Washington – Spokane to Tacoma

Daily Mileage: 291
Total Mileage: 4014
Total Number of States Traveled: 20

I departed Spokane fairly late, knowing the trip to Tacoma would be one of the shorter legs of the trip – staying in the same state for the whole leg as well as using an Interstate (I-90) instead of the slower (aka scenic) US routes.

It was raining (of course) as Spokane slid away in the rear view mirror… the terrain was fairly arid and flat with only small hills as I-90 passed the towns of Sprague and Ritzville… and the rain slowly tapered off. I stopped in Moses Lake for gas and a quick cheeseburger and was surprised to find a Starbucks. The coffee stop was busy with families traveling for Easter – some wearing Sunday best, either coming from or going to a family function, church service, or both. Passing through George and Vantage was fairly scenic. George is known for it’s Gorge (The Gorge at George) where they have concerts overlooking the Columbia River. The views are really impressive and I regret not stopping to snap a quick picture. Passing through Ellensburg, I started to climb the Cascades and the rain picked up. There was a little bit of snow here and there on the ground. The rain really started to come down as I passed through Cle Elum and Roslyn (where they used to shoot the TV series Northern Exposure). I checked the weather station and the only warning was to watch for standing water. Finally summiting I-90 at Snoqualmie pass I could hear some of the die hard skiers using their FRS radios on my Bearcat scanner.

Coming off the summit, I stopped at North Bend to get a coffee refill and stretch the legs. Not much further west, I took Washington’s Highway 18 south east towards Tacoma. I’d driven WA 18 a number of times and the construction that was going on 10 years ago was still underway. I imagine with all the rain, it’s hard to get a project finished. WA 18 made for an easy drive (still raining) into Federal Way, connecting with I-5 and heading a bit south into Tacoma.