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Thursday, September 02, 2004 - Page updated at 12:00 A.M.

Deming and Pasco: Great escapes on 10 gallons or less


STEPHEN KINGSFORD-SMITH / TRI-CITIES VCB
The Fiery Foods Festival, Sept. 11-12 in Pasco, includes the International Battle of the Salsas.
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NWsource: Travel

Gas prices keeping you close to home this vacation season? Here's the final installment of a summer-long feature that offers weekly ideas for close-to-Seattle getaways you can get to and back on 10 gallons or less of gas. And just to make it more "real world," our tips are fine-tuned to whether you own a big SUV or a gas-sipping hybrid electric.

The fine print: Our "demo" vehicles are a Lincoln Navigator SUV, which can get you 90 miles away and back (180 miles round-trip) on 10 gallons, and a Toyota Prius, which can get you 255 miles away and back (510 miles round-trip) on 10 gallons.*

Note: To give you time to make plans, the events listed here happen next weekend.

The SUV getaway

For a scenic drive with up-close-and-personal views of Mount Baker and the North Cascades capped off with a program of some of the region's top gospel, blues and jazz groups playing for a good cause, head for the little town of Deming in Whatcom County on Sept. 11. You'll find the Nooksack River Jammin' on the Hammond Festival. All bands feature the Hammond B3 organ, and scheduled performers from noon to 8 p.m. include Seattle's Total Experience Gospel Choir, Clinton Fearon and the Boogie Brown Band, the A.D.D. Band, along with groups from Bellingham and British Columbia — a lineup worth going an extra mile for (or four miles, since Deming is 94 miles from Seattle, a tiny bit over our limit). All ages welcome. A $15 donation goes to Nooksack tribal youth programs. Saturday camping is free on the concert grounds.

More details: www.jamminonthehammond.com or 360-599-3254. For information on the Mount Baker Scenic Byway: www.byways.org/browse/byways/2236/overview.html.

The Prius getaway

If you like it hot, head for Pasco in Eastern Washington next weekend. Chances are you'll get warmer temperatures than around Puget Sound, plus there's Pasco's Fiery Foods Festival on Sept. 11-12. Besides the usual gamut of entertainment, arts and crafts, food booths and beer garden, you can warm the cockles of your heart (and your stomach) by joining in to help judge the International Battle of the Salsas. And on your 227-mile drive from Seattle, stop at farm stands and a winery or two in the Yakima Valley.

More details: www.pascofest.com or 509-943-5109. Visitor information including lodging: Tri-Cities Visitor & Convention Bureau, www.visittri-cities.com or 800-254-5824.

* Based on EPA highway-mileage ratings for 2004 vehicles: Prius = 51 mpg. Navigator 2WD = 18 mpg. Trips measured using MapQuest routes from Fourth Avenue and Pine Street in downtown Seattle.

Copyright © 2004 The Seattle Times Company

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