After a few hundred miles of winding through Palus country, it was time to high-tail it outta there, quit the wending and set a course back to Olympia. It would have been easy enough to hit I-90, turn on the cruise control, and join the flow of vegetative travelers heading west at great speed on the straight and not so narrow.
Screw that. Besides the boredom factor--Hay barns labeled in Korean and even the Columbia crossing have become uncomfortably numb--that route would dump me into the Pugetopolis traffic mire and force a traverse of Fort Lewis, where vital national security interests require perpetual slowdowns. Yeah, screw that.
Better the backroads, which in this case gave me a crowier flight home, not too far north or south of the line from Colfax to Chehalis, leaving just a jot of interstate to endure on the final run north. Plus, I love going through White Pass, topping the Cascades on two lanes, usually with little company. And in this case, a chance to cover new territory, stretches of Routes 26 and 24 I'd never rolled through.
|Amber Waves are for the Slow.|
I'm pretty sure I reached velocity sufficient to distort the time-space continuum holding my brainpan, making the rolling hills seem to flatten out. Then, geography caught up as I passed Washtucna, heading plainward on an asphalt arrow pointing at Othello. I must've passed something interesting, but at speeds so great that all points blurred.
Hanging a left, 26 became 24, zooming down to the Columbia. Maybe slowing a bit, trepidation mounting. Because I was headed toward the contaminated Hanford nuke site, where scientists once made plutonium for bombs, and now they try to find ways to clean up the waste. Currently, the plan is to make it into glass and unload it on Chihuly and all the other glass artists inhabiting the Northwest. Look for a new line of glowing bongs.
|Relax. Nothing out of the ordinary at the Hanford Site.|
|Rattlesnake Hills, Rattlesnake Clouds|
|Mmmm...agriculture for beer's sake.|
Past Yakima, back onto 12, settling into a well-traveled path for me. Fast climb, faster descent. Another story.