Okanogan, Washington – Frozen water on the mountain, sweet fruits in the valley

First night frost stroke us: Thermometer shows -4° C in the morning, but it must have been much cooler at night. Small waterfalls and trickles covered the rock slopes with a layer of ice. The road leads up to Rainy Pass and Washington Pass to nearly 1700 m elevation and down to the valley where water from irrigation plants immediately freezes on the grass, if not the whole plant is frozen over with many small icicles. After crossing even the foothills of the Northern Cascades we finally reach the climatically mild dry valley that nearly has the same name than on Canadian side: Okanogan. Lovely dry-brown grass hills and irrigated valley embrace us where many kinds of fruit, but only little wine is grown. Some of the villages gave themselves a picturesque wild-west outfit, even when it is not always related to their history. The legendary Indian Summer with its dramatic fall colours is withhold from us since this is exclusive to the Eastern States, but still hardwood trees change appearance here as well.

In the evening, right after passing the border to Idaho, we reach a dump with many churches. We look for one that’s still busy and ask if we might stay in their parking lot, and we are not refused to do so.

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