this morning and creaked around the RV working on some edits for my book and resisting the urge to put on the whistling kettle until around 7:30am.

The light was coming up over the Colombia River, so I sat on the RV steps and smoked a cigarette watching the reflections of the mountains opposite on the water until I heard signs of stirring.

Lincoln Rock State Park, Washington

When everyone was awake and full of breakfast, I wandered over to the shower block but without any tokens for three minutes of hot water, I had to delay the shave that I’ve been promising myself for the last few days and be satisfied with a blast of cold water.

On the road by nine, we headed for the main stop of the day, Leavenworth, a former timber community and, since 1962, a mock Bavarian village. We sat in a cafe drinking coffee and eating pretzels with Dijon (although I asked for German) mustard while I treated myself to a little iPhone data roaming to check email and let my friends in Seattle know that we are on our way.

Everything in Leavenworth (except the mountains all around) is fake. Although the veneer is appealing for the first ten minutes, the closer you look the more you notice that there's nothing of substance. Shops are full of Bavarian themed tourist tat, but everything is just that little bit off, like a Bizarro Bavaria.

Leavenworth, Washington

Disappointed by the Gingerbread museum our Washington guidebook spoke so highly of, we bought cheese and salami for lunch and headed off on the road towards tonight’s stop in Preston.

Here was where the day really took off. The drive from Leavenworth north west through the Wenatchee National Forest is everything that we came to Washington to see. The Cascade Mountains (some of them snow-capped) and white water rivers are stunning, so I set the RV’s cruise control at fifty and sat back to enjoy the ride.

Wenatchee National Forestk, Washington

The road took us up to 3,500 feet and down again, past ski resorts that must be incredible in winter time, and through Wellington, Skykomish and on to Gold Bar where I filled up the RV with another $75 of fuel. From there it was a drive past fields full of fruit, cherries, peaches and apples, through Startup, Sultan and Monroe. The road curved south back towards i90 through Duvall, Carnation and Fall City where we stopped for a few minutes to pick up a few supplies for tonight's chicken dinner.

Finally we took a left turn for the final, short stretch to Preston and our home for the next four nights, Blue Sky RV Park. The park, boasting sparkling restrooms, a soft drink vending machine and a dumpster across street (all the modern comforts of home (but no wifi)) caters mainly for residents instead of visitors, but it’s as clean as a Bavarian’s büstenhalter and within yodelling distance of i90 making it the perfect base to head into Seattle over the next four days.

Gleesome Threesome

Route 2, 203, 202
Miles driven 137
Campground Blue Sky RV Park
Tune of the day Instead by Madeleine Peyroux

Feed the bears

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