Thursday, August 10, 2006


The Miata trip to Eastern Washington this week

Tuesday morning I got up at 04:00 & did get away from home at 05:05. This got me through Everett about 05:45 with only a traffic slowdown to 30mph on the freeway and little or no slowdowns in Bellevue, so I was onto I-90 eastbound about 06:30. I stopped at a rest stop in the mountains to stretch & for a cup of coffee, then continued east on the freeway.

Just across the bridge over the Columbia River at Vantage I left the freeway & headed south on SR-253. There was almost no traffic at about 8am. About three & a half miles from the freeway I met three Sherrif's dept. cars coming the opposite way. As they got up to me the rear one turned on his flashing lights, turned around & proceeded to pull me over. It seems I had not slowed down to the state highway speed and was still running, he said, 74mph in a 60 zone. I now owe Grant County $122. But this was the only bummer on the trip.

I got to the Tri Cities a bit after 9 but due to road construction, I couldn't figure out how to get to S.W.'s townhouse. I called her, she drove over & met me at a mocha place where I had stopped (isn't it amazing how I seem to be able to FIND those places!) and, after we had a mocha, I followed her home. We did a lot of talking, ate a nice lunch she fixed, went to a lab for an appointment she had and worked with the furniture people who brought over a couple of pieces she had bought for her new home. They setup & mounted her big clock on the wall. After that we went out to dinner at Applebees, then drove around to show me some of her town, including where the motel I had my reservation for the night was located.

When we got back we took her dog, Sammy, for a walk in the dark along the Columbia River which is across the street from her home, on a walkway. There is a golf course on the other side of her home. We met a skunk not far from the house but stayed clear of it. When we got back from the walk we came around the low wall at the edge of her back yard, with Sammy in front, & met the skunk again. This time we were not so lucky & Sammy got sprayed. We took him inside & washed him up (he is only about ten pounds) so he smelled better, then I headed for the motel.

Yesterday after I checked out of the motel I went back to her home, finding it on my own this time. We did some more talking, she fixed another lunch, more talking, then I headed for home and she off to find out the results to the lab work from the day before. I have learned that we will probably be very good friends but perhaps not more than that, although I don't think finding a new very good friend is a bad thing. She will come over here sometime this fall & I may get back over there again this year, hopefully without the visit with the police again. We did attend grade school together for at least our sixth grade year, four years of high school and two years at the same college. She married while still in college, they moved to the Tri Cities after finishing school and she raised her three kids & taught school there. She has been divorced for 15 or so years.

I did drive back home a different way. I stayed on the freeways (and out of Grant County) to Ellensburg, then went north across Blewett Pass to US-2 and the town of Leavenworth. Leavenworth adopted a Bavarian look a few years ago so is quite a touristy place. I didn't stop in town but west of town, along the Wenatchee River, is a chocolate place called The Alps which we always stopped in while driving by. Somehow the car almost wanted to stop there on it's own. I didn't buy sugar free candies this time but did buy a package each of divinity and chocolate rum pecan fudge, & a bottle of water. I also took a few photos. This first one is looking down the river, with the highway along the left side:
At The Alps 01

The Alps is located five or six miles out of Leavenworth, but they still follow the Bavarian theme with their architecture. Here is the steeple thing on the top of their building with a little knome in it:
At The Alps 02

The road here is starting up into the Cascade Mountains and you can see some of the foothills in these photos. It is a beautiful area but it does get quite a bit of snow in the winter. The next photo I took at the summit of Stevens Pass which has an altitude of a little over 4000 feet. I was starting to get into clouds and you can see that one has covered much of the ski slopes above the homes:
Stevens Pass 01

I went this way because it allowed me to bypass Seattle completely. It was a little farther but a beautiful drive with very light traffic until I hit I-5 on the north side of Everett about 18:20. By then the worst of the rush hour was over so I got to Mount Vernon before 19:00 & stopped at Umi Teriyaki for a chicken dinner to take home. Huggy was glad to see me and has been staying pretty close. One of my neighbors had fed her while I was gone & my older son spent the night here Tuesday night so he probably petted her some, too.

There was some rain here this morning but it cleared up and was nice the rest of the day. My neighbor & I went over to Haggen's for sandwiches for lunch to eat with mochas at Starbucks, so I got my mocha fix taken care of today and at my home store.

I think the trip was worth going on. I met a neat lady who I will enjoy talking with and probably do some things with over the years. It was a break in my routine that was neat (except the ticket.) Perhaps there are some changes coming in my life.

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Nothing ventured, nothing gained, Dick. Now you know, and things could change in the future. Glad you had a good time, (except for the ticket!) and saw some pretty scenery.

Have a great weekend, my friend. ;-)
The need for companionship was given to us by God, so I wish you the best.
How in the heck did a cop, going the other way, know you were speeding??? Radar?
The pictures are BEAUTIFUL!
I lived the longest 15 years of my life in Richland, WA...a good place to move away from! But not surprized at your ticket, as they are VERY easy to come by in Tricities as well. The last day of work there, my hubby got a HUGE ticket as it was a school zone as he was going in later than usual and forgot! We figured it was just par for the course of all we experienced while living there. Glad you had a good time even if nothing ever comes of it...maybe she will introduce you to a friend next time, and that person might click ;-)!!
Beautiful photos. I'm glad you had an enjoyable day with your friend. Sorry you have to pay a speeding ticket though. That sucks.
Beautiful country Dick. It almost does look like it is in the European Alps.

Well...I knew sooner or later the Miata was going to get you in trouble. In your defense however, that definitely appears to be the type roads made for a sports car.

Enjoyed the read..
I'm glad you, at the very least, made a new friend, you little speed demon you! LOL And stop scaring skunks! LOL
To me friends are very important and some of my best ones are of the opposite sex. So good for you that you went to find out but also that you value friends. You sure got some beautiful photos. My dad had a car like that which always turned into the Diary Queen. He would fight it but it just had to have its way :)
Hi Dick!

Vantage is pretty famous, at least in my mind, for having a speed trap somewhere nearby.

I know this from personal experience. :(

I must live near you. I enjoyed the story and pictures.
Great pictures Dick, I particularly love the first one. It looks like a stunning postcard!

I'm glad you made the trip (except for the speeding ticket, ouch!) and met up with your lady friend. It's always nice to make more friends, and hopefully if it doesn't go any further than that, another one will. ;)

God bless!
Nice to see you at Mt. Vernon on my way back from Vancouver. Nice pictures and ouch on the ticket.
Wonderful photos, Dick, and what a gorgeous part of the world.
I'm glad your visit went well, and I think there is always room in our lives for more friends.
Take care, friend, and have a wonderful weekend ... Meow
Hi Dick
Nothing wrong with a good friend , sounds like you had a good time and had some fun so that is a bonus , and hey lead foot , be careful out there LOL
Huggy must have missed you and sensed you were around a Doggie!
and maybe even a skunk , what luck huh! sounds like it was a nice experience, MOCHA MAN
Hugs for Huggy
Take care
Hello Dick...I said I would visit and well here I are so very lucky...the scenery was beautiful...I would love to travel with you as long as we could steer clear of the cops...I've had a couple tickets myself...but it looks like it was worth it...glad you had a good time...
You get to have all the fun! I like Leavenworth. I go there every Spring for an ADA conference. This week is the WSTA/WSDOT Conference in Bellevue this year.
Omg...what a beautiful, beautiful post. The scenery must have been fantastic, too...and I bet Huggy was glad to see you! I'm so happy you're getting out and meeting new people. It's not to say you have to give up on Annie...she's always there..who knows..maybe she helped with just never know. I'll make it over here more often...I've got 2 deadlines but I can't forget my friends, either. ;o)
Oh Dick, you're tugging at my heart. All those pictures and your descriptions of the places I remember so I miss Washington state. So happy you had a good time!
Hi Dick,

I followed your link from Lisa's site. I'm so sorry to hear about your loss, and happy that you are traveling, and seeing such beautiful places. Nice to meet you.
Thank you for stopping by my blog with get well wishes. We seem to have several wonderful blog friends in common. I hope you are doing well. Your line on changes was interesting because I am writing about the ones in my life tomorrow.

Have a great day. :)
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