Day 1 : Sunset atop beautiful fields
All the time I spent at Molson had me reconsider the rest of the plan for the day. I wanted to reach Colfax before 9:00PM as I was hoping to catch sunset at Steptoe butte and since I spent more time than expected at Molson (Daydreaming at the museum and exploring the border), something else had to go off the list and the one that came off the list was ‘Lake Roosevelt National Recreation Area’.
Well, to be honest time may not be the only reason that I wanted to skip Lake Roosevelt National Recreation area. Time wise, passing by this place would not have made much of a difference. At the time, I really felt like I wanted to spend more time in this remote area. Passing by Lake Roosevelt would have had me back at I90 east and I was not particularly fond of the prospect. Driving by the forest roads seemed like a better thing to do. That is where all the views and twisty roads are.
And that is what I did in the end. Half way down on the way back from Molson, I took a turn from Tonsasket, WA towards Republic city. There was nothing to see here except the drive was fun on twisty and mostly empty roads. I did make a quick stop somewhere along Sherman Pass because it was mentioned as a viewpoint, but it failed to meet my expectations and drove on. Soon I reached Kettle falls, WA a small town and stopped by a nearby campground for some quick rest. I was starting to feel tired by now and just wanted to reach the stay at Colfax. After spending some time here and taking some photos, I decided to move on. The next stop was going to be the hotel with no stops in between.
The rest of the drive is mostly uneventful. After Kettle falls, I passed through Colville, Chewelah, Clayton and then Spokane. After Spokane, I perked up a little more as now we were entering the agricultural area, and the fields this area is quite famous for. After about a 15 to 20 minutes drive from Spokane, the scenery changed to farm lands and it was a spectacular view. The rolling farm lands on both the sides of the road, just swaying like waves in the wind and the empty roads. All the different Colors,from Green to Yellow to brown in between.
I was so lost in the view and just enjoying the drive so much that I didn’t realize I was speeding and yes, I got in trouble. I was stopped for speeding and given a speeding ticket, the first speeding ticket in the states. :’(. This was the worst moment of the trip so far and I just felt like going to the hotel after that.
And that’s what I did, after that I went straight to the hotel room and checked in and got to the room. I felt a lot better after freshening up and while resting, I could see it was a beautiful sunset outside. Time was around 8:30 pm by this time and felt like heading out to Steptoe Butte. It was a 30 minutes drive from the hotel to Steptoe butte, and sunset would probably be over by the time I reached there, but I decided to head there regardless. If nothing else, I will know what I’m going to deal with the next day. So with these thoughts in mind, I made my way to Steptoe Butte.
Sunset was over by the time I reached there and it was twilight. It looked beautiful from the top of the steptoe butte. Farmlands stretched out all around and it looked like waves frozen in time. I’ll share some pictures here to explain.
Full moon was up and I stayed a while here watching the moon rise. The landscape looked even more beautiful lit up by the moonlight, but I don’t think any camera could have captured what the eyes could see. Around 10:30 pm, I decided to head back. I would have liked to stay longer, but I had an early morning start the next day again. And that is going to be another long drive. Day 1 ended with 600 miles on the road.