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  • Writer's pictureSandra

Hello again 🇺🇸

On Sunday, July 24th, 2022, around 3 p.m. we were back on American soil. Despite a great time in Canada, we are happy to be back. Unbelievable but true, we missed the open-mindet nature of the Americans. At the same time, I wanted to be back in the Canadian Rockies; For me, the most beautiful nature experience of all time so far! North Cascades National Park (in Washington State) - also known as the American Alps - seemed just the thing to quench my homesickness for the Rocky Mountains. It was already evening when we reached the park, which didn't stop us from going on a journey of discovery. Once again we were surrounded by beautiful mountains, forests, waterfalls and lakes. We stopped at the most beautiful vantage points and walked one or the other trail.

We enjoyed nature around us until late in the evening and ended up staying the night in the Happy Creek Trail parking lot.

Der Morgen begrüßte uns mit angenehmen Temperaturen und ganz viel Sonnenschein. Perfekt für einen Spaziergang vorbei an einem kleinen Flusslauf

to Rainy Lake. We chose the easy, barrier-free way to get there instead of the grueling one, which doesn't mean that it was undemanding. The path was quite narrow and it went steeply downhill to the side; Roots had raised the tar and created bumps that should not be underestimated. We even discover remains of snow along the way.

At the end, we were greeted by a crystal-clear mountain lake, in which both the green part of the mountain and the snow-capped mountain peaks were reflected. A place of peace and quiet!

At the Washington Pass Overlook at 5477 ft (1669 m) we got an overview of the upcoming descent.

We spent the rest of the day on the road, stopping at the laundry. I had chosen a parking lot in the snow park as the end of the day; the steep gravel path to get there was right next to the highway leading through the mountains and ended on a plateau surrounded by fir trees. In summer, this place can be used free of charge and quite legally for overnight stays. We were all alone. I was blown away and wanted to unpack the drone as soon as I arrived to capture the beautiful surroundings. Then I opened the door, drove down my ramp and looked in all directions. As a wheelchair user you have a different perspective on things, and I mean that literally! Because you sit one floor lower, you can also see things that are lower down. In that case, I unintentionally looked under the bus. I was irritated by the leaking liquid. Should that be so? Probably not... not a good sign!

I shared my observation with Seb' and he came out and took a look and confirmed that the coolant was leaking.

We hoped that it was "just" a leak and that once the engine had cooled down it would stop. None! The cooling water tank was completely empty the next morning, although we had filled it up in the evening. As idyllic as the spot we were in was, it had one disadvantage: no workshop far and wide. Poor reception didn't help either. It didn't help, we had to get off the mountain and go to the nearest workshop. So we refilled the tank and drove off. On the way, with a bit of luck and cell phone reception, I was able to find a potential repair shop in the next town. The 50 km there had to be managed. At 8am we arrived in Ellensburg with a refill stop. But the car/pickup mechanics couldn't help us and sent us to Love's Travel Stop. Fortunately, the truck rest area with attached workshop was not far away. Shortly thereafter we described our problem to the workshop manager and he assured us that they could take care of the matter, but that it would be around 3-4 p.m. before they even got around to it. We had no choice and were glad to have any help at all. We spent the day in the sweltering heat and between the running truck engines, the noise levels of which drove me to the brink of despair.

It was 3 p.m.… then 4 p.m., then 7 p.m. and finally 9:30 p.m. until we wrote off that something would still happen today, even if the mechanics worked until 11 p.m. We drove 3 blocks and parked away from the noise. The next morning at 7 a.m. we were back on their mat and we were told that we would be the first to come. It was 8am...then 9am, finally 10am when we were told the officer in charge still had a drug test to do. WHAT? 😱 Well, that could be something... especially if it's positive. The other employees, who were already hard at work, were only responsible for changing tires. We waited more or less patiently...

Around 1:30 p.m. we were finally allowed to drive to the holy workshop halls. PS The drug test was apparently negative 😂

The problem was quickly localized. A broken thread.

It was probably broken by the tremors caused by the nasty bumps on the way to the snow park. After an hour of work everything was fine again.

We took the opportunity to ask for the tire pressure of all 6 tires to be checked. Luckily, because if not, the worn inner twin tire would have remained hidden and would have become the cause of the next disaster with reliable certainty. And when I say freaky, I don't just mean that the profile was a little down. The thing was smooth as a Formula 1 tire and the wire was already showing in all its glory.

About 1,100 dollars poorer we left Love's around 3 p.m. with a tight cooling line and new twin tires. (The second one on this tour 😏) 2 hours later we stopped at Tanner Park where Lennox could stretch his paws

and we had dinner. We then continued our drive west and stayed the night in Tacoma on the beach.

We spent the next few days with Lisa & Pat in Gig Harbor. We met them both during our "Family Time" in Ohio and they invited us to stop by when we're in the area. We spent 2 ½ beautiful and relaxing days with them, during which we were totally spoiled and certainly gained 1-2 kg again. I also used the time and good internet connection to blog.

Two kindhearted and lovely people whose company is a real asset. I will miss them! Thanks for the great time with you, Lisa & Pat!❤️

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