After I left the beauty of Diablo Lake, the scenery just kept on coming! I was really enjoying the ride and I was only a half a day into it!
Next stop was the Washington Pass Overlook. There was a short road that took you off the highway to a stop. Now, I am usually pretty good at figuring out things but, after I parked my scoot, I scratched my head, and tried to figure out which way to go. I first went towards some picnic tables but, that was it - picnic tables. Then I walked down the hill towards what looked like an abandoned tourist information centre but, again, no luck. Finally, another motorcyclist came up to me and pointed my in the right direction. Thanks, guy!
There were very nice views as well as an excellent poem! And, no, I didn't use a giant, invisible selfie stick, I got someone to actually take my photo!
After Washington Pass, there really wasn't a lot until my lunch break at Winthrop.
Lunch may not have been the best name for the meal because I didn't arrive in Winthrop until close to 2pm. And I was pretty hungry.
Winthrop is very picturesque because of its old Western themed look. All of the businesses - even chain ones - have got on board with the old West theme. I spent a bit of time wandering the streets, soaking up the atmosphere and trying to find just the right place to eat.
So, where did I end up? At the Old Schoolhouse Brewery, of course, where else would a teacher go?
The lunch was very tasty - I had the Beer Brat which came with herbed fries (they were very tasty) and I also had a schooner of Uncle Bigs Brown Ale - not a pint, mind you, because I was trying to be good. The photo has a bite missing from the brat!
The only time I find touring by myself a little awkward is when I eat out. Most places don't expect to see just one person and have to confirm - "Just one today?" or "Expecting anyone else?" or "By yourself, Loser?" - well, maybe not the last one but that's the awkward part...
I demonstrated that I forgot that I wasn't in Canada when it was time to pay - I asked if he could bring the machine. You see, in Canada, we have chips on our credit cards and restaurants bring a machine, you stuff the chip end of the credit card in the machine, and then pay for your meal using your special code. You can figure out the tip on the machine and decide whether or not you want a receipt. Sometimes you can choose to have the receipt emailed to you.
In the US, however, the waiter takes away your card to use the magnetic strip, and then they print up the paper and you have to actually sign the paper and take a copy. So 2010!
After Winthrop, it was the final leg of my trip into Omak. Everything from this point looked a heckuva lot like the Okanagan in BC (although Americans spell this area the Okanogan). In fact, it seemed that I was in this alternate universe Okanagan where things were just slightly different than BC. I stopped on the way to stretch but nothing really grabbed me to want to take any photos.
I stayed at the Rodeway Inn because, well, it was supposed to be cheap and clean. It did not fail on either requirement. There was a comfy bed, plenty of fluffy pillows, a clean bathroom and shower, and was located in town. The girl on the front desk was friendly (summer job?) and suggested a Mexican restaurant for dinner.
After an hour walk around town to stretch my legs, I headed to the Rancho Chico restaurant for dinner. The waiter started off by calling me, "my friend" so I felt good about the place right away (even though he called everyone, "my friend"). I was served a generous portion of warm tortilla chips, salsa and pico de gallo as a complimentary appetizer. On the recommendation of the front desk girl, I ordered a margarita - and it was delicious!
Feeling satisfied and just a bit tipsy, I motioned to the waiter. Instead of my bill, he brought me a complimentary dessert (sweet tortilla shell with whipped cream) and a complimentary shot of tequila!
After paying my $27 bill, I staggered back to the motel, reflected on my excellent ride, and happily watched some TV before falling into a deep sleep.