Coeur D’Alene, ID — I had a whale of a time in Seattle. It is one of those cities I’ve always wanted to visit. So much art that I love has originated from there (the whole grunge thing, Jimi Hendrix, Sir Mix-A-Lot, a couple of excellent Cameron Crow movies). It is a beautiful city. Snow covered mountains and (as best I could tell) clean waters surronding it in every direction. My hotel was in the Queen Anne section. Out of my window was a view of the Space Needle.
I grabbed a quick and cheap dinner at Dick’s (it is indeed where the poor hang out). I did a little walking, and a little exploring. However, it was quite cold and rather windy so I found a little pub to settle into. I had a nice series of random drunken conversations with random drunken strangers. I was half-assed paying attention to the Olympic coverage on the bar’s TV. Until I noticed the coverage was coming from the CBC. That perked me up. I have very little experience with Canadian TV. I rather enjoyed the experience. There was a lack of fluff pieces and only one host handling the anchoring, analysis and interviews. Some guy from Calgary won what I believe was skeleton, and this seemed to excite the Canadians.
After a few dark beers and a few Jagers, it was time to retire for the evening. It was at this time I realized a tiny quirk about hotels. See, some hotels put the name of the hotel on the room key. Some do not. They either have a generic key, or some type of advertisement for pizza delivery. This can be troubling when traveling (OK, and drinking). Sometimes I do not remember which hotel I am staying at that particular night. When in doubt, I can just hop in to a cab, pull out the key and tell the driver where to take me. This is much more effective that the occasional “take me to the cheap place with the parking garage that’s a few blocks from Denny’s.”
I was going to check out the Space Needle, I mean that’s what you do in Seattle right? However, my economic sensability deemed a $14 elevator ride to not be a good investment. I also considered touring the Experience Music Project. It looked interesting, just not $19.95 interesting. So, I plopped down $13 to spend the afternoon in the Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame. I consider this an excellent use of both my time and money.
About ten seconds into the tour I realized I was nowhere close enough of a science fiction fan to properly enjoy the museum (it was a Star Trek exhibit, which drew nothing more than a shoulder shrug from me). I was impressed with the way the museum presented science fiction as a whole. It wasn’t just some fan boy’s wet dream. The whole museum centered around the theme that all science fiction is based on questions that start “what if?” There was analysis of the history of science fiction and its social impacts. Seeing as how I have read science fiction pretty much never, much of this was lost on me. I was just disapointed at the lack of attention paid to Battlestar Galactica and Buck Rodgers. They did have an entore display devoted to the 80’s Flash Gordon movie. This made me smile.
Afterwords I just drove around for a little while playing this game where I would point at places and say aloud to myself “That was in Singles,” or “That was in …Say Anything.” Then it was time to head east (seeing as how I couldn’t really go any further north or west). I pretty much drove every inch of I-5. From Tiajuana to Vancouver, I was there. I drove through some majecstic mountains that had recently experienced some serious snow (it was all packed up on the side of the road, someitmes even obstructing road signs). One thing I will say about the state of Washington, its crime rate must be ridiculously low. People there are even afraid to speed. It was almost impossible to find anyone on the interstate going in excess of 65 MPH (and the speed limit was 70 MPH). As I zoomed along at what I deemed a reasonable rate, I saw some flashing lights in my rear view. Turns out they were being directed at me. The trooper informed me of my car’s speed and the difference between that number and the posted speed limit (turns out the one assigned to my car was the larger of the two). He asked for my state issued identification that proved I could legally operate a motor vehicle. Turns out he was from Lake Charles. We had a little hurricane chat and then he sent me on my way with only a stern safety warning. Tomorrow continues the drive of hell across the plain states. This will be a good opportunity for me and my ipod to bond. Damn I love that little piece of machinery. If it had a hole I’d… feed it a cupcake (oh you didn’t think… that’s gross).
MILES DRIVEN: 6095
STATES VISITED: 15
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