January 21, 2009

Seattle to Spokane

5 hours, 280 miles, and one ham sandwich… unless your rental car breaks down in Vantage.

Vantage Washington:

1 gas station, 2 restaurants, (1 closed on Saturday’s in the winter) and population 70.

Girl working at gas station might as well have been a robot, but in fairness she may have been frozen stiff.

Girl working in restaurant who let me sit in her station and drink beer at 10 am for 3 hours till my ride got there, was a life saver.

Long story short I got where I was going, (Spokane) but that story is not so great.

There is something about being fundamentally chilled, not cold like I would die(I was indoors), but chilled like please make it stop, and drinking beer for breakfast while you’re 3 hours from your hotel and 2 hours from your destination, that makes you feel vulnerable. Not like you are in danger vulnerable, but at the mercy of the kindness of strangers vulnerable.

As I looked out the window of the diner at what some might arguably call beautiful country side, I felt a soul-baring lonesomeness. Snow covered tumbleweed, a deep gorge enveloping the winter bare Columbia River, and sun stifling clouds as far as you could see.

The drive started with a jaunt through downtown Seattle. For all its beauty, manmade and god given marvels, I had a feeling of cold brutality that big cities can give off.

Then the mountain pass to the east of Seattle; awe inspiring, intimidating, the snow draped trees, frozen lake and quietness as you drive up through a cloud and then back down.

Makes me wonder if that’s why I am consistently drawn back to suburbs with their safe and consistent boredom. Nothing threatening there, save for frogs and grasshoppers.

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