I laid over in our state capitol yesterday. I wasn’t in the mood to drive much further and downtown Boise is great. After settling in to probably my last motel of the summer, I went for a walk.
The city is very reflective and it has a beer bar that caters to the legislative crowd. I spotted an intense guy there that looked like Anthony Weiner and noticed that they carry our local made beer. The bartender asked for my beer preference and I told him I don’t drink beer. Yeah, right he said, what do you want, whiskey? No, I replied, vodka and water. He rolled his eyes and gave me what I asked for. Damn beer snobs anyway…
Click the photo below to show all 28 shots or run the SlideShow
Riley, Jess and I all departed their house around the same time Monday morning. They went to work, and I continued my obscene second summer vacation in a row, heading south. My goal was the Tillamonk Oregon rest area off Hwy 101 by sunset but I had way too much time in between so I drove to Salem, OR.
This town was on my list of places in Oregon to check out and after a few hours of cruising around I’ve determined it’s just another giant strip mall. Now aren’t you glad I’m out here doing the hard evaluation work so you don’t have to!
I left there early afternoon and told Tomi to take me to Tillamonk. We arrived to rain and a roaming cell connection. I knew Oregon was not one of my Silverstar Seven States but I could still get a phone call if one occurred, and man did one occur!
I got the vacation call of death from my co-worker Karen yelling at me over the roar of her bus asking me when I was coming back to work? School starts Wednesday and rides are starting to stack up quicker than we thought. I was shooting for the day after Labor Day to come back…
She was actually quite gracious and said she could handle it until I got back. Yea, that’s bus driver speak that means get your ass back here, now!
I’m not one to submit to pressure but I’m currently sitting in a rest area along the Columbia River writing this post several hours after her call. That means that I said screw this rain and drove through Portland at rush hour to get here before sunset. Hey, Portland rush hour was on my bucket list!
My destination tomorrow is good old Boise. I have a favorite motel there with internet and with cell connection since I’m back in Idaho.
Update: Tomorrow is today and I’m posting this from my motel room…
As the evening wound down last night, Riley suggested we run to Fred Meyer for some microwavable pulled pork to make sandwiches. As we drove the short run I was struck by how the pace has changed in my old stomping ground. It’s much faster, the energy is higher and the diversity of the inhabitants is striking.
We parked quickly and efficiently in a parking lot I’ve parked slowly at over the years. This was a stop for my old Shopper Shuttle buses and I spent many a years bonuses buying Christmas gifts here.
The walk to the meat department was rapidly paced and the checkout was electronic and without human intervention. In what seemed mere seconds we were driving out the main entrance.
That’s when I saw her. A woman in her thirties was sitting there with a large sign and a child by her side. The sign was descriptive but all I could make out was I need help!. As we sped out to the main road she made eye contact with me and I saw a woman who once had a life and now has none.
It struck me how much of this I’ve seen here on this trip. A lump formed in my throat and my eyes welled up as I told Riley that if someone sat on a corner in my small town with a sign like that, a hundred people would swoop down on her to find out what’s up, and help her out!
I obviously live in a completely different reality…
Riley and Jessica drove the old man to Seattle today for some fun, food and fotos. It was great to be a passenger as opposed to being the driver, and the back seat of their new KIA ain’t a bad place to approach the city.
We hit the market first along with the crafts sprawl that extends down from Pike Place in the summer. An elevator dropped us down to the waterfront where we had lunch next to the new Ferris Wheel.
I trimmed 210 shots down to 40 and created a photoset which you can view by clicking on the photo below, or just dive into the SlideShow.
Riley and I went to Alki Beach in West Seattle today. The original plan was to take the Water Taxi but I wanted to show Tomi and Jill off so we trucked it to the beach under GPS guidance. Tomi took us the back way and I was very pleased with her!
The place was crazy and crowded which was as to be expected on a perfect August Saturday. We cruised the beach and had a pricey lunch at Dukes.
The first photos in this set were shot under full zoom, on tripod, from the Alki shoreline. Not bad for a point and shoot :-) That bowl of stuff at the end was the exotic lobster chowder I’d already dug into.
Here’s a video we created later on down at Saltwater State Park:
I grabbed a strong cup of convenience store coffee this morning, next door to the scantily clad Barista that Wendy recommended and drove to the Green River to watch the sun rise. The days of looking for bodies down there are long over since Ridgeway’s in solitary now, but it’s still a great place to plan a day.
I’m hanging out with Riley at his house for the Seahawks game tonight which gave me and my GPS Tomi the day to enjoy my old stomping grounds. The fun involves telling her where I want to go and then ignore her directions and take back-roads that I learned years ago which forces her to re-calculate madly. She’s a quick learner and once I turned her voice off I didn’t have to listen to her bitch about it. (Hmmm…)
It’s been a decade since I was a paratransit supervisor here, chasing down drivers and wrecks, but the place comes back to me naturally. It feels like home even though it no longer is.
Betty, Tori and I pulled out of our driveway at 0200 this morning. My truck was loaded down with the girls luggage, Tori’s games, Betty’s walker, my camping equipment, a large cooler full of sandwiches with drinks and enough padding for the little one in the back area to win an egg dropping contest.
I had serious concerns about the mountain passes but we flew over them easily. Fourteen and a half hours later with some fun adventures along the way we rolled into Betty’s driveway and were greeted by the clan. People delivered, truck lightened and as I camp out in Betty’s back forty now, my poor body is still vibrating.
What’s all this got to do with the blue braid Wendy grew out of the back of her head with her own hair that she just shared with me? Everything…
Here’s some shots that have been accumulating on my desktop over the last month of traveling around locally. I’m taking off on my last adventure of the summer shortly so I figured I’d share them with you before the next round of photo madness starts.
Ok, they had me at otherwise. It looked promising as I veered off Hwy 26 towards Antelope Flat this morning. Spacious fields with foothills in the distance and knowing that the mighty Snake River lay at the base of those mountains.
Before long I saw this gate thing and I knew this adventure was about to be cut short. As I read off the no’s I was hopeful until I hit otherwise and then realized that camping probably fit in there somewhere…
I turned around, snapped a few shots and headed for Kelly Canyon, which was right down the main highway a bit. I’ve heard of this place, it’s a small ski resort on the backside of the Big Holes but in the summer it’s just a trendy camping area (several paid spots) next to a national forest.
I drove quite a ways past the resort, up into the forest and found some nice rock formations, people on horseback and a few open campsites. Place noted…
I drove to Idaho Falls yesterday and bought a cool sturdy tripod from BestBuy and some gravy for Piper at WalMart. I came back home via Swan Valley because Hwy 33 construction bites (long delays!) and passed an interesting road called Antelope Flat.
Exploring the area with my cool map programs I’m now intrigued enough to travel out to the end of Antelope Flat road today to check it out.
My new camera and I drove down to old Pocatello yesterday and we came back this morning. I need to sit down with the camera manual now and figure how to do more than shoot on full auto. (i.e. dummy mode…)
Anyway, I took some eclectic shots along the way and had a good time!
I found a great little spot to camp for a couple of days. It’s on private property (I know the owner), right by a dried creek bed (mosquito free), some tall shade trees have my back and it’s quiet. Quiet is good as my house has been not…
There’s a fast secured internet connection available and my Alfa antenna on steroids has decoded and connected with it.
Heck, the place even has a fire pit with wood! Maybe I’ll just knock down a few stiff ones tonight and roast a wiener :-)
Eruptions occur at the Craters of the Moon every 2000 years and it’s been longer than that since the last one. Every eruption adds fresh lava to this 618 square mile lava field.
It’s a cool place and I noticed there were roads through the field so I stopped to drive out into it and get some photos. Unfortunately, there was also a guard shack with someone in there extorting money from tourists for the right to enter the place.
I’m sorry, but I flat out refuse to spend a dime to gain access to national parks that should be fully supported by my tax dollars. If there’s not enough dollars then cut back on Obama’s lavish vacations! I’ve been noticing this trend for years now and it sucks.
So, the next best things are cutouts on the side of the road…
Update: I just checked out their website and the fee is $8 bucks which is highway robbery unless you have a Senior Pass which let’s you get in free. Ah, now I’m pissed off at myself because I have one of those…
Last night I camped next to a sadomasochistic meth head who called himself Starsky. I was sitting at my truck office creating the daily post and I watched his bizarre antics as he danced around his truck full of stuff.
Shortly after I clicked the Publish button he came over and asked me if I had any drinking water. I gave him a bottle and told him I’d just dumped two beers in the garbage (no alcohol allowed in the park) and he could dig them out if he wanted. He said no, that wasn’t his vice and besides, he was already high as a kite. I asked him on what and his voice lowered slightly as he muttered the word “Meth”.
I ended up visiting with him for the next hour as he told me his life story, gave me a tour of his truck of stuff, showed me his nipple binding tools, his stash of bondage porn and his Obama phone. I guess I’m just easy to talk to as he also shared that he’d been up for three days and used needles to get the meth into his body.
We tend to think of meth heads as miserable people but this guy seemed genuinely happy, in a mentally deranged way. Suddenly he jumped in his truck and was gone!
The photos are disturbing, even after I cleaned up the set, but if you wish to get a glimpse into the life of this character, click the picture below to open the photoset.
Or watch the SlideShow, or just move on…
btw: That strap around his neck was connected to two steel balls inside his…
I was concerned about this place from the moment I turned off the highway. The body of water known as Little Camus reservoir was nowhere to be seen and the large expanse of flat land off to the right sure looked like it was once a lake bed.
I drove down the dusty dirt road for about a mile before I came up over a hill and spotted water. This is what a once large reservoir looks like drained. I had really expected campers, and fishermen reeling in starving fish as fast as they could get a hook back in.
There was nobody. I spotted a rocky cliff and figured it would be a good place to throw a line in but I really wondered if I was wasting my time. Then I remembered that I’d just driven several hundred miles to get here so I grabbed my gear and hiked over to the cliff.
The place had rattlesnake written all over it but fortunately none were encountered which was good because (did I mention) there was nobody there to help me.
I hooked up some tasty bait with a bobber and tossed it out from the cliff. Fifteen minutes later without a single nibble it dawned on me, this place was fished out and dying a quick death under the hot sun.
As I walked back to my truck I was content knowing that the adventure alone is often better then just catching a bunch of smelly fish :-)