Notes from the Road, 4 of 10

Monday 8/5/96 9:17 PM Pacific Time
Grants Pass, OR


In case any of you were wondering what happened to me, I was spending some time with a close friend in Seattle and didn't think that part of my journey would be of much interest to the list. In spite of the unseasonably cool weather, I did enjoy my stay there.

With apologies to those from Seattle or San Francisco, Seattle reminds me a little of San Francisco. I especially loved the wharf area in the Pike St. district. It is touristy, but I liked it anyway. There were tons of people down there with Sea Fest (?) going on. I especially appreciated the beer store which caters to home brewers and will soon be the site of a micro brewery. They have a great selection of micro-brews in their coolers.

One side trip I took was to Mount Rainer. For any of you planning to travel to the Seattle area, this is a must see. The forest is lush and dense, like a rain forest. Mount Rainer rises majestically some 14,000 feet above sea level and compared to the 6,400 foot elevation where I was standing, it was an incredible sight. The roads are twisty, but don't try to play Ricky Racer up there&emdash;too much traffic&emdash;take it easy and enjoy the scenery.

When I left Seattle this morning it was (surprise) raining and chilly. I elected to take I-5 south because I needed to meet up with some friends in Medford, OR. Although I missed the Oregon coast road (which I have never had the pleasure of riding), it was perfect weather for cruising down the Interstate. I know Interstates get a bad-mouthed by many of us, and rightfully so, but sometimes it is nice to just cruise and think. The scenery on this portion of I-5 isn't too bad either.

Now when I say "cruise and think," I don't necessarily mean that I'm thinking up a cure for cancer or contemplating the Process Philosophy of Alfred North Whitehead. As a matter of fact, among the many little brain farts I had involved the omnipresence of espresso stands in Seattle.

Everywhere one goes there are espresso signs and stands. They are in gas stations, tents, carts, motels, convenience stores and it wouldn't surprise me to find them in funeral homes. When I say they are everywhere, I mean everywhere. The weird part about that is the people of Seattle, for the most part, strike me as pretty laid back. Parts of Seattle convinced me that I had gone back in time to 1972. Now I know that all the hippies didn't just go to Boulder, Colorado. You'd think this city would be wired with all the espresso that's available, but no, most people seem pretty mellow. Maybe it has a paradoxical effect like some "speed-like" medications have on hyper-active children.

I was almost to Medford, OR to meet up with my friends when a lady in a RX7 caught me musing absently in the passing lane. She laid on the horn and I moved quickly out of her way. As she passed, I shrugged, waved, and mouthed, "I'm sorry." She, on the other hand, flashed a single digit salute and was clearly talking at me in a very agitated and rude manner. Geez, maybe what she needs is an espresso!

Terry Turnbeaugh
Aurora, Colorado USA

"The ideas and concepts which best repay critical examination
are those which for the longest period have remained unquestioned."

-adapted from Alfred North Whitehead


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