As a project manager, I’m a little proud of the fact I had all my pre-trip tasks completed a day early: mail forwarded, internet turned off, last work emails sent, and car gassed up and ready to go. Then I looked at where I had to return the cable modem. Halfway across the city of Seattle, just three blocks from I-90, the eastbound exit from the big city. Hmm… I decided the spontaneity starts now: get a cheap hotel room 90 minutes east of Seattle, pack the last of the stuff in the car, and get a jump on the drive, and a bonus of more time Saturday for seeing the Grand Coulee Dam.
I have to admit, though, sitting in the parking garage seve floors below my apartment, staring at this button, I did have a “What the hell am I thinking?” moment. Or two. Pushing this button is one more confirmation of the path I started down last fall, and for just a second or two there, I wondered if it was the right one. I thought where I would be in a year if I stayed on my current path vs. where I would be in a year on this new path. That actually made it an easy choice: working drone vs. freelance photowriter. I punched the button and Bella and I were on our way. But not before Seattle weather gave us a really good reason to leave town…
About a half-hour east out of Seattle, the clouds broke up enough that I could appreciate one more time how close the forests and mountains are to the big city.
And how high those mountains are… still a lot of snow at the top of the Cascades!
I saw the sign for Denny Creek campground, which is where I’m aiming to spend a couple of weeks this summer, so I pulled off the highway and meandered down what became a narrow little road through a big old forest. And then there it was, the actual Denny Creek. This is the view about 30 seconds walk from the campground entrance. Nice.
Just being in the middle of the forest, hearing the water rushing down the rocks, made me grin like ten-year-old me my first time at Yosemite. I’m definitely looking forward to my time here in July.
Another 45 minutes or so later and I dumped off at exit 84, entering the three-blocks-long twilight zone of Cle Elum, whose major selling points are cheap gas, cheap food, and a couple of decent hotels. This is mine, and it’s quite nice: free wifi, no smoking, and I can see Bella out my window.
She looks as trim as usual, but inside, she’s carrying a ton of stuff, most of it for the trailer, oddly enough! Wheel lock, hitch lock, water filter for campground faucets, and almost everything in that big plastic box on the bottom left side.
Being a practical sort of person, I put the telescope, camp chair, and toolbox in first, added the camera tripod, some books, and then figured out where the boring kitchen and bath stuff would go. (Hence the TP on the top.) Packing everything became a life-sized version of Jenga meets Tetris. I just hope I don’t have to get to the spare tire or it might never all fit back in!
Today’s quotation, courtesy of my friend Rene:
- Miles Driven: 93
- MPG: 26.5
- Side trips: Cable modem store (returning equipment) and Denny Creek Campground