[Note...it is taking me quite some time to get to locations with WiFi...I will post what I can, when I can - dc]
It took a while to get on the road...per ushz, Ben was not up and ready, but asleep in the hammock, oddly, with a wad of cash in his hand. I gazed at this scene for a bit curiously, wondering what in the world his evening would have consisted of for him to fall asleep, here in the backyard hammock with a fist-full of dollars and the eastern Washington sun beating down on his body.
He rustled when I called his name aloud...and on the third try he was capable of opening an eye, upon doing so I queried regarding the money and he took in an image of himself and giggled at his sight and promptly, per ushz, fell back asleep. Fuck, am I ready for this shit?
I ground the last of the Stumptown that I had stashed and brew a perfect mug of coffee. I'm packed, Ben is nearly there...I hope as it's nearly 9:20 am and rearing to go. I'm on a schedule people!! Wait, no I'm not! ;-)
We hit the road a bit after 9:30 am...I've delegated to Ben the job of navigator - one that I covet and secretly keep an eye on. As we begin to pull out of 2210 Washington Court, I feel the wind of freedom blow through my hair. I ask my trusty navigator how he plans to get us to Washington State Route 20 and he hesitated, looked blankly at me and in that moment a great deal of frustration mounted.
I was so disappointed that he had not memorized this first leg, that his enthusiasm was not off the charts (as I felt mine was) that again I was second guessing my decision to bring Ben along on this sure-to-be epic journey. In my frustration I pulled over, snapped the map from Ben and began the process of mapping out our route. It would be WA Route 17 north that would take us to Twisp, WA where we would eat a late lunch and then onto Diablo Lake for a night of camping before we made our way to Anacortes the following morning to catch the ferry to Vancouver Island, Canada.
The drive began like any would originating from eastern Washington - hot and HOT. We stopped at a general store along the way that ended up being more Mex than general, but with the large population of immigrant labor here in eastern WA, it wasn't that surprising. Along with the fresh produce and bread we picked up some hand made tamales for dinner.
WA Route 17 turned out to be absolutely gorgeous, winding along the Grand Coulee, past Moses, Lenore and Banks lakes, we stopped to beat the heat by swimming in Sun Lake State Park. Be warned, the lakes of the northwest provide bathers with a fascinating parasite which results in what is commonly called "swimmers itch", however, easily avoided by simply drying off completely and not allowing the little buggers to burrow into your skin. The water was refreshing and made more so by the two pre-teen boys playing gleefully in the summer sun. I am quickly reminded of the joy that a youthful attitude can bring and dive headfirst into the cold lake water, beating away the sweat from the sweltering summer heat.
Annabelle Lee charged on for most of the day as we logged nearly 9 hours on the road, slowing to climb, speeding with gravity and sputtering once on a long (high g) right turn that has both Ben and me a little nervous given the mechanical failure that resulted from a similar symptom. I'll be keeping a close eye on it. We arrived at the Diablo Lake campsites just as the dinner bells in my belly began to ring.
Ben set out to build the fire as I began to prepare for dinner - Tamales and BBQ sauce (closest thing we had to a spicy sauce). To cook we simply wrapped the tamales in foil and placed them over the fire to heat...in the future I'd sprinkle a little water into the foil to add to the steaming effect and to moisten the cornmeal wrapper a bit. All in all, I would sell these on the side of the road they were so easy to heat up and tasty to the tummy.
We rounded out the evening with our first venture into the world of two man Catan...yep, Settlers of Catan in a card game form that two players can enjoy. However, this was too much an undertaking for me given the hour and the level of my exhaustion, so after about 90 minutes of learning and playing, I called it quits and headed in for bed. With Annabelle Lee all set up for sleeping, I was sure to dream away my fears and frustrations of the day and lock away the beauty and bounty that presented itself to me.
I am truly in awe of our world.