When I told a stranger we were driving a 20 year old Jeep across the country, he responded, “Why the hell would you want to do that?” When we told family, they said, “My friend’s uncle’s cousin had a Jeep and has bad things to say about them…” Colin even turned to me at one point and said, “Just because you’ve told everyone you’re going to jump off a cliff doesn’t mean you have to.”
And here we are a month later, back in Brooklyn, with a brand spankin’ old Jeep, awesome pictures and some of the most amazing memories we’ve ever made.
It was the best trip of my life. Yes, Paris, I’m sorry. I’ll take a cabin in Montana and a hike in Yellowstone over shopping in the Marais any day. There is SO MUCH beauty in this country! If you haven’t seen it–go, go, go! Or just read this entire post! But be warned, it’s very long. Here we go…
We started our two week trip by flying into Seattle and testing out old Jeeps we found on Craigslist. The first one we drove had 14 previous owners and while test driving it, Colin couldn’t stop saying, “Oh no, no no. This is not happening.” The Jeep shook uncontrollably and made gurgling noises at 50 mph. We returned it to its rightful owner and went on our way (in our very modern Zipcar SUV).
Our second stop was in a sweet suburb outside of Olympia. The street was quaint and we pulled up to a shiny red 1998 Jeep Cherokee Sport. After meeting the single owners in person, I knew she was the one. We got her inspected and with a little work, she was as good as new. A few days later, after lots of family time and Washington adventures (Bellingham, West Seattle, Anacortes, La Conner and Orcas Island), we were on our way across the country!
Seattle, Washington > Spokane, Washington
via North Cascade Highway aka State Route 20
There are lots of ways to get through the state of Washington. There are fast freeways, with lots of lanes and restaurant chains, but this was not how we wanted to go. We decided to take the scenic route, through some of the most beautiful snow capped mountains I’ve ever seen.
The first stop we made through the Cascades was at Cascadian Farm, where you can pick organic raspberries, strawberries or make a quick pit stop for insanely delicious ice cream at their road side stand. We picked up a few pints of raspberries for the road, which we ate with chocolate covered almonds along the way.