Monday, October 2


Route 90 heading towards Seattle winds through more mountains. Then it goes down a big mountain, through a tunnel, and comes out on a bridge. The traffic changes from interstate traffic to full rush hour city traffic, but the speed doesn't drop. On the other side of the bridge is what looks like an enormous village in a forest - little houses in the midst of many trees, spanning a huge distance horizontally along a hill by the water. Only one or two skyscrapers are visible, so I thought Seattle was a pretty funny city...until you go through another tunnel under that village and come out on a huge city. The first word that entered my mind when I saw it was "grungy," which is interesting because I think grunge music originated in Seattle. Then the traffic goes crazy - still 70 mph but with exits left and right and express lanes merging and everyone obviously knowing where they're going but me. I had Dream Theater playing in my ears which was perfect for the tempo. I was looking for downtown, so I got off at the "city center" exit after some harrowing lane changes. The traffic then changed from interstate to inner-city. You gotta love the bicyclists in the city - they go as fast as the cars but don't signal and don't stop at red lights, yet they don't wear helmets and never seem to get hit. Past the Space Needle, past the Science Center, through a big intersection where the word "Cafe" caught my I doubled back and parked across from Minnie's Cafe, where I now sit eating salmon chowder out of a bread bowl. It wasn't the kind of cafe I was expecting, with a red traffic light in the entrance saying "stop and wait to be seated," but the chowder is very good. I got 56 minutes of parking with the handful of coins I put in the meter, so I'll have to leave or refill that soon. Then I'll get some more miles south, because motels are too expensive in the city.

Idaho to Washington

The owner of the ribs place in Idaho recommended a scenic route off of 90, the lakeside drive in Coeur D'Alene, so I detoured a little to enjoy that. I passed a lot of bikers and an old guy with long white hair and a long gray beard doing a very fast slalom on rollerblades. Towns with water are great because the water invites paths and paths invite exercise and being active makes people happier. (That's my scientific statement of the day.) Then it was straight to Moses Lake, Washington, where I had booked a cheap room at the Motel6. Right out of Coeur D'Alene a truck had dropped a big block of hay on the highway, making every car that approached it slam on the brakes and swerve. I grazed it on the side but no damage was done. Then a few miles down a big dog decided to take a stroll on the highway, so the two minivans in front of me slammed on their brakes and swerved too, but there was plenty of distance to slow down in time. (Motorcycles have better braking power than cars, which is why we don't like to be tailgated.) Further down I did a hard engine brake when I saw a police car scanning the road, but it was probably scanning the other side anyway. (I've only gotten pulled over once so far and that was for doing 40 in a 35 zone.) Other than all that it was smooth riding to Moses Lake, where I was exhausted when I checked in and went right to sleep. I rode around 320 miles altogether yesterday. In the morning I realized I had switched time zones again so I had unknowingly gained an hour. I checked out and headed to Denny's for breakfast, where I now sit eating their enormous combo breakfast of pancakes, hash browns, 3 eggs, ham, coffee and orange juice. A waitress keeps refilling my coffee cup even though I've had quite enough. Their slogan should be "Denny's: Keeping America Fat and Caffeinated." Yummy.

My faceshield after a long ride

Those are all insects, or what's left of them.