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ROAD TRIP north west

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ROAD TRIP north west

After years of Asian trips I convinced my husband that I would actually like to enjoy a look at my own lovely country. I could use some great advice. The plan would be air travel from Cleveland to Seattle to see grandkids in Olympia Washington and then to set off for ~ 9 days in a rental car and fly home from another city. We have a kid in grad school in Moscow Idaho so heading east would be step #1. If we don't want to spend total days in the car driving what itinerary is suggestible? Of course with 9 days we will not be able to do SW this time. Once I have a good doable route I will set up B&Bs.

Thanks! Marcy

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N. Idaho
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1. Re: ROAD TRIP north west

What time of year are you planning to travel? How many of the 9 days do you plan to spend in the Moscow area?

Also would be helpful to know if you are interested in National Parks/natural wonders (jet boat up the Snake from Lewiston/Clarkston, Palouse Falls, Columbia Gorge etc ?), history (Nez Perce or Lewis and Clark?).

Pam

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2. Re: ROAD TRIP north west

Hi Pam,

We are very interested in history and in natural wonders/natl.parks- this is a prime reason for our trip. We would plan to spend 2 days in Moscow tops-our son will be busy. Thanks for your help!

Marcy

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3. Re: ROAD TRIP north west

meant to say we would travel in late spring or summer I believe

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4. Re: ROAD TRIP north west

There is a huge difference between late spring and summer here. Summer typically does not start until early July. June is often cool and damp. Snow lingers in the mountains until late July or August. I don't know how flexible your plans are, but you might want to take this under consideration.

Because you wrote of your interest in history I though of the Lewis and Clark sites around the Columbia River in Washington. Would this be too far out of your way?

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5. Re: ROAD TRIP north west

Then, if you are still in the planning stages for your time frame, in addition to Kaleberg's suggestion, keep in mind the University of Idaho Spring graduation is May 17. WSU in nearby Pullman graduates May 10. Depending on your son's schedule, these dates would be good to avoid.

Also, if it works out, I would plan to be in Moscow on a Saturday as there is a fun Farmer's Market on Main St with not just farm vendors but prepared food (The Egyptian Koshari is awesome!), art, crafts and music.

In this neck of the woods, I suggest a jet boat up the Snake River to Hell's Canyon which would take a whole day. You could also take in the Nez Perce Historical Park main center in Spaulding Idaho from Moscow, about a 45 minute drive.

You can head back west from N. Idaho, along Hwy 12 to Walla Walla and some wineries (lunch at Patit Creek in Dayton WA), then on to the Columbia Gorge toward Hood River, up to Mt Hood, then doing the scenic byway that parallels I84 to Portland.

You could also head east from the Lewiston area up US12 along the Clearwater, Selway and Lochsa Rivers following the Lewis and Clark route to Lolo Pass. From there your choice could be to loop up to Missoula and back across northern Idaho and fly back from Spokane. Your other choice could be to head south toward Salmon ID, then down to Stanley and Sun Valley and take off from Boise.

Sorry this sounds like I'm focusing just on Idaho when you clearly asked this in the Washington forum! Apologies for that, but that is what comes to mind with your Moscow destination. I am not expert on the sites in Western Washington, so someone else can suggest the various islands and parks on that side of the Cascades or across the Northern Cascades to Winthrop or Leavenworth.

Pam

You could

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6. Re: ROAD TRIP north west

HI, totally agree with Pam she offers good advice.

If you could check out flights into Seattle and out of Spokane. It's to bad you couldn't just rent a car here it's much cheaper then Seattle or fly in and out of Spokane but probably not cost or time effective for you.

Have you ever been to Montana if not an eastern WA, ID and into Montana trip could work but if you had to drive all the way back to Seattle not enough time.

If you have more questions please ask that's what we're here for and welcome in advance to our little part of the world.

Collie

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7. Re: ROAD TRIP north west

OK, so you will take a nine day road trip starting in Olympia and ending - somewhere else. Two of those nine days will be spent in Moscow, ID and the trip will occur late spring or early summer (let's say around Memorial Day give or take a week). Your interests are nature and history.

If these assumptions area all correct, I'd recommend the following:

First enjoy your time in Olympia, maybe a show at the Harlequin Theatre, an organic beer and ostrich burger at the Fish Tale brewpub, dinner a the Lemon Grass.

Then, take I-5 south to Portland, OR. Yes, it's a boring run, but mercifully short. The point is to reach the Columbia Gorge National Scenic Area that stretches for fifty miles eastward up the Columbia River Gorge (and along Lewis and Clark's epic route). You can stop for short hikes up fern-lined canyons or more strenuous hikes to overlooks down the Columbia gorge. Hood River would make a good stop for the night.

From there continue eastward on I-84 as the countryside turns from green and wet to brown and dry - sagebrush country. Many of the dams along the Columbia River have interesting museums with artifacts and petroglyphs by the Chinook, Cayuse and other tribes that lived along the river.

At the junction with I-82 head north towards Yakima and Kennewick, crossing the river and then picking up highway 12 eastward out of Kennewick. Take highway 12 to Walla Walla stopping at the Whitman Mission National Historic Site before you enter Walla Walla (site of a massacre of settlers Mark Whitman and his wife by enraged Cayuse tribesmen in 1847). Enter Walla Walla and spend the night being sure to taste some of the excellent local wines in the nicely restored downtown before turning in (the restored Whitman Hotel would be an excellent choice).

before leaving Walla Walla you should visit the Fort Walla Walla museum and grounds. Then make the 2 1/2 to 3 hour drive to Pullman/Moscow.

The return trip could be to Spokane and fly out from there, or back down the Columbia Gorge to Portland and fly out from there. If you choose Spokane, leave time to walk around the park along the Spokane River downtown and check venues at the INB Performing Arts Center. Just outside of Spokane is the Turnbull National Wildlife Refuge and there may be sandhill cranes there at that time of year.

Next day explore Fort Walla Walla

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8. Re: ROAD TRIP north west

Thanks Pam,

As we have looked over at this I think we will wait to see if son is indeed in Moscow this fall-If so will likely plan flight Cleveland to Spokane RT and do Coeur D'Alene to Moscow to maybe Yellowstone and back through MT (Billings, Bozeman…)

It will take some planning but should be a great adventure if I can avoid all day car trips on most days

Thanks for your great help

Marcy

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9. Re: ROAD TRIP north west

Thank you- think we will likely spend much time in ID and /or Mt since our son will be in one place or another. We do want to work our way to California and RT 1 (seeing Portland enroute) but think this will have to be a future trip.

Marcy

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10. Re: ROAD TRIP north west

Thanks Collie- YES Spokane seems as it it will work better for our pocketbooks and also will make our route to ID much more doable in rental- may even make car rental much more affordable

Marcy

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