The Grand Circle of Washington and Why You Should Never Take a Kiwi on a Book Tour

I got a GPS for the book tour because I couldn’t fathom driving around lost while towing the tin can camper. Sometimes a side trip away from the down town business district is necessary to park the truck and trailer, and the GPS is handy.

I wasn’t prepared for our off-road adventure. Barry, Loofie the cat and I had a day off. I was traveling Washington state — Walla Walla, Spokane, Leavenworth, Bellingham, Bainbridge Island and Olympia — reading and signing books, when the weather came up on the Oregon coast where Barry was fishing for tuna. He was holed up in Coos Bay while twenty-five knot winds howled off shore. With nothing better to do, he joined the tour.

My free day last week (I had six events scheduled in seven days) was Saturday; with a full day between readings in Spokane and Leavenworth. What to do? Visit Mount Rainer, of course! Or, the Forest Service roads between Mount Rainer and Leavenworth. What I didn’t know about my GPS — pavement is optional. A road is a road if it shows up on a forest service map somewhere.

I was a bit nervous about leaving the asphalt, but not my Kiwi companion. (Sir Edmond Hillary was a Kiwi after all). Here is Barry after the second dry stream bed crossing. Doesn’t he look proud of himself?

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