Hello from a deafening and wifi-enabled campground in South Dakota! The cicadas here have no chill and are holding us all as aural prisoners. They started in around sunset and I thought it would be like how birds make a racket at sunset (and rise) and then would simmer down a bit but it’s 9:46 and here we are. Anyway, while we have stayed in a few one-off motels with wifi since I last posted, it has been difficult to summon the energy to do anything but sleep and bathe and watch tv once we are checked in. Today we got to our campsite nice and early (which means about 6:30 for us), including the hour we lost by switching from mountain to central time today, which means I got a nap in AND have time to post. So let’s see… I think I left off in Portland? Oh boy.
After our time in Portland we drove up to Washington to stay with our friends who just purchased a house in a northern neighborhood of Seattle. We were forewarned to time our drive strategically, as Seattle traffic can apparently get nightmarish, and it paid off as we experienced no slowing except very briefly right in the city center. Our hosts were still at work so we spent a few hours on our laptops at a nearby Bux and (actually, in another act of aural imprisonment) listened to I think 5 songs in total while in there, each featuring multiple, extremely long trumpet solos. It was stressful yet impressive. Like just when you thought the solo was over a new movement began with more speed, volume, or both. I felt like I was in a nightmare. Luckily the Seattle Starbucks music choice was not indicative of the city’s burrito quality and we dined at a crazy good Mexican food truck twice while there. Our friends’ house is cute, they let us do laundry while there, we played quite a bit of beer die, and of course, quickly developed a few keystone jokes for the trip and made them until everyone was absolutely sick of them and then made them 100 more times. Also did some typical stuff: Pike’s Place, Crumpet Shop, Bezos’ balls, ferry ride, and hurriedly requesting a WA Kaiser number so that you can refill your birth control and still make it to Canada before sunset. Which we did!
I have to say though, that the highlights of Washington for me, were not in Seattle. They were in the protected forest lands to the east and the magical, breathtaking, I want to marry it, Olympic Peninsula. Rain forest, the La Push beach (camped nearby on the 4th of July and listened to fireworks coming from the reservation), Hurricane Ridge, and the eastern part of the peninsula with a view of the Olympic Range are all so completely different and stunning, it is almost unfair that they are all packed in there. We didn’t spend much time (read: any time) in the eastern part of Olympic National Park, which sounds like another trip in the near future to me (another of our good friends is moving to Seattle in the fall, so perhaps we can convince our techie friends to join us for some nature).
Back in the mainland we also checked out Leavenworth (cute, but definitely very tourist-packed) and filming sights throughout the Snoqualmie area for one of our favorite shows, Twin Peaks. That area is so beautiful that I would’ve enjoyed it with no pop culture context, and I can fully believe that the energy of the area inspired Lynch to write that story (I have no idea if that is the true order of things and am aware that I can look it up and choose not to). Washingtonian forest has a just slightly denser, wilder look than Oregonian forest. It’s so slight but so distinct a difference, and it’s kind of cool to notice. And smells amazing.
In addition to the lovely burrito trucks and crumpets of Washington, we enjoyed our first ever hot pot (I know, how? But glad we finally are in the club), several baskets of fish and chips, affogato, cherry pie, and the results of a tuna competition between Hank and I on a beach somewhere in the peninsula. We also stayed up to date on World Cup happenings, quoted Twilight incessantly, were extremely overly bear-cautious, and began to slowly re-adjust to the easy friendliness of country folks – a welcome change which has continued to develop since then.
As I said, we are in South Dakota now, so I have a few states and Canada to catch up on, but if we don’t have wifi tomorrow, I will try to do so from our hotel in Chicago in a few days. Til then……. check out my instagram! lol