|Mt. Hood, Oregon|
Today, I was tired. Instead of staying where I was, which was driving along the Columbia River Gorge along the scenic Route 14 through Washington, my mind kept falling back to all I left behind - the projects at home and school. My GPS didn't like the drive either; it had problems with my route. It didn't think I could get to Portland along that road; it kept flashing 'replanning' for the better part of two hours. It's a little eerie when your electronics are thinking along the same lines you are...
It was a beautiful drive. Eastern Washington state is like the other high prairies I've seen. Golden brown in the sunlight; few trees, great views. The river ran along my left side; I could often see the traffic on the freeway across the water, going faster than I was, avoiding the climbs and dips of the road I traveled. Fast wasn't the object of my drive, however, so I stayed where I was.
The switch from prairie to forest along the gorge is sudden. No trees, no trees, no trees. A few trees (where did they come from?), more trees, all trees. And the trees here are beautiful. Obviously not subjected to the killing ice storms of Kansas City, they grow gracefully tall and stately, providing shelter, protection from the winds, and shade.
The bonus at the end of the day was an evening spent reminiscing with my college roommate and her family. She and I have one of those friendships that picks up as though distance never got in the middle whenever we get together. We skip freely from recollections of events thirty years ago to those of last week and random points between. A few years ago, she and her husband and youngest son stopped by in Kansas City. Tim and Aaron went off sight-seeing, leaving us alone to catch up on each other's lives. Aaron was a bit amazed - "whatever will they talk about for three whole hours?" He needn't have worried.