I’m sitting here trying to figure out why the elevator at the La Quinta Inn in Seattle was so angry at me. It was like that grumpy old man that sits in a rocking chair on the porch and yells at the kids running by, or the insubordinate, long-haired teenage bus boy with a crooked cap that grunts and complains at every suggestion that he does some work.
Our relationship went something like this: I insert my room key to call the elevator to the basement parking area. There’s a ding signaling that the elevator is here. WHAM! The door flies open and slams against the inner wall, shaking the claustrophobic contraption. We hesitantly step into the still vibrating elevator and I hit the “2” button. The glowing light just stares at us, the elevator doesn’t move. I nicely depress the button again. WHAM!! The door slams closed with even more force than it opened with, giving new life to the shaking that had until then almost died out. With a jerk, we soar at seemingly astronomic speeds to the first floor, where the door slams open again. Remember, we hit the “2” button. No one is waiting for the elevator. The “2” button glows vacantly while we wait for something to happen. Finally I hit the button again. WHAM!! Rocket engines take us the 10 feet to the next floor and the car stops with such severity my stomach is caught somewhere in my upper rib cage. When the door violently opens, we run out and take cover in our room.
It was like this every time. So angry. So unnecessary. Now to be honest, I don’t really know why I’m writing about this today. I was just thinking about it, and not much else happened today. Instead of just making a short post, I ramble on about stuff like I’m getting paid by the word, which, by the way, would be awesome.
For the first time in two and a half weeks, the little digital compass in the rear view mirror of the Cadillac glowed “E” in that digital green that we’ve come to know and love. We’re on our return trip. It’s pretty crazy to think that we’ve already come this far. As far as we can tell, Seattle was the halfway point of our trip, so it should be about two or three more weeks. Of course, that is always subject to change.
When we finally made it on to the interstate from Seattle — I hate one way streets — we jumped on I-90 east toward Spokane. Paw-Paw was stationed outside of Spokane near a little city called Medical Lake, where he lived after he left Roswell, N.M. What Paw-Paw had described as a “small town where everyone knew each other” had turned into a sprawling suburb of Spokane. It even had it’s own high school. Needless to say, he didn’t remember anything. We went on to the base that has since turned into a reserve unit. It was very large and well taken care of and still had a lot of the same buildings that were there when Paw-Paw was there. He was even able to show us the hangars that he used to work on the massive bombers.
We rode around there for a while, then got back on the highway after grabbing a quick lunch. We wanted to get somewhere relatively close to Yellowstone so that we could get there and have sometime to go around it tomorrow afternoon. We made it to a town called Missoula, Montana. It’s a decent size town, but I’m sure it’s the big city for anyone that lives on this side of the state. There’s nothing out here. I refuse to believe that 997,000 people live in this state.
We did lose an hour today somewhere around the Idaho/Montana border. But we couldn’t tell since the sun didn’t go down until about 10 p.m. It really throws off your whole evening.
Tomorrow, we will be heading off to Wyoming to check out Yellowstone Park.