Driving from Missoula, Montana to Mt. Vernon, Washington = 551.6 miles (about 8 hours with MANY delays!)
Once again, Montana is BEAUTIFUL! If it had an ocean somewhere, I’d move there YESTERDAY! And people know how to DRIVE there! The posted speed limit is 75mph… through CURVY, mountain passes! (Granted, they also post a “suggested” speed… but that’s optional!) There was construction too… but in Montana, when there is a sign saying that the “right lane is closed in 1 mile” people get over when they see the sign. As opposed to Coloradans… who stay in whichever lane they were in when they read the sign, and cut as many people off as they can – at the last possible second – when the lane actually ends.
Ok… this picture is “saying” a few things:
1. Literally: Welcome to Idaho
2. Girls who take pictures on curvy, mountain passes are NUTS!
3. Said girl should have stayed farther back from the ginormous RV… and zoomed out a little more.
I literally crossed the state of Idaho in one hour. That concept it kind of foreign, since I’ve never been to the Northeast. I usually get to drive across states like Colorado, Wyoming, and Montana which take at lease 6-8 hours… (Don’t even get me STARTED on the DAYS I’ve spent getting across Texas…) It was refreshing! And sadly short – since the mountains were beautiful there too!
Soon enough I made it to Washington. (Side note: I-90 Westbound is the way to enter this state! The hwy 82 entrance from Oregon, is depressing.) The clouds promptly darkened and grew… It was like it was saying “Welcome back to Washington Aris! I missed you! Here is the perfect weather, and just enough rain to wash the bugs off your windshield…. please don’t ever leave me again.”
At some point… I went through the “Kansas” part of WA. (And don’t get me wrong, I love Kansas…. when I drive to KANSAS.) The picture doesn’t do the rolling hills justice. I felt like I was in a painting… The fields were real, but instead of flat- it was like they had giant bubbles under them.
And another WEIRD town name… I respectfully submit:
And then Moses Lake happened.
I thought something had DIED in my car! It smelled like outhouse… with dead animal/rotten meat that sat too long in a sealed container- in the SUN… with that smell of a multi-vitamin…
I opened my car window to see if it smelled better outside the car…
I almost gagged it was so STINKY. I still have no idea what was in that town… but I can probably never go there again.
About 60 miles outside Seattle, I started seeing signs that trucks would be entering the highway to slow traffic, so the heavy machinery/LARGE trucks could get in place for some rock blasting/construction. I’ve been behind something like this before… it is painful… so when I saw the flashing lights enter the highway… in FRONT of me… I did what anyone WOULD do in that situation…. get behind the guy, so as soon as he moves I can GO!
As frustrating as it is to go 20 mph…. for 10 miles (or so), especially after going 70+mph all day… When I looked back and saw the LOOOOONG line of cars behind me (that stacked up in a matter of seconds)…. I just couldn’t help it, I channeled my inner-kindergartner and smiled when I realized…
I. WAS. THE. LINE. LEADER!!!!!!!
Just before I got to Seattle, I stopped to get gas and take a restroom break…
There was a small 2 stall bathroom with a tiny sink. A silver-haired lady was trying to get a coffee spill out of her shirt (even if it wasn’t coffee, I’m still happily assuming it WAS) and when I went to wash my hands another lady came in… as the silver-haired lady was going out. I don’t know what look she gave the other woman to provoke the response she got… but the lady told her “I’m a GIRL… my [boobs] are just small! (explicative)” Silver Lady left the restroom QUICKLY… and the other lady kept talking (to me?? I’m not sure.) ” I’m really getting sick of this!!! SO STUPID! I don’t understand WHY this keeps happening” etc….
I left before my hands were dry…
cause, let’s face it… I hate confrontation on T.V., let alone 2 feet away from me in a public restroom! ( I was going to get a nice hot tea… since the weather was cooperating, but there wasn’t time – I had to get out of there before that lady came out~)
As I drove away, with my heart pounding… I started thinking about the absurdity of what the lady said.
But first, let me paint a picture:
1. Short (Like 1 inch long) bleached blond hair.
2. No make-up. (not even chapstick)
3. A baggy hoodie.
4. LONG, baggy, jean shorts.
5. Large tattoos, of SOMETHING big, on both calves.
7. Over-powering cigarette smoke – like so bad, that after just 30 seconds in the same bathroom as her, I smelled like smoke when I got to my car.
Now, I’m not saying that any one of these things is not feminine. But if you just glanced out of the corner of your eye… it’s possible that the combination of ALL SEVEN would cause a lady to make sure it was, in fact, a WOMAN that just entered the restroom. It is completely fine with me if a woman chooses to dress like the above…
Just don’t be SHOCKED when someone looks twice. (And if it frustrates you- like it did that lady… perhaps changing one element would create a more feminine persona???)
Might I suggest trading the cigarette smoke for perfume??
Entering Seattle, I played Owl City’s “Hello Seattle”. (I’ve been waiting to do that since last summer!)
Seattle, wasn’t quite what I expected… there are houses everywhere… little jewels of color on the lush, green hills… surrounded by water. When I drove closer to downtown… I was a bit surprised to see how similar it looks to Japan. The large apartment buildings/style were everywhere! Gorgeous architecture. I arrived downtown around 3:40 on a Tuesday afternoon.
Traffic acted like I’d gotten there at 5pm on the Thursday before a 4 day weekend.
But, it’s quite refreshing to be in traffic with a full tank of gas, an empty bladder, and absolutely NOTHING to be late for.
Just as traffic was clearing up… a man from British Columbia driving a mini-van (and trust me… I don’t hold EITHER of those things against him…) decided it was time to get in the left lane… WHILE I WAS STILL IN IT, RIGHT NEXT TO HIM.
I gave him the freak-out honk… to let him know I was there.
BUT HE KEPT. COMING. OVER!
That’s when the panic set it…
You would have thought my steering wheel had been magically turned into a bongo drum- the way I was WAILING on it!!!
He was H-A-L-F-W-A-Y in my lane before he looked over to see me flailing and yelling, and spitting… and having a heart attack!
He looked surprised to see me there… and casually waved a meek “sorry”.
I got past him, FAR past him, and slid into the right lane… putting my car back in cruise control…. breathing like I was in hour 22 of a VERY arduous LABOR.
As the title states…. it wasn’t a good day to die!
It WAS, however, a good evening to go to Gentlemen Gene’s Pub… which, as Jared pointed out… sounds like a “gentleman’s club”. (Not gonna lie, I thought that too, until I saw photos of a very down-to-Earth pub and a fantastic menu.)
I had giant prawns, with a baked potato, and salad… and for dessert a caramel layered friazo which looks like this:
It’s layered ice cream, caramel, and candied pecans… which helped my day end just a little sweeter. (And also steadied my sugar levels, since near-death experiences rob you of your blood sugar… )