Day 1, July 16, 2018
My trip began in a whirlwind of to-do’s and jet lag. Yes, I realize the contradiction there, and that’s part of what made that week such insanity… I got home from my London trip early Sunday morning and was planning to depart on my big road trip one week later, the next Sunday morning.
In between I had to:
Work my last two days at my job
Do some happy hours/get togethers with friends and say my temporary goodbyes
Pack the car
See my parents
Get my house in order for several months away
Set up my new health insurance
Get Coraline set up at my parent’s house
See my horse
Get some sleep! The pain of jetlag is real!
I took an extra day to get everything done, because I was stressing a little bit. Are you kidding me? What were you thinking – deciding to take off alone in your car for a several month jaunt around the country!!? I went anyway.
I got on the road on Monday morning, July 16, 2018 at a few minutes after 9. I had planned to take Highway 2, which is a little slower but more beautiful than I-90 in Washington. I got to the junction, got on Highway 2, and was greeted by traffic. At a standstill. The only movement was from people taking the exit to get off… I had a few minutes to ponder before I had to decide, and chose to get back off Highway 2 and head down to I-90 instead. Later I saw there had been a fatality accident, so who knows how long I would have been sitting there…
I decided that I wasn’t going to sight-see my way through Washington, since I have lived here my whole life and I can always see Washington on a weekend trip! I did want to break up the drive a bit though, since Washington is a wide state.
Once I made it through the Seattle metro area and onto I-90, it was smooth sailing but very hot! I stopped for lunch in Roslyn, Washington and poked around a bit there. I have driven by so many times, but have never stopped. Roslyn was founded as a coal mining company town in 1883, but eventually transitioned to forestry and tourism. You probably know Roslyn without knowing you do; it was the fictitious town of Cicely, Alaska in the television show Northern Exposure.
I ate my lunch at the cemetery, because I love historic cemeteries; they are so peaceful. Roslyn’s is rather unique, in that it has 26 different ethnic cemeteries all next to each other. It reflects the ethnic diversity of the early miners, and the headstones and decorations in the cemetery show the cultural differences well. After I ate, I wandered the quiet streets and took a few photos, but didn’t spend much time. The Brick Tavern is said to be the oldest continuously operating tavern in Washington state, and was used for scenes of Northern Exposure.
After leaving Roslyn, I continued my drive, and stopped for a bit at the Wild Horses monument in Vantage. The monument is a group of metal horses placed on the cliffs overlooking the Columbia River. It is an iconic view from Interstate 90 for anyone who has driven this stretch. I have loved these horses for years, but it has been a long time since I stopped here to check them out.
The sculpture was designed and created by sculptor David Govedare, from Chewelah, Washington. The original idea was for a 36-foot tall woven steel basket, tipped by Grandfather, the symbolic Great Spirit, to let 18 horses escape and run free.
The sculpture was intended as a gift during Washington’s Centennial celebration in 1989. The state gave the land to Grant County, but donor funds fell short and there wasn’t enough money to complete the project. 15 horses were completed and stand atop the hill. You can hike up the steep hill to get a close up view, but the temperature was 98 degrees that afternoon so I opted not to climb that hill.
I arrived at my destination at about 7 that evening – Elk, Washington, just outside of Spokane. I was staying with a childhood friend of mine that I hadn’t seen in ages! Kim has a new baby – he was 7 months old last July. We checked out her farm, ate pizza, drank wine, and caught up on life. It was good to not have to worry about finding a campground right out of the gate and it was relaxing spending time with an old, dear friend. It was a great start to the trip!