Air Canada flies to Castlegar. However, to get from Olympia to Castlegar one must fly to Seattle/Vancouver BC and then over. In essence, much more of a trip than you might want. Out West, driving is over 50% of the day or the trip or the planning. Driving is the essential think time, the down time before the vacation destination arrives and the stress of vacationing hits.
My dad always asks, "Get a lot of thinking done?", when he knows I've been in the car for a while. The trip east or west of the mountains can be extreme even when there is proper distraction. However, when I was planning to show a love-of-my-life where I was from it involved the I-90 drive from west to east encapsulating the overcast moody metropolis of the I-5 corridor, the glacier cut and stuck mountains, the vast sage desert of Vantage and beyond and the dry but beautiful Ponderosa pine hills and valleys of the far east. Without this drive, how would anyone know how far they had come to lay eyes on such beauty (me and the land?)?
Recently a friend joined me in Colville (eastern Wa.) and we hopped in the car to drive some back roads in search of houses and land for sale. I was amazed when, headed out of town, we drove a road I had seen many times but had never been on. We drove up and down giant hills which were dotted with round pinwheels of hay. And ended up right back where we started.