To Seattle via true Canada and US

Another month passes. We said goodbye to Calgary just as the precipitous race from warm summer to freezing winter got under-way.  Honestly, Calgary wasn’t a highlight of the trip, but we had a great time as my parents visited, we took in loads of world-class museums, and enjoyed trips to the Rockies. In the end, though we were glad to leave, particularly as the next destination we hope will live long in the memory.

I’ve been a fan of the TV show, Frasier, for years; as it’s set in Seattle (although filmed in Hollywood), the city was on the ‘go to’ list for some time. A visit just needed a detour into the US before returning to Vancouver.

Given the vast distances, driving in North America is best measured in hours/days, rather than miles. To me 4hrs driving a day is ample, allowing enough time for a few stops, but before the eyelids start to drop, and I’m told ‘grumpy Stephen’ takes hold…

So we had a couple of nights in Airbnb’s on the way to break it into manageable chunks. These places were in themselves memorable highlights. The first in Cranbrook, British Columbia just north of the US border was ‘true Canada’. We stayed in a traditional wooden lodge, with huge windows looking deep into the forest. The host was a keen huntsman, so his ‘trophies’ were proudly on display. Bears, Elks, and mountain goats adorned the walls. Not my thing; but you can’t help but admire them up close..

Crossing more beautiful ranchers country we had an uneventful US border crossing, and late in the afternoon, we arrived in Spokane. From classic Canada, we moved to Classic US.

We drove up the drive to a beautiful white house sitting majestically on a couple of acres. The host was a Vietnam drafted (no action) vet. Our suite downstairs had rancher/cowboy mementoes, and a beautiful 100yr-old pool table which we enjoyed playing after dinner. A hearty breakfast set us up for the final leg of the journey west through Washington state.

We’ve now been in Seattle a day. We’re staying in the northern suburbs which are beautiful, bohemian and relaxed. Downtown on day 1 we visited the Pike Street market (bubble gum wall below) and the old town of Pioneer Square.  Key downside so far is the incredibly bad traffic getting to downtown, which isn’t helped by my lack of navigation skills.

But it will be worth another central trip to see the coffee shop that inspired Frasier Crane’s local sanctuary (“cafe nervosa”) and of course the iconic space needle before we make another move next week…



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