Over and Back Again
keeping politics to myself, in Seattle
Big brother Tom invited me over for Thanksgiving. I rented a car, left Wednesday afternoon and got back yesterday evening. Decided to take highway 12 west out of Lolo for a change. Glad I did as I found a cool spot about an hour down the Idaho side from Lolo pass. I passed a trailhead and wondered why so many cars were in the lot on this overcast, wet weekday in November, just a couple hours before dark no less.
I figured it would do me good to move the limbs a bit, and besides, maybe there’s a waterfall not too far up the trail, that follows Weir creek. Less than a mile in, I found out why the place was so popular. Wonderful discovery! There are hot springs with various pools to bathe in. Two parties of hikers/bathers had just left so it was just me and these two young girls. I didn’t want to freak them out in my spandex underpants so I left them to the bigger pool and found my own rock bath tub up the hill a ways:
The Idaho water nymphs mostly ignored me. I couldn’t ignore them as they were right in the middle of the view from the upper bath- that’s my excuse anyway. Come to think of it, an impressionist would have a great spot to set up his easel from my spot and paint while having a nice hot bath.
It was past sundown and getting dark when I got back to the car.
I wanted to explore the town of Kamiah a little but in the dark I just poked around a bit in the car to see if I recognized anything from a trip I took way back in the 80s, when I came here in high school with the youth group to teach vacation bible school to Indian kids from the local reservation.
I knew the church we worked in was out in a field on the outskirts of town. It didn’t take me long to find it.
It’s only an hour and twenty down the Clearwater from Kamiah to Lewiston. I would have preferred to explore this section in the daylight as there seem to be some nice scenery and towns along the river. But driving in the dark you get to take in an eerie scene as you descend from the hills- the giant paper mill at Lewiston. The lights from the factory brighten up the overcast sky like a couple dozen Friday night high school football fields. The smoke and steam stream into the windless air. It’s a Hollywood dystopia set, with paper-mill stench thrown in for good measure.
I was going to get a motel in Pullman and maybe walk around the WSU campus a bit in the morning, but I was feeling so invigorated after that hike and bath and Lewiston hellscape that I wanted to just keep driving. I didn’t stop to rest until way out in the middle of the vast, central Washington plain, on a country route with plenty of elk and deer crossing. I got in my sleeping bag and crashed in the back of the car for a few hours, until I started to turn blue. I drove a couple hours more and slept again at the rest stop on Snoqualmie Pass. Hotel Schmotel- El Cheapo rides again!
Anyway, early morning driving after the cold wakes you up brings you morning solitude in nice places. This quiet place is just off the I-90:
Not much to report from Seattle- like I said, I kept my politics to myself, and so did my family for the most part. It all worked out and there were no contentious arguments. We had a great time, which included watching my Huskies barely edge the scrappy Cougars in the Apple Cup and maintain their undefeated status. Of course my brother did mention a good friend, otherwise “in great shape” who mysteriously came down with a terminal cancer of the brain. I hear these stories every time now. It’s the jab, stupid pops into my brain for a brief flash but I just keep quiet, hoping that another round of this madness doesn’t convince my family to rush out for another set of boosters. If a new variant does come along and they keep pushing the clot shot, I’ll say something, out of duty. A lot of good that will do; my nephew is a nursing student and will be pushing all this so he’s not going to destroy his career by listening to Uncle Tin Foil’s crazy theories.
There’s always something goofy to report on after a Seattle visit. Since I didn’t have any politically-charged encounters with the family, I decided to get my woke political fix from the local fish wrap, The Seattle Times- always good for goofiness, to be nice about it.
Did you read that? The best thing about Charlie’s Queer Books is the “bright children’s reading nook”.
In the latest Doonsbury Garry Trudeau celebrates a higher rate of covid death in red counties, based on information “in one study” :
Senate committee chairman- We demand answers, sir! Ever since vaccines have been widely available, you’ve been targeting Republicans! In one study, there was a 43% higher covid death rate in red counties than in blue! Explain yourself, sir!
Mr. Covid- Mr. Chairman, poor vaccine uptake is hardly my fault. If people want to die for their politics, who am I to stop them?
Here are the last three panels of that comic:
You see what great stuff you miss when you avoid the MSM?
I took the fast way back to Montana- I-90 all the way until Missoula. It was a great, short family trip. Nevertheless Beverly assumed I needed a full detox from the Seattle goofiness. She had my house loafers nice and shined, and prepared a hot bath with epsom salts, then mixed us both a perfect Old Fashioned, and I told her Seattle stories in the living room as she tossed the dinner salad on the floor.