Today we drove from Spokane, WA to Seattle, WA for the second time this trip. Since we looped up through northern Canada we had the choice of either driving from Banff, AB to Kamloops, BC to Seattle, WA, a route which Travis has already travelled (from Banff to Kamloops), or we could go from Banff to Spokane to Seattle. We chose the southern route since there was a potential for camping in Idaho (which didn’t work out), and because being back in the United States is sooo much cheaper than Canada. Our first meal back to the states (this time around) was Chili’s, where they have a 3 course deal for $20 — which allowed us to get 1 appetizer, 2 entrees and 1 dessert for $20. We decided we could have gotten this very same meal in Canada minus the appetizer, dessert and drinks for $36. $36 was our Canadian lucky number for “cheap” restaurant bills.
So anyway, we were driving through countryside Washington today when suddenly I noticed a spiraling tube connecting the ground to the clouds. I asked Travis “hey, is that a tornado?” and he said “no way” before even looking up from his book — finally he glanced up and we were both in shock that there was possibly a tornado off to the side of the road. Since I was driving the camera was not readily accessible (Travis had flipped my camera bag upside down and buried it so he could lean the seat back), and by the time I could pull over the tornado-like tube had dissipated. We stuck around the area awhile to see if there were any more, but the best we saw were dust devils of various sizes. We aren’t sure whether we’re crazy because we think we saw a tornado in Washington, but it was definitely bigger and taller and more definite than any of the other dust devils we saw this afternoon. It looked like it was touching the clouds, and when it faded it swirled upwards like a tornado rather than disintegrating like a dust devil. Regardless, the initial sighting paved the way for a interesting journey where I spent most of my time craning my neck to see if there were any more signs of tornadoes while Travis shouted at me to watch the road. Eventually I pulled over and he drove the rest of the way to Seattle.
Above picture is one of the latter dust devils, since we never saw anything else remotely tornado-like.