Fiction that explores the monsters and strangers among us.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

August 3, 2009

In the morning, we go down to the big open room where the Days Inn offers a free breakfast. Joseph and I place our orders at the big opening in the wall in front of the cook. He tells us to leave our yellow slip of paper on which we have checked off what we want. Pancakes for Joseph, eggs and bacon for me. As I grab a cup of coffee from the machine, decaf because the high test is out, I notice that the other folks in the room have scrambled eggs. I prefer mine over medium, like Goldilocks – not too hard, not too soft, but just right.

When the eggs come, I’m surprised to see they are cooked over medium to perfection. How did the cook know? No doubt a mind reader. Or perhaps that’s the way you get ‘em unless you ask for scrambled.

Montana requires more miles on Joseph’s Mazda RX8 odometer than any other state. We come in from the southeast, cross the state about two-thirds through and then make a sharp turn to the northwest to come out near the top of the state before heading into Idaho.

The mountains are higher now that we are in western Montana. The mountains are to our left as we make that northwest trek. We seem to be following a long valley looking for a pass through the wall of mountains to the west of us.

The Idaho panhandle gives us the shortest state we have to cross. We’re in the mountains now.

Eastern Washington is dry, almost a desert. Spokane looms in front of us and then we are headed across the landscape towards the coast. The mountains loom higher to the west and the RX8 eats miles until we approach Seattle.

Since we’re not sure about the ferry schedule across the Pungent Sound, and because Joseph wants to cross the Tacoma Narrows Bridge where the original bridge collapsed in a famous disaster, we head down Washington State Route 18 towards Tacoma. It’s a good road that moves fast even in the commuter traffic at six-thirty in the evening. Rt. 18 takes us to I-5 where we head south past Federal Way.

The Tacoma Narrows bridge, which is at exit 131, not 132 as indicated on the map, requires a toll if you are traveling the other way. It’s free if you are heading north towards Gig Harbor. We follow Rt. 16 until it turns into state Rt. 3 at Bremerton. Rat 3 winds through the northern half of the island. We turn at Rt. 104 and cross the bridge to Marestone Island and past Port Ludlow on the way to Port Hadlock. We follow my brother Richard’s directions to the home he shares with partner Danelle.

Richard is the poet. Richard Lloyd author of Sixty Spins of a Lopsided Wheel, Woodacre and other books of poetry. He is fairly well known among the poetry set on the west coast around Marin County, California as well as here in the Port Townsend area.

Turns out Richard and Danelle were expecting us to spend a few days at Mount Rushmore and not arrive here until later in the week. Surprise! But they seem glad to see us. This is the first meeting for Joseph and me with Danelle. She is a sweet lady, a hugger, an instant sister for me and friend for Joseph.

My brother David is staying with Richard and Danelle along with his daughter, Catie. They are staying in the carriage house above the garage. The garage serves as a workshop and junkpile.

I am happy – and so is my bottom – to have completed the drive.