Tag Archives: Jeremy

tea

I had to look it up. It was Christmas 2011. Zach had moved from Oregon to Louisiana the summer before. Sarah had started her doctorate program in Colorado. Jeremy and Ashley had moved into their own home. I was starting to get back on my feet after the economic disaster of 2008 and 2009.

I don’t remember if I helped to finance, or if I suggested it, but with all five of us in one place at the same time, I wanted to get a nice picture of all of us. Ashley’s brother Ryan had a nice camera and generously agreed to take some pictures. there are a bunch of good ones, but this is the one I picked today:

But back to tea. For a Christmas present, my children got together and gave me a teapot and some tea. I don’t know why exactly. I had not been a tea drinker. I didn’t (still don’t) drink coffee. I had become a fan of caffeine over the years when I discovered it helped with my headaches but I had never thought about getting it via liquids.

OK, I have a teapot now. When I got home, I started trying out the teas that had come with the teapot. Eventually, I developed some knowledge of what I liked. The next year for Christmas, Zach sent me a huge assortment of teas. Here’s my kitchen cabinet after they arrived:

I’ve got some nice glass containers now but otherwise the cabinet looks much the same. I keep lots of different teas and drink whatever feels right at the moment. I have some loose leaf teas but use tea bags most of the time.

I thought of all of this last night when I was at the grocery store getting milk. I always go down the tea aisle, even when I have plenty of tea. I guess I look for stuff on sale. At this point I know what stores have what teas so there aren’t many surprises.

What struck me last night was that the Stash tea was about the cheapest tea there. Stash was the brand of the assortment that Zach had sent me and I thought it was pretty good. It’s an Oregon company so I thought there was some angle for him there. They have lots of teas so I was able to try lots of different flavors.

Today was Oolong. Thinking of you, Zach.

Rosalie and me

Jeremy and Ashley left this morning for a little over 24 hours together on Bainbridge Island to celebrate their 10th anniversary. I’m staying home with Rosalie. This morning after some warm up exercises in coloring and puzzle making, I got her out to the Reptile Zoo in Monroe, about a half hour from here.

It was very nice. Unpretentious, but with a wide variety of reptiles including an albino alligator and a two-headed turtle that they feature in their advertising. They brought out a boa and let all the kids hold it and feel it move.

We came home for lunch and not long after that, the neighbor girl, Emma, came over. Grandpa faded from the picture at light speed. Except for fixing the Ply-Doh extruder, I was invisible. Well, they did enjoy serving me delicacies cooked up with the Play-Doh. Then they went over to Emma’s and I’ve been sitting here in the empty house for an hour reading TalkBass.

The sun came out while we were at the Reptile Zoo and the afternoon was bright but cool. We might have hit 50 degrees, but the sun went down at 4:30 and now it’s getting dark. I’ll go get Rosalie in a minute . . .

outside and inside

Yesterday was outside. After dropping Jeremy off in Preston, I decided to try a different way back home. I was also trying to find some large-ish stores on the way. After my success fixing Mom’s Town and Country last month, I wanted to fix Ashley’s Nissan SUV that had the same problem. The other issue was some blinds in the window next to Jeremy’s computer. He told me that they wouldn’t release and when the sun was out, as it was Monday morning, the computer screen was very hard to see. I took measurements but didn’t write them down.

Going through Issaquah, I spotted a Home Depot so I went in and looked at blinds. As soon as I was confronted with the enormous selection there, I forgot the dimensions that I had measured. What a yutz!

Next I stopped at a car parts store in Redmond. They tried to tell me the struts for that car were different on each side and $70 apiece. Umm, I had looked at them the night before and I was pretty sure they were essentially the same as the T&C. Pass.

OK, just go home. I measured the blinds again and this time wrote the numbers down. Duvall had a car parts store so I went there. They had the pair – each side the same – for around $60. They wouldn’t be in until the next day but that was ok since I didn’t have Ashley’s car anyway. The nearest Home Depot or other large hardware store was at least a half hour away so I decided to wait and went back home for lunch.

After lunch, I took down the blinds to see if I could figure out what was wrong with them. After a little bit of fiddling while watching the mechanism, I discovered that these blinds are very sensitive to their horizontal positioning. Once set flat, they go up and down as pretty as you please. That evening, I found out that the blinds in Ashley and Jeremy’s bedroom had the same problem and the same fix. No more worries about the neighbors bright light shining into their bedroom at night!

On the way back to pick up Jeremy in the evening, I left a little early and went to a music store – not Guitar Center! – in downtown Issaquah. It was nothing special, but the downtown was nice: newer but not mass-produced shops along a Main street. Too bad it was jammed with cars at this hour (6 pm).

Today was more inside, although Rosalie and I started outside after dropping Ashley off at work. We went down to Snoqualmie Falls. The big news there was not the amount of water going over the falls, but the wind blowing over the ridge. 40 or 50 mph gusts were pushing us down the path. We were well bundled up so not cold but not comfortable either. The temperature was in the high 40s.

Here’s Rosalie putting a brave face on it:

We came home via the car parts store and enjoyed the mild, non windy air at home. I put the new struts on Ahley’s car and Rosalie and I played around the house. We even raked some leaves!

For all that, it seemed like an inside day as we spent the afternoon in the house. Puzzles, dolls and drawing were the bulk of the activities. After Mommy and Daddy came home we all went out for pizza and a skillet cookie in Carnation.

Mt Rainier

Driving with Jeremy to his work yesterday – I did it so I could have a car during the day – he pointed out Mt Rainier ahead of us, looming on the horizon in the gray skies. He said it looks different every time he sees it. He told me of a place not far away where on a clear day, one can see Rainier to the south and Mt Baker to the north. He wanted mountains and he got them!

To the east are the Cascades. They’re not as dramatic as Rainier but they’re closer and at around 8 or 9,000 feet elevation, they’re pretty dramatic in their own way. We got a good look at them Monday afternoon.

Washington

<Edited Nov 7 to add pictures.> The end of day two of my trip to Washington. It’s been pretty eventful so far. Yesterday when I got to the luggage carrel at Sea-Tac and looked out the window, I saw fat flakes of snow gently falling down. Going through the door to the outside was a shock to this Bay Area boy. Cold, cold, cold!

But Ashley was right there within a couple of minutes and the car was nice and warm. I was in such a hurry to get in the car that I didn’t think of sitting in my usual spot next to Rosalie in the back. That meant I couldn’t really see her unless I twisted myself completely around. That’s not practical at my advanced age but we talked and had fun grabbing shoes. I commented that she can really reach the seat in front much more easily than before. She’s very tall for an almost 5 year old. Ashley said there were two things on Rosalie’s agenda for Grandpa: puzzles, and tickling. We can do that!

After lunch, we did puzzles for a while at first but tickling did ensue eventually.

About 5, we headed out for Jeremy’s Fire Academy graduation. It was held in a hotel in Issaquah. There were all the usual graduation accoutrements: bagpipers, a color guard, a chaplain and lengthy speeches. Various awards were given to high achievers. Each graduate had a family member come up to pin the badge on him or her. (There were two woman graduates out of 21 total.)

When Jeremy’s name was called, Ashley went up with Rosalie. Jeremy, who had been stern all evening, picked up Rosalie with a huge smile on his face and held her while Ashley pinned him. Then they all turned to the audience and got their picture taken. Rosalie was somewhat distracted in Daddy’s arms but the instant she realized her picture was being taken, she turned on a huge smile. That generated a laugh from the audience.

After the pinning was complete, three of the graduates made presentations. One was Jeremy, who spoke of his time in the Atlanta Fire Department and the illness of Atlanta firefighter Frank Martinez. Frank reached out to Jeremy in November 2015 when Jeremy needed people to cover shifts while he was with us all in Louisiana. Frank was very sick at that time and couldn’t do the work, but did it in a gesture of solidarity. Jeremy drew the comparison with that solidarity and the group he was graduating into. He also commented that Frank almost certainly got cancer from poisonous substance exposure on the job and his goal was to reduce those exposures among firefighters.

Rosalie was sitting in my lap at that point and tears rolled down my face during his talk. I wanted to just hug Rosalie instead of wiping my face.

Afterwards, many more pictures were taken and we met some of Jeremy’s academy colleagues before heading out for a late dinner.

Today was very quiet. It was chilly and foggy early in the morning but by around 10 it was lifting and by lunchtime the sun was shining.These are out the back door window:

Jeremy slept in and Rosalie and I played with dolls, did puzzles, colored in her coloring book, read books . . . and tickled. After lunch, we went for a bike ride around the neighborhood. The temperature was around 45 but no wind. It was very pleasant in the sunshine. Several houses had the remains of snowmen still extant.

Rosalie experimented with the icy remains of the snow in the puddle in front of the house. Later we went to a local park where we walked across the Tolt River on a footbridge, admired the Cascades lit up by the setting sun, and played in the play area. Rosalie made ice cream from the bits of grass and wood chips there.

Tonight we all had dinner together and made our plans for the next three days. Ashley had a new living room light delivered today and it had a fantastic box for imaginative girls. Who could that be?

voice mail

My nephew Danny is planning a family get together this weekend at his house in Lincoln. Us Bay Area folks are planning on going but there are questions about who is staying overnight, how we can car pool, etc. Mom sent me an email yesterday with a bunch of things on it so rather than responding in kind, I called her. They didn’t answer, so I left a message.

I got no response until I checked my email this morning. She said she tried to call but my email was full. Full? What have I got stored . . .? Oh.

So, here’s my story. I save certain voice mails from my kids. The ones that seem indicative of milestones. I usually transfer them to my hard drive and take them off my phone to avoid just the problem that I now have but the last one I got from Zach and the anguished calls from Jeremy and Mom that awful night are still there. I just checked and I did transfer them but I didn’t erase them from my phone. There are a few other, more recent ones, saved.

It’s funny, I only had to hear the first couple of seconds of each one of those to bring it all back this morning. I didn’t get much work done for a while after that. Luckily, the theatre was dark and hardly anyone was around.

For months I was sure I had a early November voice mail message from Zach talking about his upcoming trip to California with Emily. When I finally went through them carefully, it wasn’t there. I guess I erased it by mistake somewhere along the line. Here’s the last one I have, from the summer before.

more on goals

My follow up session with Linda was scheduled for Wednesday afternoon so I’ve been trying to focus on the idea of ‘goals’ again. All in all I feel pretty good about how the summer went: Jeremy’s move and the Germany trip. The last two weeks I’ve worked a standard 8-5 M-F schedule which is draining in a way but I felt I handled it pretty well.

Now that I’m back, it’s the turn of the other two principals at Davies to get holidays. Arno is leaving Tuesday for his usual driving trip to the Midwest. He’ll be gone five weeks. Jim, after shocking us all last year by cutting his schedule down to a ‘normal’ 40 hour week, announced he’ll be taking the month of October off completely. There are others who can and will step up to help with the shift coverage, but at the moment, it looks like the bulk of it will fall to me.

So I decided my ‘price’ will be a couple of weeks off in November. I will always want to visit Jeremy and Ashley and Rosalie but I also have an unfulfilled promise to visit Peter and Nanci in Spokane. And I like to stop in on my cousins Dan and Nettie also in Spokane.

Is this a goal worthy of discussion? Honestly, I don’t know how Linda would respond to this. I emailed her the other day that I was cancelling the session since I had been scheduled for work at that time. She hasn’t responded. The bereavement group that seemed so promising a few months ago doesn’t hold appeal.

Since I’ve been back I’ve had one day where I had a lot of time to do things and I didn’t and I felt bad about it. All the old thoughts about how I should use my time better and what those uses should be came and went. Then the next day I went to work.

I feel good that I’ve been posting pretty regularly since I got back. I feel good about being in the Skyline band again. (At the request of Zack I’m playing bass this semester.) I feel good that I have a handle on how much work I have in the weeks ahead. It’s more than I would like but if the payoff is two weeks off in November I’ll take it. Jeremy tried unsuccessfully to call me this week two times when I said I was available so I felt bad about that. Then we had a nice Skype session Friday night so I felt better. He’s having a tough time getting a decent job. Ashley is very happy with her new teaching setup but that cuts both ways with Jeremy. I don’t have a magic wand to make it all great. That would cut both ways too, I guess.

quotidian

It’s a real word. I’m sure of it. But I’m not going to look it up. I want to riff on it based on what I think it means.

It’s what my life has been the last nearly two weeks. In a way, though, it’s been longer. My trip with Jeremy was fraught with meaning but it was really just quotidian for me. I mean, I planned it, and I did it. No muss no fuss.

Visiting with Rosalie shouldn’t have been quotidian but it kind of was. Jeremy was away and we did some stuff. It was nice but it never seemed unordinary.

When I got back, I took  the CueStation class for three days, then spent an afternoon and evening in Santa Clara (after going to the dentist to have a broken crown fixed), then I had a long day (15 hours) at work, then I drove Rose and her sister Leigh and Gavino’s other grandmother to Pollock Pines for his birthday party. Then the next day I did laundry, then went back down to Santa Clara where I hung with Tim and his family. Then it was Monday and Tony Bennett at Davies. That was another long day. Tuesday I met Tim’s family along with Julian at Davies where I showed them around the whole building. Then I did another Tony Bennett show followed by a load out. Wednesday I went to Alameda for a haircut, followed by lunch with Leti and Hal, followed by dinner out with Rose for her birthday. Today I was back to work at 8 and just got home at 10:45. Tomorrow I get my permanent crown at the dentist and go back to work in the evening.

So there hasn’t been much time for reflection. Tonight the featured artist was a woman named Rhiannon Giddens. A classically trained singer from North Carolina, she became interested in the folk music of the area she grew up in after graduating from Oberlin. She has a band and some Grammy’s so I suppose I should have heard of her but I hadn’t. She sang Summertime and a Kurt Weill song that were sort of ordinary. there was a gospel number before intermission that was cool but in the second half she sang a song she wrote about a slave woman who was sold but her child was not, so they were separated.

I found myself weeping in the darkness of the light booth. Then she sang a song about the four little girls killed in the Birmingham church and I wept some more. Where did that come from? My life was moving along more or less under control and suddenly these couple of songs unhinged me completely. Loss of a child, of course. I’m quite sensitive to that for obvious reasons, but the sight of this young woman standing up there delivering this message almost defiantly was moving in and of itself. Seeing Sarah in the orchestra behind her made it even more intense.

I suppose, compared to a year and a half ago, I’m ‘better’ at handling this. I was able to remember that I could be heard through the glass if I got too loud. I was able to get it together enough to bring up the bow light at the end of each number. By the end of the show I was back to my quotidian life.

After tomorrow I have some days off. I will try to write more here and work on my new jigsaw puzzle. I did get one started the other day. It’s a scene from Yosemite Valley.

the second week

Jeremy and Ashley had rented a nice house in North Bend months ago as a place to land in Washington. It was there for them when they flew out on June 20th and they were still there on Thursday afternoon the 29th when I pulled that ungainly rig up in front of it. Jane had flown up earlier in the week and Joe and the boys had driven up. They were all there. Before long, Rosalie had me out across the street to the little park there. Actually, it wasn’t so little. It had a group picnic area and two play areas next to a rather large pond surrounded by trees. Here’s Rosalie beseeching the ducks to come back and play:

Here’s the merry-go-round:

Jane and her family left Friday for points south and home. We got in the car and headed north to Duvall, where we met with the landlord at the new house. They signed a two year lease. The neighborhood was very nice. The houses were newish, about 1980’s vintage, but many of the (presumably) original trees had been saved so there were tall firs and cedars all around. All the houses were well kept up.

Saturday was moving day. Jeremy took the truck, I took the Forester, still loaded with things from Georgia, and Ashley followed in the Murano after doing last minute clean up at the rental house in North Bend.

We got the truck situated in front of the house with the trailer off by around 10:30. Most of the unloading was done by 1:30 and the truck was off the lawn by 2:30. Rosalie had had a chance the day before to select which bedroom would be hers. It didn’t take long on Saturday for her to establish herself there.

Her new bed came not long after I took this picture. It went where the yellow bear is sitting.

Here are some earlier and later pictures of the inside of the truck:

That evening we went out to dinner in Carnation, which is the next town south of Duvall.

The next day, Sunday, I had volunteered to take the truck back to Yakima. Jeremy had done this as it was about $1,000 cheaper than dropping it somewhere closer in the Seattle area. That was another 145 miles in the truck and the same in the Forester coming home. 7:15 am to 2 pm.

Here’s a last look at the combo at the rest stop outside of Yakima. Mt Rainier is in the background. I thought I had Mt. Adams too but I couldn’t see the phone viewfinder very well in the bright sun light. It’s either just out of the frame or behind the sign, honest!

Jeremy and Ashley had lots of shopping to do so I said I would stay with Rosalie after I got back until they were done. They had to go to Monroe and Redmond and some other places with big box stores. After a nap and a snack with Rosalie, I got to play tea party and dress up for about three hours. They finally got home about 7:30!

Monday we didn’t do much except work on putting the house in order. I got in touch with my friends from Bellingham, Teresa and Susan. I wasn’t willing to go that far, but Susan had a spot in Oso, only about an hour from Duvall, that she went to on weekends in the summer. It floods every winter but there’s a spot for her Airstream 100 feet or so from the Stillaguamish River. In the end, Teresa couldn’t make it so I sat with Susan by the river for a couple of hours in the afternoon and chatted while the dogs occasionally chased toys into the river. Before going to Susan’s place, I had gone up to the site of the mountain collapse and paid my respects to the lost lives. The county has purchased the land and will eventually make a memorial park there. Now there are just 43 newly planted trees in rows by the road.

When I returned, much had been done in contacting the neighbors. We got invited to a 4th of July barbeque. Rosalie had discovered that the girl next door was just a few months older than her. They weren’t instant pals but it didn’t take long before they were chasing around together.

Tuesday all Rosalie could talk about was wearing her new swimsuit to the party and going in the pool. Finally the hour arrived and we went over. It was very nice and we met lots of new neighbors. Jeremy had to leave early as he was going to Portland for a basketball referees workshop. Before he left, we went home and lit a couple of sparklers. Rosalie wasn’t sure about them at first.

That night the explosions started well before dark, around 9:30, and continued without letup – literally with out so much as 15 or 20 seconds silence – until at least 11 pm, when my sleeping pills took hold. At least two different skyrocket shows could be seen out the back window of the house that were no more than a couple of hundred yards away.

Wednesday I went into Carnation to do laundry. The washer and dryer that Ashley and Jeremy had bought on Sunday wasn’t going to be delivered until the following Sunday and I was out of clean underwear. (It did come today and Ashley was on her 4th load when I talked to them earlier tonight.) Rosalie played a lot with Emma, the girl next door.

Thursday, Ashley took me to Snoqualmie Falls, about a half hour up the valley from Duvall. It’s a pretty falls but also a hydroelectric power generating facility. We waked the trail to the bottom and checked it out from there as well.

Friday we went to McCormick Park, which is a little city park right off the main drag in Duvall and right on the river. This was maybe ten minutes from their house. There was a nice sandy beach to play on. Rosalie made mud pies (or something) and dabbled in the water looking at the little marine animals. Afterward we had lunch in a little cafe and got a library card at the library across the street. Rosalie took out three books.

Saturday morning, Ashley took me to Sea-Tac and I came home. I had originally intended to come home on Amtrak or a bus but it would have been 24 to 26 hours en route vs 2 1/2 and the cost was comparable. In the end, it was about 12 hours short of two weeks. It was great!

my trip with Jeremy

Two weeks ago today my alarm went off at 3:30 in the morning. I had a 6 am flight to Atlanta. From Seattle, Jeremy was doing something similar. He got there first and got his car out of long term parking and was waiting for me when I came out of the terminal. It was about 4 pm local time.

We stopped for a bite to eat, then went to the Home Depot where the Penske 26′ bobtail and trailer were waiting for us. The trailer was for his Subaru SUV. It took about an hour to do all the paperwork and get instruction on how to hook up and get the car onto the trailer. Jeremy had gotten a TB test in connection with one of his volunteer fireman gigs and had to get it read within a 48 to 72 hour period. Basically, now, so he headed to the clinic and I head to his house with the truck. Rather gingerly.

At his house we fell to it. The truck wouldn’t go up the driveway so everything had to be carried down the hill to the street. Early on, I asked if he had any rope to secure the load. The answer was no so I had a trip to Home Depot at 8 pm on a Sunday night. We kept plugging away and at half past midnight we were close enough to call it and go to bed. The beds were the last things remaining.

Originally, Jeremy had wanted to leave his house at 4:30 to avoid Atlanta morning traffic. I told him we had at least another hour of work to do before leaving so at midnight he consented to getting up at 4:30 with the goal of leaving by 5:30. I had suggested we push on and get out of town and stop somewhere a couple of hours past Atlanta but he wanted the rest first.

In the morning there were a myriad of little things, and then there was lining up the truck ball with the trailer. The trailer weighed almost 2000 pounds (without the car!) so picking it up and rolling it to the truck was not an option.

Finally, we were ready. I took a picture of the rig at 6:45 and we headed out.

The clinic had been closed the night before so Jeremy had to find another one right away. He also had his Comcast modem to return. He had looked up ahead of time and found that there was a Comcast store near the freeway in Murfreesboro Tennessee. We got there about 11 am. I had found a clinic close by to the store so that was good but they had to be talked into doing what Jeremy needed. Once I saw that it was going to be difficult, I bailed and got some lunch. Jeremy was in there at least a half hour for a test reading that took ten seconds. Paperwork. Turning in the modem was not a problem and we were off again by noon.

I had vaguely remembered seeing something the day before about the maximum speed with the trailer being 55 mph but I couldn’t find it in the cab. Eventually, I pushed it up to 65 on the Interstate and felt pretty secure. We were still passed by lots of big trucks. When Jeremy took over he got it up to 70 and passed a couple himself. After the trip was over, I was unloading the car and saw the notice on the trailer: 55 mph maximum speed. Oh well. Once I got used to it, the whole setup seemed very stable. The roads were generally good. Through Tennessee and Kentucky we mostly kept it at 70. Slower up the hills.

The weather was perfect. Sunday night loading the truck I soaked my T-shirt with sweat but it was warm enough that I didn’t worry about getting a chill. Monday was sunny and pleasantly warm with a few wispy clouds.

Google had us routed up through Paducah and thence to I-64, then west through St Louis joining I-70 there. At the rate we were going, I saw that we would go through St. Louis at rush hour. We actually used a combination of Google maps and Jeremy’s trusty 2002 Road Atlas for navigation. I found a highway, US 60, that led west out of Paducah straight over to Missouri via Cairo, IL. Looking at it now, I don’t see why we didn’t take US 62 which covers essentially the same route through Kentucky in less time.

Whatever. We crossed first the Ohio River, then about two minutes later the Mississippi River on high, two lane bridges. I think we were technically in Cairo for those two minutes but we saw nothing of the town. I took videos of the crossing complete with enthusiastic narration. Jeremy, who was driving, later told me he thought his blood pressure was at about 200 during those crossings. That was about 4 pm, now Central Time.

We eventually stopped for a real dinner in Arnold, MO, still short of St Louis, at around 7, so the issue of traffic was moot. Our goal was Kansas City and we made it around midnight. Actually, we went through KC, MO into Kansas and stayed in a motel on the west side. Here’s a map of our first day. 843 miles and 18 hours on the road. Whew!

Tuesday morning we were out getting gas (diesel) at 8:30. West on the Kansas Turnpike. Our goal this day was the home of Jeremy’s cousin, Suzanne, and her partner, Greg, in Avon, CO. Per Google maps, a mere 688 miles. We made good time across Kansas but unfortunately couldn’t avoid Denver at rush hour.

This was about 6 pm local time, now Mountain of course. Jeremy was at the wheel and pushed on up into the mountains.  We found that the Colorado I-70 grades were much steeper than the ones in Tennessee. In some cases, we could only go 35 mph with the accelerator floored. The final pass was of course much higher too. I’ve got a crappy picture of the sign: Vail Pass summit, elevation 10,662 feet!

Going down was an adventure, dropping into lower gears to slow the truck, and watching apprehensively the runaway truck ramps.

The weather was holding. We saw some rain and lightning in the distance approaching Denver but only a few drops fell on us. Every night we saw spectacular sunsets. Here’s a map of our second day. 693 miles in 13 hours.

Suzanne was on duty in Vail, so we ate a late dinner with Greg and chatted before going to bed. We had gotten to Avon at 8:30. In the morning, we headed back up to Vail – about 6 or 7 miles back up the mountain – to see Suzanne. She is an EMT and the shifts are 48 hours. Anyway, we had a brief visit with her at her station in Vail and we got back on the road about 9:30 am.

A couple of hours later, I was merrily getting settled after fueling up in Grand Junction when I saw a state patrol car along side of me with his lights on. I pulled over, expecting a lecture – or a ticket – for going too fast with that rig. Instead, the very young Trooper Pritchett (he gave me a card when we were done) wanted to tell us one of the straps had come off the car wheels. He helped us get it fixed and in ten minutes or so we were on our way again.

Unfortunately, our timing around big cities was again poor. We came into the Salt Lake City area around 5 pm and suffered through the slowdowns there. The Wasatch Mountains behind the city in the westering sun were beautiful, though. Around 7, Jeremy found a Mongolian ‘Bar-B-Q’ place a couple of miles off the freeway in Ogden so we stopped there for dinner. Here is where we were parked:

At dinner we discussed stopping earlier for that night so we settled on Twin Falls, ID as an objective. We figured we could get there by 10 but in reality it was more like 11 and there were no rooms available there.

We pressed on, Jeremy still driving since Ogden but determined. My efforts at securing a place to sleep kept failing. There wasn’t much between Twin Falls and Boise. I did have Internet access on my phone along the highway. I was thankful for that. Finally I made a reservation for a motel in Boise. We pulled in about 1 am and had to park a couple of blocks away. In the lobby, though, my name wasn’t on the manager’s list. I had talked to an operator for Super 8 motels and she hadn’t understood that I wanted a room for right now. It was confusing because by then it had already passed midnight. The Super 8 guy told us there were other motels nearby that likely had rooms. I called one who confirmed that and I said, ‘We’ll be right over!’

We parked in an office building lot. I figured that we were going to be gone before anyone showed up to work in the morning. We hauled our tired bodies out of bed and into the truck by 7 am. Destination: North Bend, WA, the end of the road! Belatedly, I had thought of potential problems with morning rush hour traffic in Boise but most of the slow downs were going the other way. Phew!

Here’s a map of our third day. 763 miles in 16 hours.

By now, everything was started to blur. I guess it was the country north out of Ogden that I thought was pretty: wheat fields in the evening sun. Or maybe it was the country west and north of Boise on up into Oregon. I remember crossing the Columbia River around 1 pm. I remember the Yakima River valley starting around Prosser with its beautiful vineyards and orchards.

This picture is from Oregon. It shows how our rig was almost as long as the guys towing the 53 footers.:

While eating lunch in Prosser, I convinced Jeremy that we should take the car off the trailer so he could go ahead so as not to be late for his training class. Originally, he had set 3 pm as a time to be in North Bend. His class was at 5 but he wanted time to clean up and eat. It was becoming clear that the truck wouldn’t get there until 4 at the earliest. We had the grades of Snoqualmie Pass coming up. At Ellensburg, we pulled off the highway, did that, and he went off in the car.

I got to their rental house in North Bend as predicted, about 4. Rosalie came running out to give me a big hug and Jame and her family were all there with Ashley too. Jeremy had gotten there about a half hour earlier and was ready to leave in his clean clothes.

Here’s a map of our fourth day. 475 miles in 9 1/2 hours. Actual miles driven start to finish using the truck odometer were 2,858. I’ll leave it to you to do any averaging arithmetic. It was a fast trip. Jeremy and I had some good talks. He had some Bill Simmons podcasts that he & I listened to. I tried to write in my journal but eventually gave up as it was too bouncy. I took a few pictures with my phone. Good times.

I’ll put up another post about moving into the new house and other activities in Washington.