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Opinion: I took the Washington State detour to the Interior — doable but long

Traffic was almost non-existent.
The Peace Arch border crossing was completely empty on the afternoon of Tuesday, Nov. 17.

Driving an extra 500-plus kilometres wasn't exactly on the itinerary when my family and I booked a weekend trip to go see the Packers play the Seattle Seahawks in Green Bay, Wis. 

(BTW: We crushed them 17-0. Sorry, Seahawks fans.)

But that's exactly what happened, with Willie Nelson's "On The Road Again" playing in the background. 

Having flown out of Vancouver, we found ourselves — like many others — cut off from home. Three of B.C.'s major highways connecting the Lower Mainland to the Interior were completely inaccessible due to mudslides and severe flooding. 

The only way to Kamloops was either by air (minimum $400/person, if you could find a seat) or driving through the U.S. We opted for the latter. (You will need a passport or similar document to enter the United States.)

I mean, what's an extra seven- to 10-hour drive? 

We entered the U.S. at the Peace Arch crossing in Surrey, thinking we'd be running into long lineups. Nope, not a single car was in front or behind us. It felt a bit "eerie," as my mom put it.

We took Highway 2, followed by Highway 97, all the way to the Oroville-Osoyoos border crossing. I'm happy to report there was little to no traffic the entire way. We maybe saw one transport truck with a B.C. plate. 

That might change now. The Canadian government has announced it's lifting COVID-19 testing requirements for people choosing to drive through Washington State to bypass highway closures.

We also didn't see any flooding on the roads. (Side note: hopefully you have winter tires to go through Stevens Pass. It is icy at the top.)

If you can't afford to wait out the road closures and have the time (and a really good playlist), the U.S. route is a great option. 

That being said, unlike Willie, I'll wait to get on the road again.

The Canadian government is lifting the PCR test requirement for fully vaccinated travellers returning to Canada after short trips. Google Maps