Tuesday, July 22, 2014

WA Hwy 20: Plan C

The wildfires in north-central Washington remain almost entirely uncontained, and new fires are being reported throughout the area. Both my intended route west (WA20) and my first alternate (US2) remain closed. Here's a little graphic that may help you to better see the situation:

The Carlton Complex fire is huge, now approaching 400 square miles. That's at least four times the size of the Seattle metropolitan area. Here's a map that shows its approximate size and shape. Be sure to look at the scale and try to imagine if this fire was burning in your area:

It has become clear to me that another day or two isn't going to bring any hope of the road being reliably open. Even if it opens in one place, it's very likely to be closed again in another. The last thing I want to do is get stuck in the middle of all that. The small reward just isn't worth the big risk.

So, I'm now looking at Plan C: Heading south to I-90 then west to Ellensburg and approaching Seattle from the southeast. That probably means nothing for any of you who are unfamiliar with the roads in Washington, so here's another nifty little graphic that may make it clearer for you:

I'll shave some of that distance off by heading southwest out of Kettle Falls on state highways, instead of going down and around through Spokane. It should be a relatively easy two-stint drive.

After four solid months on the road, I'm really fine with this alternative. I've already seen and done plenty on this expedition, and I'm feeling ready to be in one place for a while again... Stay tuned!

Click here to see exactly where I am posting this from on Google Maps.

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