Friday, February 6, 2009


I wanted to do something special for my mom for my birthday.

She didn't know what was planned, but when I got there I reminded her how I used to come visit them in West Linn, John's Landing, Lake Oswego, and we would make a birthday trip to Hood River, my birthplace, and beyond to Cellilo or Maryhill. Obviously Hood River was too far from West Seattle, but basically that consisted of getting on the Interstate heading East, and we could do that.

So we headed East on I-90, without much idea how far we might get. In particular, how much driving I could handle.

North Bend was easy.

Mom was enjoying the scenery and reading the names on trucks.

Hyak was not a problem.

Mom was enjoying the mountains and the snow and possibly some memories.

Easton was fine.

Mom enjoyed the changes and my tale of camping there in boy scouts, and trains going by in the night.

Cle Elum was achieved.

We left I-90 at the Roslyn exit, which cuts the corner to the old road from Cle Elum to Roslyn, and followed it into Cle Elum, where we scouted for a lunch stop, but didn't quite decide.

We ended up on the old highway east out of Cle Elum, to wind through the canyon the Yakima River traverses toward Ellensburg. This is wonderful scenery and quite different than anything on I-90 or West of the mountains.

One debouches from that canyon to see the expanses of Eastern Washington opening before you.

There is something about actually getting to that point that is special, and that was probably my birthday treat. Out of Western Washington -- 'The Wet Side' -- beyond the mountains, beyond the Eastern foothills. Sort of "where the West begins." It's always seemed strange taht from where I grew up and live, one has to drive East to get to "The West" of story and film, but there you are.

We turned off old Highway 10 on the Thorp road, and even older version of the Seattle-Montana-"Back East" road.

I don't think I have ever seen the actual town of Thorp before, and it was quite interesting.

Just beyond the town, we returned to I-90, which we took back to Cle Elum for bacon cheeseburgers, fries, and lemonade at Dairy Queen.

Then back on to I-90 to return through valleys and snowy mountains to West Seattle, where I delivered Mom, and then crept home to nap.


Herman said...

:) very cool. I bet your mom loved it.

I'm impressed

Unknown said...

I remember I used to drive to Cle Elum when I got really tired of Seattle. A friend lived there, and often moved between Seattle and her parents house in Cle Elum. I remember the feeling of getting on I-90 and just ... going... East. Going, until I felt like stopping.

Then one time, I kept going. Until I finally stopped in Des Plaines, near Chicago.

Alan said...

Des Plaines seems a little far.

I prefer to leave I-90 at Ellensburg, and go down the Yaima Canyon -- walk a bit at Umatanum Creek.

Or continue on to Vantage, leave I-90 at the far end of the bridge, and go loiter around the Lower Crab Creek area.

Sometime it might be nice to continue on to Montana -- I haven't been there since 1958 -- but that is a bit far for a day trip.