Well, it seems I owe you an apology, dear reader. The long delay between this part and part 6 was because the tractor trailer that delivered my stuff also managed to rip down my telephone line, and I therefore went several days without internet.
My first real taste of Washington State was Spokane, and I love it. Beautiful hills, and surprisingly lush for the drier part of the state. It also helped that I spent the night at the house of a really nice lady from my church, and she had a back yard that enchanted the dogs. Lots of nooks and crannies for them to explore.
The next morning I discovered to my horror that the van stalls when on an incline and you put it in reverse. This will make parking in Seattle a bit of a challenge, as hilly as it is. I’m having to learn all sorts of tricks to accommodate this van.
As I left Spokane, a sign also informed me that I was leaving the apple maggot quarantine area. Poor little apple maggots. They must be feeling highly put upon.
I want to explore this state. The Cascades — what a cool name. I just want to get out and do stuff! It’s so inconvenient that I have to work!
I texted a friend that I’m falling in love with Washington. He replied “It’s a good thing you are. Can’t turn back now!” Well, technically I could, but I’d be sleeping on his couch, and he’d probably want to kill me after the third day.
There’s a town in this state called George, so it’s “George, Washington”. And there’s a gorge near George, called the Columbia River Gorge, which was an unexpected delight with spectacular views.
For a 14 mile stretch, the state was considerate enough to hang signs that tell you what type of crop is planted there. I thought that was amazingly cool, since I can’t usually identify anything other than corn. It really made me want to go to a farmer’s market.
I stopped at Ginkgo Petrified Forest State Park, but couldn’t go too far down the trails because it was way too hot for the dogs. We did get to see petroglyphs, though, which is something I always love to check out. I often wonder what the original artist was thinking about. And the views were stunning.
We experienced a bighorn sheep encounter. They were fascinated with the dogs. Until they started to bark. That made the sheep head for the even higher country.
And finally, a wind farm! The structures were so massive and otherworldly that they kind of gave me the willies. It didn’t help that I was listening to Gregorian chants on the radio.
On I-90 just outside Ellensburg, I got caught in the traffic jam from HELL. It took me an hour to go the three miles to the Roslyn exit. I was planning to go there for lunch anyway, because that’s where they filmed the exteriors for Northern Exposure. I loved that show. But if I had been having second thoughts, that traffic jam motivated me.
So off I went to Roslyn, and had lunch at the Brick. The exterior was very familiar, but when you go inside, it looks nothing like the Brick from the show. But the food was good, and I sat at the bar, which had a running stream at your feet. 1880’s spittoon?
As I walked though that town, I longed to see those quirky characters from my favorite show. No such luck. So the experience was bittersweet.
I was hoping that the hour I took for lunch would be enough to clear that traffic jam, but no. And as I went through Snoqualmie Pass, in addition to stop and go traffic, I got to experience an epic thunderstorm. Yay.
But the weather cleared as I approached Seattle. I got really excited. Unfortunately I couldn’t go to my new home, because the property management company won’t turn over the keys on a weekend unless you pay an additional 150.00, something I couldn’t do even if I were willing. So I arranged to stay with another church member.
I met her at a nearby park and we went to dinner. She gave me a lot of useful hints and pointers about the Seattle area. She then brought me to her sister’s house to sleep, because she herself has cats, so that would have been problematic. Her sister’s house is absolutely gorgeous. It made me long for the finer things in life. But I’m looking forward to getting settled myself.
Next stop: Home Sweet Home!
Check out part 8 here!