May 28th, 2007

  George, WA


(Sorry, technical difficulties…pictures will have to be included later!)

So my wife and I are in the midst of a grand adventure, driving across the top of the country. Starting from Seattle, heading to New York, puttering around there for a few days, and heading home.

We left on Saturday, around 1pm, after saying good bye to our good friends who are watching our house and cat (whom we also said goodbye to). First, a stop at a local drugstore to pick up a chotsky to act as our talisman for the trip. We then started for the eastern half of Washington, with the fervent hope that we could get out of the state before the end of the day…

Cresting the Snoqualmie pass, there was a traffic advisory for just a few miles ahead…an accident had left a mess of traffic behind. A mess that mostly involved putting the car into Park, while still on the freeway (but by a beautiful lake!), and just waiting.

That seemed to clear up entirely all at once, without much of the slow growing back to speed that normal traffic jams get, so about an hour later we were moving at a decent clip again, and once again hopeful (although less so) that we’d make it out of the state.

At one point along the way, we saw a sign for ‘Wild Horses Monument’, and decided to take a breather and check it out. It was also a lookout point, which gave a beautiful view of the valley below. The main point of the monument, however, was a metal sculpture set up on the top of a nearby hill (with a very steep climb up to it) of a herd of horses along the hilltop, silhouetted against the sky. It’s very evocative, and worth a stop, although we decided it wasn’t worth climbing up to also…

Washington is a truly exquisite state, and the forests and lakes gave way to rolling farmland, and some neat traveler-friendly features. For example, for about 14 miles, someone decided to put signs on the fence beside the freeway, every odd while, with the name of the crops that were being grown at that particular point. Peas, Field and Sweet Corn, Potatoes, Wheat, and even Peppermint flew by.

And then things turned ugly. 🙂 In the back half of WA, we found a small town, whose city name in the ubiquitous green freeway signs, read simply, ‘George’. A few groans later, and we had reached this annoyingly named town… There, they had a business named ‘Valley Forge Fruits’, and ‘Martha’s Inn’, and the home of the Half-Ton Cherry Pie. *sigh*

We started punning (*I* started punning, I should say, despite physical threats against me, and it dragged out my wife’s competitive nature to respond with puns), and that brought us through a lot of the remainder of the state…

After reaching Spokane, and realizing that indeed, we would make it out of state (albeit barely), we made the decision to end in Couer d’Alene, ID. The small panhandle of Idaho was our stopping point for the first day.

Driving down the main street, the first thing we saw were a pair of Very Large feathers, like from a seagull, but scaled up to truck size. Confused, but dutifully camera-happy, we caught one of them in the camera, and moved on…

Also in Couer d’Alene was the large burger-hoisting Paul Bunyan cutout, which we dutifully took pictures in front of, and Melissa got an onion rings from the associated Paul Bunyan Famous Hamburger. (Mini-review: ‘Greasy and tasty as onion rings should be.‘)

Back to our hotel, across the street for some Outback (and a photo with the outsized alligator in front), and back to the hotel to crash…

Oh, and I finished about 1/2 of The Hobbit over the course of the day, another purchase in the drug store we started from.

All in all a good first day; out of the state, and the speed limit started being 75, which didn’t really change my driving, but more merely legitimized my normal speed.

Sunday was all about the Future Pot Roasts of America. 😉

— Morgan Schweers, CyberFOX!

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