East Meets West

I live on the East side of the state and she lives on the West. We decided to meet in the middle, sort of, ha. I hit the road at 7:30 am leaving myself plenty of time to enjoy the drive. First potty break, about 40 miles out of town. Darn coffee. Every rest area my car turns in and while I'm at it, I call home just to tell them I'm safe. I had my IPod to keep me company and I sang along at the top of my lungs. It reminded me of being a carefree teenager on an adventure.

I also turn out for some sights which we, as a family have never done before. We've driven this route many times on the way to the Oregon coast but never took the time to stop. At the top of Vantage hill I pulled over and took a few pictures. This really isn't my favorite part of the state to drive through because it's somewhat like a mountain pass, very steep, winding grades and extremely high winds. But the view is beautiful. That tiny bridge down below is where I will soon cross the mighty Columbia River. The wind is blowing harder as I cross the bridge and have to slow down more. Whew, glad that's over.

As I'm climbing the hill to Ellensburg I start to see wind turbines. Have you ever driven past a wind farm? I find them fascinating and a bit creepy at the same time. They look so futuristic and give me the willies, but I can't stop staring. I really wanted to pull over and take a picture of the whole lot of them but it just wasn't possible so I snagged this one off the internet. This particular place is called Wild Horses Wind Farm and the turbines sit on the ridge tops of Whiskey Dick Mountain. Who names this stuff? Each turbine is 221 feet tall and the rotors are larger than the wingspan of a 747. I did take a picture of this single one at another stop. The wind was blowing so hard though and it was very hard to hold the camera still.

After Ellensburg I only have about 30 miles to go to Cle Elum. I find the McDonald's where we are supposed to meet but also see Safeway and a chance to get some gas. I called her and told her I was right next door and will be there in a few minutes. The gas station was busy and I tried to use the gift credit card my step-son had just given me for my birthday. It wouldn't work and when took it to the window and she said it wasn't activated yet. Damn. So I just left, came around the corner and parked. I was flustered when I came in and and took a quick look around and went back outside to look for her. I swear I looked around the corner where she was sitting but something must have been blocking my view. So as I head back in, she's standing in the door and I almost knocked her down. OK, good way to make a first impression, looking like a dork.

IT'S CLAIRE! I've been looking forward to this for a long time. I emailed her a little over a month ago to ask if she would want to do this. I read a lot of blogs and hear about them meeting fellow bloggers and thought it would be a fun thing to do.

She had a cup of coffee so I grabbed one too. We talked quite awhile, about family, travel and other bloggers (yes YOU). Then we decided to go get some lunch. She had heard about a good place to eat so we got in our cars and headed downtown. I saw the restaurant and pulled in and of course they were closed. Hunger pangs were getting stronger so we decided to walk more into town to find a place to eat. Yes, it was my decision to walk which I did regret later. We did some window shopping and stopped in one restaurant but a single cup of soup was 4 bucks and an appetizer plate of hummus and pita bread was nine bucks. Sorry, but I could make that for under two. Yes, I am a devout cheapskate, so we left and kept searching. I asked a couple on the sidewalk if they lived there; nope, but they have eaten at a place at the end of town that was pretty good. End of town? No problem, it's a small town. With the wind at our back we continued walking and talking.

Although the walk was long it was a good chance to get to know Claire. The first thing I noticed about her is that she's tall, slender, and very pretty. She walks gracefully while I feel my short legs make me plod along trying to keep up. She has a gentle nature and I get the impression that although her job is stressful she enjoys it and cares about her clients and workers alike. She lights up when she talk about her mom and even the dad she never knew.

We finally see the restaurant sign a few blocks up the street. Ahh, the oasis in the desert. Glasses of water were much welcomed as well as the Diet Pepsi that followed. I ordered a Reuben with fries. Yes I said fries. I walked for hours, I deserve them. She was amused by the coaster under our glasses that boasted about the large parking lot as a selling point. No bragging about the food I guess. My Reuben was OK, but the fries were awesome. But I didn't finish them, I am learning.



Thank you Claire for accepting my invitation to meet and allowing me to be adventurous and carefree once again. I really stepped out of my box and it felt good! I hope we get a chance to do it again some day. If you ever get a chance to meet a fellow blogger, do it. Even if you don't always agree with someone's views you have to respect a fellow blogger for what they do. We are a special group for sure.

I wish I could travel all over just to meet you all. I would head to Texas to see Bill first, then Southeast to see Ethel and let her puppies jump all over me. Follow that up by going to Ohio to pester Grumpy. I don't remember where my other favorite Grumpy Dudes live but it would be a must to see them too. Further North I would pet one of Ferns' horses and then catch a plane to see Dear John in the UK.

The trip home was nice, until I hit the rain. And then I came home to find a soaking wet dog who was limping and in pain. Hubby and daughter had taken her for a 2 hour hike in the rain and didn't bother to give her any pain medication when they got home. And this morning, one of the hot water tank elements went out. So much for a carefree life!

Comments

Claire King said…
It is interesting how we had similar notes of our journey. I haven't posted the personal perception...yet. I have a feeling it will come when I can tie it into something else...hmmm...I think you are beautiful. Not at all like the b---- you want us to believe. Ha!Thanks!!
Grumpy said…
Now I'm jealous. Pierre, SD for lunch would be perfect.
Well kden, it almost felt as though I was there. Lovely read and a great idea. I'll meet you in a boat in the middle of the Atlantic ocean. Don't let me down. Next Friday OK.
bill said…
What a great thing to do. I'm jealous, too. That's what you call real adventure. I hope you both had a great time.
D. Duplessis said…
Sounds like you both had a lot of fun!

If you ever get a hankering for visiting the South, I'm in Nashville, TN, and if you like hippies - Loren is up in the mountains in Northern California. :-)

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