Cost to Travel: Washington State

The Cost to Travel: Washington – a 7 night/8 day itinerary

The Wild Horse Monument, a sculpture of horses entitled “Grandfather Cuts Loose the Ponies overlooking the majestic Columbia River at the Vantage View Point.

Here is our rough itinerary for a one-week Washington road trip. Another week would’ve been wonderful as there is much more to see. Traveling during the Time of the Covid-19 Pandemic meant many of the interesting places – like the Hanford B Reactor Tour as well as museums – were closed.

We drove 1285 miles!

Day 1:  Drive from Portland to Yakima, Washington.  Stops at Trail of Two Forests State Park, and Meta Lake, Donnybrook, Cascade Peaks, and Windy Ridge parks along County Rd 99 to view the effects of the 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens.

Wenatchee is the Apple Capital and Washington is the largest US producer of apples.

Day 2: Drive from Yakima to Wenatchee. Stops at Columbia River viewpoints, Gingko Petrified Forest State Park, and Frenchman Coulee.

We overnighted in Wenatchee on the banks of the Columbia River. A railroad line divides the city from it’s riverfront.
This pedestrian bridge crosses over the railroad tracks to Riverfront Park and the Pybus Public Market where we had dinner. Wenatchee is on one of those lists of “best places to live.”
Riverfront Park on the Columbia River in Wenatchee.

Day 3:  Drive from Wenatchee to Spokane. Stops at Dry Falls State Park and Grand Coulee Dam.

Spokane hosted a World Fair in 1974.
Beautiful Spokane on the banks of the Spokane River.
We rode the Numerica Skyride in Spokane for a bird’s eye view of the waterfalls.
The Spokane Falls on the Spokane River, Spokane.
The Radio Flyer, Riverfront Park, Spokane.

Day 4: Drive from Spokane to Moscow, Idaho. Stop at Couer d’Alene, Idaho.

McEuen Park in gorgeous Coeur d’Alene, Idaho.

Day 5: Drive from Moscow, Idaho to Walla Walla, Washington with stops at Pullman, Washington, Lewiston Hill, Idaho, and Hells Canyon State Park, Clarkston, Pomeroy and Dayton, WA. Many of these areas were explored by Lewis & Clark on their 1804-1806 expedition.

From Lewiston Hill, elevation 2,756 feet looking down at the confluence of the Snake and Columbia Rivers. Notice the twisting road. It follows an old wagon road.
The Garfield County Courthouse in Pomeroy, Washington was built in 1901.
The wheat fields of the Palouse. Washington is the largest producer of wheat in the country.

Day 6: Explore Walla Walla, Washington including the Whitman Mission National Historic Site and driving around the area to Athena, Oregon.

The Whitman Mission was established in 1836. Narcisa Whitman and Eliza Hart Spaulding were the first white women to travel across the continent. The Mission was an important stop along the Oregon Trail from 1843-1847. The influx of white settlers added tension in the relations with the Cayuse. Some of the Cayuse blamed a measles outbreak on the missionaries and killed Dr. and Mrs. Whitman and 11 others on November 29, 1847.
This cabin is believed to have been built in 1837 by Hudson Bay traders for a Cayuse leader called “the Prince” and is thought to be the oldest standing cabin in the state of Washington. It originally stood upstream of Marcus and Narcisa Whitman’s mission. The 16’x24’ hand-hewn, squared log cabin construction is typical of French-Canadian/Métis design of the 1830s. Parts of the cabin had deteriorated badly and restoration work was done in 2015-2016.
In Walla Walla we enjoyed time with Rick and Joy: friends, fellow world travelers and history lovers. They enthusiastically spent a day with us sharing some of the area’s historical sites.
City Girl, a F.W. Murnau silent movie, starred Mary Duncan, who spent several weeks filming in the wheat fields of Thorn Hollow, near Athena, Oregon. Many local farm hands were hired to shoot the harvest scenes in the summer of 1928. Mary Duncan was named honorary queen of the 1928 Pendleton Round-Up.
Downtown Walla Walla.

Day 7: Drive from Walla Walla to Tri-Cities, Washington. Stops at Lyons Ferry State Park, Palouse Falls State Park, Columbia Park, Richland. Touchet Heritage wayside to view Wallula Gap.

A trading post at the junction of the Walla Walla and Columbia Rivers was built by the North West Company of Canada in 1818. and originally called Fort Nez Perces. It was rebuilt by Hudson’s Bay Company and named Fort Walla Walla in 1821. The principal purpose was not for fur, but to provide horses for Ft. Vancouver as well as to ensure safe passage for company goods through the region. It was a stopping point for pioneers traveling the Oregon Trail.
Columbia Park, Kennewick, Washington on the The Columbia River.

Day 8: Drive to Portland. Stop at Rowena Crest Viewpoint.

The Rowena Loops of the historic Columbia River Highway (the first modern paved road in the Pacific Northwest.) Despite the rugged terrain, engineer John A. Elliot determined that the Highway’s eastern section should be built with the same gentle turns and grade used on the western end echoing the loops at Crown Point as designed by Samuel C. Lancaster.

The Cost to Travel: $1500.12 (average of $187.52 per day)

I share our actual cost of travel for informational purposes. By knowing what our costs were one can estimate what it might cost them and they can either spend more – or spend less.

Accommodations:  $835.00 averages out to $119.28 per night for 7 nights.

Food: $214.00 averages out to $26.75 per day for eight days of food and Starbucks.

Transportation:  $409.58 includes $304 for car rental plus $105.58 for gas. Yes, we rented a car!

Sightseeing: $41.54 includes the Washington State Discovery Pass to visit parks, and Spokane’s Numerica Skyride.

In Moscow, Idaho we had this delicious Greek feast for under $20.


Yakima Best Western Plus, $96.41

Coast Wenatchee Center Hotel, $150.00

Holiday Inn Spokane, $143.00

Super 8, Moscow, Idaho, $101.32

The Marcus Whitman Historic Hotel, Walla Walla, $144.73

Best Western Walla Walla, $121.68

Quality Inn, Umatilla, Oregon, $77.82

Studies have proven that travelers are happier and healthier. Travel makes us more active and keeps the gray matter in the brain engaged. On this trip we learned a lot about geology and some history, met up with friends, and marveled at the beauty of God’s creation.

Meet You in the Morning next time from who knows when – or where!

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