I’ve been neglecting to write in here lately. Moving from Texas to Washington just got passed by, with good intentions of telling the story in the vivid detail I remember it with. So here I am, going to give up a few of the morsels of thoughts that remain in my mind to be shared with all.
First off, I thought living in Texas was bad? Driving out of Texas is worse. I drove the first four or five hours, and the wind was TERRIBLE. The road was boring. Flat. Plain. Ugly. At one point in the past I marveled at how the sky in Texas is actually bigger… And I figured it out. Its because there’s nothing on the earth to look at. Few sparse, bare trees, and fewer hills or other earthly distractions.
New Mexico was interesting. Started to see a bit of what I’ve seen only in movies. Mountains started to appear. Stopped in Albuquerque for the night. (“Don’t forget to turn left in Albuquerque!”)
The next morning proved to be a nice drive. It started to snow a bit, and mountains popped out of the landscape as if they were after thoughts. We stopped at this really scary gas station. I had needed to go to the bathroom, and we hadn’t passed a city in a long time. I think this was the first gas station for about an hour. There had been a sign a while back that said “No services, 140 miles”. Well this gas station was scary. It looked abandoned. The restrooms were next door. Next door was an abandoned diner. It was completely empty, very eerie. Classic barstools and booths emptied as if a chainsaw massacre had chased all the locals out of town. What I would have given for a camera with film at that moment! Needless to say I tinkled as fast as I could and got outta there!
Utah was amazing. I loved seeing the red rock jutting out with the Rockies in place behind them. Just amazing to me to see such different types of landscaping put together.
As night fell we were closing in on Salt Lake City. After two days of driving in wilderness and nay a city in site I’ll tell you seeing Salt Lake was a site for sore eyes. Stopped for Arby’s for dinner as we trucked the last hour and a half into our destination, Malad City, Idaho.
Malad City is a tiny place. Exit 13 off the hwy. One of those places you reluctantly stop for gas… unsure of whether or not there is indeed a gas station. It was adorable. We went and checked out the local coffee/soda/ice cream/bait/lotto shop/bar called Jones’. We had a cup of coffee. A cup is .30 cents. Oh, that’s with tax. The woman waved us off when we went to pay. No charge. Reading the signage I could determine that this was a place that still kept tabs for folks. I could imagine Pop’s coming in early in the morning and sitting down at the ancient counter to his morning coffee. Put it the tab Sue, he’d grunt as he walked out the door. I took note that you could also buy an odd assortment of grocery store items as well. Just a random assortment. Like someone was selling what was left over from their cabinets at home. Betty’s Lounge was the bar in the back, but we wouldn’t be checking that out until later. That evening before sundown we got to check out the jacuzzi on the back porch. It was beautiful sitting outside, the Rockies circling around with snow topped peaks, and steam rising into the air.
I went snowmobiling for the first time ever! What a blast. First let me explain. Mat’s family has a “town” house. You know, a house in town. So that’s where we were staying. But they own a farm in Arbon, where Mat actually grew up. It’s a dry wheat farm of 10,000 acres. I nodded knowingly at the dry wheat farm part. Uh, say huh? A dry wheat farm is one without an irrigation system. It depends on natural resources… like rain, duh.
Well we headed out to the farm for snowmobiling. He pulled open the barn’s side door, and I was looking at a man’s dream playhouse. Let’s see… First there was a purple 18-wheeler truck… Bob Sorensen’s d.b.a. Sorensen Farm’s it proclaimed proudly on its side. Next was a huge tractor. HUGE. Um, HUGE. Lined up in front were five or six snowmobiles, and four wheelers each. Tucked in the back was a huge camper. Again, I emphasis HUGE. We pulled out a couple of snowmobiles, gassed up at their gas tank (convenient) and headed out. We desecrated acres upon acres of flawless snow. I wanted to go into the mountains, and so we did. I made a snow angel at an untouched spot. Mat got sagebrush for me to smell. I carved initials into one of the mini barns along the way. I saw a fox. I saw tracks of a fox chasing a rabbit. It was beautiful.
Back to town, dinner with the family. Everyone was absolutely wonderful. They all liked me. There was fresh home baked bread. Yum. Well duh, they are wheat farmers. Mat’s grandparents have a horse ranch. That’s where dinner was the next night. For breakfast it was kind of a fend for yourself thing, Mat made French toast with some of the leftover bread from the night before and it was the best I’d ever had. He put pepper in it, to which we all raised our eyebrows–but the guy knows what he’s doing!
It was hard to leave. Soleil had just gotten used to the other cats, and had actually made friends, sort of, with Calvin. (Three cats, two dogs, including Emma, Mat’s dog.) Note to self, I want a kitchen just like there’s. Amazing cabinetry ## from floor to ceiling on one wall. All stainless steel matching sleek appliances. Counters with marble tops, and a center island. That of course would have to have a hibachi grill for my kitchen!
The next morning it was time to take off. The Ryder truck was wedged into the snow, it didn’t want to leave any more than we did. We finally got off and on our way. Oregon is a state that takes about three hours to cut through. But not for us… It was like nine or so hours. Yeah, moving pretty slowly with snow blowing and coating everything. The roads were terrible in Oregon. As soon as we crossed the border you could see how they hadn’t prepared them for the snow like in Idaho. (Idaho’s were black roads, and Oregon’s were white.) Roads called for snow chains, which we didn’t have. But we moved along slow with the rest of the traffic. (It’s important to note here, Mat hadn’t let me drive again since those first few hours on the first day of our trip. Thanks, Mat!) We finally gave up in Ellensburg, Washington having met our re-negotiated goal of just getting out of Oregon before stopping, versus our intended pulling into Seattle at just about that same time of night. Seattle was a pass away but the worst pass there was to pass.
Snoqualmie pass brings travelers in and out of Seattle. It’s the last hour of driving, and it took about three. Coming out of the pass and into Seattle it was absolutely astonishing how fast the snow melted away into the greenery.
Crossing the lake there were incredible waves crashing into the highway and over the barriers into the road. It was the worst windstorm Seattle had had in countless years, according to the news report. I was happy to be in a larger vehicle, so the water didn’t obstruct our driving view.
Welcome to Seattle.