Thursday, March 26, 2015


Following a good, albeit cold, night sleeping on the street in Spokane, we headed out early Friday morning. 

Really early for us - 7:30am. The original plan was to hit Trader Joe's first, but on second thought we scrapped that. We just didn't have it in us to go driving around Spokane and we knew we had a busy day ahead - best to get an early start.

We liked our route so much from the Canadian border to Spokane back at the beginning of October, that we did it in reverse. Strange to be going through almost exactly five months later.

Since we were on the west side of Spokane it didn't take us long to be making our way out - west on the #2. 

We always enjoy travelling through the State of Washington - particularly the eastern side.

Davenport and the Blackbear Motel and Cowboy Cafe was our first stop. Nope - we hadn't gotten far but we needed breakfast and we knew this was the place to stop. Last time was March 21, 2012.

The Cowboy Cafe - one of our favourite restaurants. Our timing was good too - it was about 8:30 am.

Cas was not a fan of this location for a photo as you can see on her face.

Excellent breakfasts at the Cowboy Cafe - Derek had the full breakfast with biscuits and gravy and I had the egg sandwich.

Not much out here but beautiful nonetheless. Particularly with no snow!

At Wilbur we got on the 174 headed north west which would take us to Grand Coulee and Coulee Dam.

The Dam. We stopped here last fall for a good look around so no stopping today.

It wasn't long before we went from this to ....

this. If there was one place I thought we would encounter snow it was here. But nothing...

except for this jet. Amazing that I got a picture of it. Derek and I heard the sound first of course and were looking to see what was causing it. Case closed.

After 5 months on the road it was starting to feel a lot like home!

We stopped for a while at the Walmart in Omak to stock up on some groceries  - mainly dairy - and to spend the rest of our American money. We had fun - new towels and blankets for our new home and some toys for Cassia - large lego blocks and Jenga.

Then a run to the border!

Oroville is the last American city with Osoyoos the first Canadian city.

Our last picture in the USA - waiting to be questioned interrogated.

Not long after this we were invited into the Customs office - hmmmm. Interesting because after all our winters south we've never been asked to come in on the way back into Canada. 

I guess something about the painting on our van, our ages and the fact that we had just come from three months in Mexico sent up a few flags.

That's ok we had nothing to hide. 

However, 2 1/2 hours with a five year old on very uncomfortable wood slatted benches was not ok.

We sat longingly staring out the window watching everyone else drive by including at least 5 snowbird rigs.

I won't go on - but let's just say we were a little grumpy by the time they let us go.

Especially when we looked at the clock and realized it was 3:20pm! I'm pretty sure we arrived somewhere between 1 and 1:30pm.

Still, we were happy to be home! 

If you have been following along for a bit you'll know that getting to our bank was first on our list. Sadly, now that we were so late that wasn't an option as it was about 45 minutes away and closed at 4:00pm. 

On the 97 now between Osoyoos and Oliver. An orchard area.

Riding along side Osoyoos Lake.

By the time we reached Westbank - the last urban area before our park it was late. Much later than anticipated - around 5:30 pm. Our new plan was to stealth camp overnight so that we could go to the bank and grocery store Saturday morning. 
Upon learning that our boss was waiting for us at Fintry, to let us in our new house, we headed there.

We had heard that Westside Road from the south was narrow and winding. That does NOTHING to describe this road! With all the miles we have covered from one end of the USA to the other and even down into Mexico and back TWICE, we have never been on such a bad road. 

And I thought the Millon Dollar Highway was nerve wracking! Ha!

Westside Road is narrow and winding but with steep drop offs and no barricades! 

Too bad I don't have any pictures but really - I had both hands glued to the armrests. 

Good thing it's under construction!

Just as it was getting dark we pulled into our new driveway at Fintry Provincial Park!

We were thrilled - the lights were on!

It was cute and cozy and even better than we imagined. After meeting our boss for the first time and having a look around - we brought in as much of our stuff that we needed for the night. 

It was good to be home.

Those pictures coming up soon!

But first - next post I will do what I always do after our winter trip - post a summary of our travels south - all the facts and figures and our final thoughts.



  1. That sounds like a long time at the border crossing. The only time we have customs checks is when you fly in or out of Australia. .driving in & out of states is no problem except for agricultural checks with fruit fly inspections..don't know about customs & cruises? Expect there is some checks. Hope you are continuing to settle in...cheers

    1. Definitely too long Leslie and not right by my estimate. I don't think they should be allowed to hold more than an hour unless they can say why they suspect. We had done nothing wrong - they just seem to drag their feet. First he made us list all the places we were in Mexico and sat at his computer for more than 1/2 hour! At least it is behind us now - something to forget and move on.

  2. Too bad about the delay at the border but now you are in your new home. Settle in and enjoy!

  3. Always a challenge crossing the border but glad you made it. We will be traveling up to Bannf this summer, perhaps we will stop in at your location.

    1. Yes - stop in! We're a bit away from Banff but a circle route would be a fine idea - you wouldn't want to miss visiting the Okanagan!

  4. Welcome home - let the next adventure begin!!!

    1. Thanks Connie - yes - let it! We're ready to take on this summers adventures!

  5. Oh, the anticipation! I want to see the cozy house :)

    I'll wait patiently....or figured if I hopped in a vehicle, I could cone see myself in 1 day, 9 hours straight 💖

  6. Oh, the anticipation! I want to see the cozy house :)

    I'll wait patiently....or figured if I hopped in a vehicle, I could cone see myself in 1 day, 9 hours straight 💖

    1. Ha! Soon Cj - soon. Hey - good idea - that makes it sound really close! What are you waiting for!

  7. Welcome home Wood clan..welcome home!!

  8. I imagine you were sitting inside while they searched your vehicle. What about Rufus? Usually they want the pets out. At least you got there safe and sound. Looking forward to the next posts.

    1. Rufus was on a grass piece tied to a post - also watching all the other vehicles drive by.

  9. We just pulled in the driveway this morning. Good luck in your new job and enjoy your new digs. Barb

    1. I figured you guys would be home soon - last I saw you were in the States. Good news on a trip without things going wrong! Maybe see you in Zihua again one day.

  10. Enjoy your new home. We're still in Arizona but aI kind of want to just head home.

    1. I've been watching Carol! Now onto Vegas! Glad all went well with your trip up. Of course we can totally understand your wanting to get back to Indiana - except for the weather...

  11. Welcome back north. Love that crossing into Canada and we always try to hit up Oliver's Garden :) I'm sure you're going to love it in the new place.

    1. Thanks Dennis. Not our favourite crossing now - lol. Actually we've heard more bad then good about that crossing - however it brings one right into the Okanagan and that is a good thing! Love it already!

  12. Wow this is so exciting. I have always wanted to travel to Canada. The pictures you see of the the nature there is just stunning. I have also heard that cities like Vancouver are incredible places to live. They have so much diversity and tons of art and culture. I think Vancouver just might have to be my year's vacation.

    Julia Stewart @ Daytona Buyers Agent


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