As I type this we are back on the highway headed towards Portland, leaving Seattle with a deal of reluctance, next main destination is Los Angeles, CA.
The last 48 hours have felt like one endless day. Fast food, gas station snacks, ice cold weather, driving and more driving…fatigue...sheer joy. I had about a combined 5 hours of sleep between both days…my companions about the same, but I wouldn’t change it for the world.
After leaving Boise, ID Thursday morning, we drove into Oregon. It was quite beautiful. Oregon is surrounded by giant hills blanketed by deep amounts of powdery snow… High in elevation, the air was thin, but as pure as one could imagine.
We made a stop when we realized we were traveling the Oregon Trail. Due to it being the end of December we found ourselves completely alone at the “Oregon Trail Interactive Center.” Of course, it was painfully cold. I was the only one with gloves, therefore I amused myself by throwing snowballs at Tim and Big Love, E.
Upon hitting the roads again, we saw warning signs indicating “Extremely Icy conditions,” and rows of large semi’s were pulled over to the right placing chains over their tires. On certain roads, a thin cloud of snow would float just over the blacktop…and it looked like we were driving on a cloud. We made a food and gas stop… and found that in the state of Oregon you were not allowed to pump your own gas… The poor attendants stood out there explaining this law to all the cars that pulled up.
I took over driving duties from there and after a few hours we found ourselves in Washington at about 5:00pm. Much to our dismay we hit pretty severe conditions from this point on. We tuned into a local radio station for a report, the message was concerning severe weather (snow) in the region we’d be driving right through. It was a blizzard, heavy snow fall and strong winds, to make matters worse our windshield would get a thin layer of moisture from the precipitation and then freeze over. Unfortunately, our washer fluid stopped working and so we had to put up with low visibility, did I mention it was really dark,the roads were curvy and slippery and we were in a Chrysler Sebring convertible? ☺ It was probably the scariest drive I’ve ever been a part of, although initially it was exciting after the second hour It started to wear on me.
At about 7:30 pm, we arrived in Seattle exhausted, hungry, and cold, but excited at the sight of the space needle. We checked in to a lovely hotel downtown, compliments of Tim and found ourselves with a gorgeous view of the city skyline from the 27th floor.
Dinner was Seattle’s world famous clam chowder and it was fabulous. We had it in this really neat shopping mall. From outside it doesn’t look like much, but once through the surface you find floor upon floor of shops and eateries. We did just a little walking around, mainly looking for a
Starbucks, I know, it’s Seattle home of Starbucks and there were 2 for every block, but for some reason they were all closed. Despite the cold and rain I just really loved the feel and smell of the City. We were in bed by 10pm. I can’t tell you how thankful I was for a bed.
In the morning, we headed down the street to the famous Pikes Marketplace. The vendors were just starting to set up so we walked around for a while, until we found a spot that served breakfast food. It was delicious, all you can eat Waffles for $ 6 and a chili omellete. Yum.
I finished eating first and stepped out for a moment, alone. It was a brisk morning, the air was slightly moist, cold and crisp… I loaded Amos Lee on my ipod, lit a cigarette and walked over to a flower shop and then to a newsstand (standard of larger cities). I picked up a few postcards and I watched…
I watch a restless city pass me by, I watch to trade the sting of emptiness within for the emptiness without…
And I felt something… difficult to describe with words…but profound… I think I fell in love with the City.