Sunday, March 11, 2012

Travelogue, Part II

After seeing the troll, and getting badly needed food and drink, the next, oh, 1.4 days was spent helping son get his place cleaned out and stuff in storage, all the usual. Not much time to sightsee, some things he wanted to take us to we just couldn't do this trip. The sky actually cleared for a short time Monday, and we got a lovely view of Mt. Ranier; and it had a beautiful lenticular cloud surrounding it a little below the summit. We were on our way to our motel room, and I thought "Maybe five minutes, and if I get on the second floor of the motel I can get a pretty good picture of this." Which means that three minutes later the clouds moved back in and covered the whole top of the volcano.

I won't go through details of "Now they're saying 'X' days, maybe"; let us draw a curtain over that not-exactly entertaining drama. Tuesday morning I woke up and Dad said "Look outside" in a disgusted voice. Yeah, it snowed. Happily it warmed enough that the roads went to wet only in a few hours. Between that and the Army stuff, we got a later start than planned(Surprise!).

South on I5, out of Washington and through Oregon. Pretty country, what we could see of it; mountain roads like I've only driven once before, and these went on a lot further. And, just to add to the joy, it sprinkled rain. Then it snowed. Then it snowed and sleeted. Lather, rinse, repeat, with short breaks between, and a grand total of maybe a half-hour of actual sunlight all day. Again, beautiful country, but I think I'd mildew if I lived there.

A ways south of Tacoma, before we reached the mountains, saw a railroad siding with flatcars for hauling freight containers. Miles of them, and they'd been there for weeks at the least, probably months; there were branches and blowdowns from winter draped over them in a number of places. I have to wonder if that many idle that long is because of lack of shipping.

By the way, gas in WA ranged in the $3.79-4 range.

Somewhere along here saw a couple of extinct volcanoes, the remnants at least: the basalt cores where magma had cooled in the throats and the softer outside rock had worn way, so you had slopes with a flat-topped column sticking up from the center. Lots of other signs of such activity, these were the first "Wow!" type sighting. There were others, but I admit not remembering exactly where along that route: I did most of the driving through that area, and those roads plus weather meant I was paying more attention to that than the scenery. I want to get back up to that area when I can have a few days to just look around; Ranier, St. Helens at least. To give you an idea of what there is to see on this subject, look here; you can click on the individual peaks for more data.

Stopped in Medford for the night; be it noted that Motel 6 has no problem with dogs, and the critter was very glad to get out of the truck for the night. One blessing, he travels very well.

I'll take up California tomorrow.


Gerry N. said...

And what exactly, pray tell, is wrong with mildew? Mine flourishes from late Fall to early Summer helping the webs between my toes to stay supple. Come her in the Spring and if possible stay for a couple of weeks or longer. You need to see the North Cascades, the San Juan Islands and some of the Olympic Peninsula. Rainier is referred to simply as "The Mountain" much as the Injuns did before the palefaces showed up. They called it "Tahoma" meaning simmply "The Mounntain". There are quite a few dormant, for now, volcanoes including Mt. Hood in OR, Mt. St. Helens, Mt. Rainier, Mt. Baker, Glacier Peak, and two or three I've forgotten. We here, the bravest of the brave or the Most Wilfully Oblivious of the Wilfully Oblivious, as you will, live at the pleasure of these huge carbuncles on the crust of the Earth. They are beautiful and great fun to play on, but sooner or later will kill most of us. I wonder how much of the World will come to OUR aid. If Any.

Marja said...

If it makes you feel any better, you are still paying about half what we do for gas.

But the difference used to be a lot bigger. I worked one summer in Canada during the 80's, and during my week long holiday drove around Lake Superior. As far as I remember gas in the USA side cost about 1/4 of what it did back home.

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