From snow capped mountains to vineyards

Panic stations as the packing begins, are they taking me? As usual my bed is the last thing to be loaded into the car and at last we start the journey south at 10.23am in brilliant sunny weather, in fact the weather at home is going to be brilliant for our entire trip – the road had better not disappoint.

After the mundane drive through the outskirts of Seattle we turn south east and across the stunning Cascade mountains, glimpsing the snow laden Mt Rainier through a mountain pass. We push the car up through 2,300 ft and descend from the lush mountain greenery to the desert that will become the norm for the next 2 weeks.

Our first ‘destination’ is wine country and they have thoughtfully researched Buckingham friendly locations for some tastings, apparently many wineries have dogs but I am not welcomed into the cool air conditioned sanctuary of the tasting rooms, instead do my own tasting in the shade, albeit of the water that the host winos provide.

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As often with wine areas the place to be is the winery and not the local town, Kennewick appears to be one such place. Is there a centre? Apparently not. We find a large riverside park but I am restrained on the leash, even a local bemoans the lack of run free places – she loves Bellingham though – why did we leave again?

Following the advice of a host wino they are off to Twigs, a restaurant and martini bar, apparently the best in town. It’s heaving, well it is Friday, so it can’t be too bad. No outside space available so I am consigned to the car to watch the setting sun, at last the cool of the shade, even the aircon doesn’t reach my cargo space. Why would you put speakers back here and not an aircon vent, come on BMW!

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