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Posted on Sunday, August 20th, 2006

Dave!My big plan to get drunk last night was successful.

Very successful.

When I woke up this morning, I was still drunk. This was a very bad thing, because I needed to drive home today and still had to look forward to my hangover. So, after taking a handful of Advil and Tagament, eating the greasiest breakfast I could keep down, and packing up my crap, I sobered up and hit the road.

But instead of driving back over Highway 2, I decided to go up and around on the North Cascades Highway... a stretch of road that's part of Washington's Cascade Loop. This is a drive which National Geographic describes as "One of America's grandest, most spectacular drives"...


Who cares that it takes 5 hours and 30 minutes to drive instead of 2 hours and 15 minutes? I can use the extra 3+ hours to clear my head and see stuff that I've never seen before! Well, that was the plan anyway. As it turns out, the drive is nice but not that much different than stuff I've driven through already (except that the North Cascades Highway is extremely popular with motorcyclists, and the ratio of motorcycles to cars is nearly 50/50). But the trees, mountains, and blue-green waters made for a nice distraction from my hangover, so it's all good I suppose...

North Cascades

North Cascades

At least it did until smoke started filling the air and I realized that there must be a massive fire in the area. It smelled awful, and was causing me to feel sick all over again. By the time I got to Winthrop (an old-fashioned Western-themed tourist town), it was pretty bad. If you looked on one side of the street there were hazy blue skies, but look the other way and it was nothing but smoke...



Oh well. I'm home safe and sound now, so I suppose I should take a nap, try to get caught up on my sleep, and be thankful that the fires aren't in my back yard this time.

Categories: Travel 2006Click To It: Permalink


  1. RW says:

    Dave. Why do you have the outline of a Bichon Frise on your map dude? You ok in there?

  2. delmer says:

    Way back in ’83 a buddy and I decided to drive from LA to San Francisco by going up the Pacific Coast Highway. After about an hour of seeing pounding surf and sand we decided to make our way to I-5 or I-15 or I-1, whatever it might be, to save some time.

    On the cutover we came across a ridge that overlooked a beatiful golf course. Neither of us were golfers, but the view was truly spectacular.

  3. Mooselet says:

    Not that you would notice if they were. 🙂

    Glad you made it back in one piece.

  4. LarryB says:

    Oddly, yesterday I drove through a (small) bit of your side of the mountains, while you were taking the scenic route up north.

    I rode my motorcycle over Stevens Pass to the very silly Leavenworth (WA), had some food, continued east on 2, and then down 97 to pick up 90 and return to Pugetopolis. It was getting too late in the day to detour over to Cashmere, so I didn’t.

    97 is a really pleasant road, but I’ve yet to find a really great motorcycle road here in WA. I’ll have to check out the North Cascades Highway, even though you’ve already taken the edge off all the gushing about it I hear from my cow-orkers.

  5. Dave2 says:

    RW… Bichon Frise? It seemed more like a genie lamp with a poof of smoke coming out to me!

    Delmer… Sometimes veering off the intended route results in a pleasant surprise. It’s my favorite part of traveling. 🙂

    Mooselet… Apparently, it’s true! But I really was out of town that day!! 😀

    Larry… I admit that taking a drive on the North Cascades Highway would be truly sweet on a motorcycle, and I am positive that I would have enjoyed it a lot more had I been on mine. Great scenery, plenty of light twisties, and lots of great places to stop and rest along the way. But in a car? Just another pretty scenic drive in Washington.

  6. kazza says:

    oo oo oo!!!
    I’ve been there and there!!
    On the day I met you in fact..!


  7. Laurence says:

    You’re great ! All your ideas are great !

  8. Kyra says:

    Ok, is it wrong I want to visit that town? Minus, the smoke and all.

    I can’t do big scenic drives. I get carsick even when I am driving.

    And since we’re playing rorschach blots with the map, I see a boat sailing out from underneath a cloud. 🙂

  9. Bre says:

    My goodness! Did you ever find out what the smoke was from? A good (male) friend of mine from college used to swear by Midol as a miracle hangover cure. Many a Sunday morning he stumbled down to our room to beg for “the stuff” – it always seemed to work for him!

  10. EDDIE says:

    Do you plan to get drunk? Bizarre…
    I take extra vitamin B when I go to bed after I get drunk. It helps to break that poison from alcohol.

    Those tall pine(?) tress are breathtaking.
    (We do have tall coconut trees here though.)

  11. Avitable says:

    I’d like to drive along the Pacific Northwest sometime, since I’ve never been there.

  12. Kevin says:

    Do you even remember what your home looks like?

  13. sultana says:

    I think your path looks like a carrot!

    I’d love to visit WA one day 🙂

  14. yellojkt says:

    On vacation, we took a detour through Rocky Mountain National Park. Five hours later we were 70 miles west of where we started the day. It wouldn’t have been so bad, but we still had another 300 miles to drive that day.

  15. RW says:

    Well I don’t know. According to Rorschach if the image in the map looks like a genie lamp with a poof of smoke coming out of it it means you’re always looking for the wonderful in the mundane but are doomed to fail because it doesn’t ever really exist and you should stop your delusions and get with the real world.

    If the image in the map looks like a carrot you have a yearning to feed the world and help the downtrodden, and you tend to see solutions where most can’t see them. The problem is these solutions didn’t ever really exist and you should stop your delusions and get with the real world.

    If you see a Bichon Frise in the image on the map you have a talent for seeing reality square in the face and are probably a millionaire by now. Also a genius.

    Hey guys don’t look at me – that’s just Rorschach.

  16. Jeff says:

    I’m such an idiot. I have several 1st cousins who live in Seattle who have BEGGED me to come out there and visit rent-free. And yet I haven’t been able to find the time to plan that trip. Your pictures and travelogues have given me new reasons to do so.

    Oh, and I see a James Bond speed boat driving out of a plume of an explosion on the water!

  17. The Chad says:

    I’m gonna have to check that out. Sounds like a good weekend trip away from Portland.

  18. Thats odd because the last time I was in Winthrop – that would be about 20 years ago – there was also a fire and smoke hovering over town – indeed I did a second take on your pics going, “Is that winthrop?” and then ACTUALLY READ YOUR BLOG ENTRY – all the words! Cool!

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