Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Which route do we take?
We've been planning one of our "long" trips for the better part of a year ever since we found out my sister and her family were moving to Spokane, WA. She invited all of the family to meet at their new home in Spokane for Thanksgiving 2009. We jumped at the opportunity to take a long trip in the Newell, and to do a couple of weeks of exploring after Thanksgiving of some areas we have not yet seen, including the Olympic Penninsula. As the time for departure has come into view it has occurred to me, and Elaine that the weather may have an impact on our trip plans. After all, this is the Pacific Northwest, which is known for a lot of rain and snow in late November, early December. Our route to Spokane was originally to hop on Interstate 15 (less than a mile from our home) and head north through Las Vegas to Salt Lake City, continuing north through a corner of Idaho, into Montana where we would pick up Interstate 90 near Butte, MT and head west to Spokane. Well......it has been snowing/raining on and off for the past 10 days from Butte to Missoula, with low's into the 20's some nights, and highs in the high 30's to 40's during the day. While I do not "fear" the cold, I'm not going to deliberately head into freezing temperatures, and snow, so now we are contemplating taking Interstate 84 northeast out of Salt Lake City thru Boise, Idaho through southeast Washington to Spokane where the temperature and weather forecasts are much more moderate with lows in the mid to high 30's and daily temps in the high 50's....still cold, but more pleasant to contemplate.
One of the complicating factors is that there is a Newell owner (Jennifer Stackpole) living in Missoula, MT, along our original route, and we would like to stop and visit with her and see her Newell Classic...I think it's a 1988. It appears that Missoula is at a lower elevation (some where in the 3,000' range) and should have a little more moderate weather than say Butte, or other towns east of Missoula on Interstate 90. So, what route we ultimately follow will be determined closer to our departure date depending on current and projected weather conditions.
The route home will have to be made up as we go depending on current weather, and forecasts. I hope we can follow Highway 1 down through the Olympic Peninsula into Astoria, OR, but we will not know how that will work until it's time to leave Spokane.