May 1, 1999
We started with an early breakfast with the Rostyki, and then went through the usual ritual of finding everything that we had packed in our luggage and making sure that it was in the car before we went anywhere. Then, we filled our Igaloo ice chest with all the frozen things and then filled a styrofoam ice chest with all the stuff from the refrigerator along the big block of ice led John's dad kept in their freezer. We hugged, and said our good-byes. Then went off on our last errands before them leaving the area.
We dropped off John's laptop at work, we got dry ice at QFC, bought Yoshida's teriyaki sauce and Tillamook cheese, got mocha's from Victor's, and then stopped by the Kohlmeyer's house to drop off a gift. Many of the things that we bought were things that we just couldn't find in Boulder, but they were also things that folks in Seattle would probably be willing to ship us or haul along with them if they ever went to Boulder on a work trip or something.
From there we went towards I-90, and on the way, I suddenly realize we were driving by the Herb Farm. Since I had started those boxes of herbs I'd thought about what other herbs I'd wanted to add to the box. The Herb Farm is one of the best, local specialists in the art and craft of growing and using herbs. It also turned out, that I had forgotten to get my father a gift for his birthday, and since he is so hard to buy for I thought there might be something there that he might like. I got lucky and found a very nicely tuned set of windchimes that I had them ship to him. I also found a number of seed packets for most of the herbs that I wanted to try to grow. There was also a very strange-looking tool that they called the Zen Gardner. The shape of it was very intriguing, so I bought it. Okay, so some of it was influenced by the fact that I have a character that is a Zen Gardner. It would be interesting to see how useful it really is.
From Fall City we headed east on I-90. Through the deep green forests blanketing all the craggy mountains that often had their tops hidden in thick mists. The passes were cold and white but melting into greys and greens, and when we hit the lakes again, they weren't frozen anymore and most of the snow was melting and melted by slow-misting rains. I took countless pictures of the forest furred mountains and the water everywhere. I would miss this. East and further east we went, and, this time, didn't head south to cut the corner of Oregon. This time we just kept going East, into the areas where farmlands rolled like gentle swells of the ocean in all directions, though green and brown instead of blue and grey. Just as lonely seeming and empty, though. The few homes we saw were miles apart from each other, lost amid the gentle swells of plowed and cultivated land.
Eventually we hit mountains again. Coming through the Cascades to the Rockies proper, we were into Montana and all the mountains that gave the state its name. The mountain roads there really reminded both John and I of the I-5 passage through Oregon. Lots of winding freeway amid tree'd mountains, with the grey skies and light rain, it was nearly a perfect resemblance of the moment. We knew that in the winter, this would be all snow, instead; but for the spring moment, it was identical to what we remembered of long drives south. Dinner was in a diner in St. Regis, which wasn't very good, but lonely enough that the service was terrific. And we stopped for the night at a Ruby's Inn still in the heart of Montana, where gambling was legal and the courtyard of the hotel was filled with college kids out for a drunken weekend.
John and I had fun watching Showtime in the evening. They had some homebrewed soft-porn shows that were really funny and some of them were really and totally stupid, but one was actually intelligent and interesting. It made for a very interesting end to the first May Day of the year
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