And so, at the appointed hour, Cornflake and I began our great quest. First we had to provision ourselves with the proper travel food.
Our initial fears of a terribly prolonged rush-hour exit from the Emerald City were unfounded. Traffic moved smoothly, although we were given a fond farewell by the traditional Seattle weather.
Contrary to common perceptions, clouds and rain are rare in Seattle in the later summer months.
Once out of the city, we proceeded to cross the majestic cascades.
Nearing Snoqualmie Pass on I-90, we were pulled over by a state trooper. This is no great surprise, as we obviously appear to be dangerous men, our vehicle has California plates that have had expired tabs for nearly a year (which we explained to him with good cheer), and we were speeding egregiously. After taking my comradeís ID for a moment, he miraculously asked us to slow down and bade us good day.
I am unsure whether he was one of the communist saboteurs I discussed earlier, keeping tabs on us, or a previously unknown ally. I remain troubled by the incident. Unfortunately, I was unable to photograph this curious man.
After this, we crossed the pass with Jumping Jack Flash blaring through the carís speakers. This is a vastly different landscape from western Washington, both physically and politically. As Cornflake so eloquently put it as Bush signs raced by, “we ainít in a blue state anymore.”
Soon we were in the small eastern Washington town of Vantage. Here we consumed dead animal flesh and enjoyed the view of the Columbia River.
Next came Spokane, which is an interesting city in terms of old architecture, but a dreadfully boring one in terms of everything else. Here is a picture of a train going through downtown for your amusement.
The Idaho panhandle boasts some beautiful scenery that I will spare you for now. However we did take the opportunity to stretch our legs at the Idaho-Montana border.
Your humble narrator, Captain Mojo
His stalwart compatriot, Commander Cornflake
Once past the Montana state line, we were immediately greeted by a rainstorm of near-biblical proportions. Strange weather for early august… I think I smell pinko weather control technologies at work.
As we barely survived this massive storm, we were greeted by an even greater danger: lack of fuel! I was sure we filled up not that long before, but here was the fuel gauge disagreeing. More evidence for perfidious communist saboteurs? I report. You decide.
Itíll take more than those filthy little tricks to derail us Uncle Joe!
Soon we were cruising through the wilds of western Montana, enjoying the magnificent scenery. If youíve not been through this country, I highly recommend it.
The vast expanses gave us pause and led to the following, typical, conversation:
Mojo – “Man, weíre never gonna fill up this country.”
Cornflake – “You think?”
Mojo – “Yup. Hell, in 50 years thereís gonna be 500 million people in America, and this placeíll still be empty.”
Cornflake – “Hmmm, 500 million of us. Iím not so sure thatís going to be good.”
Mojo – “What? Itís bound to be totally awesome. With 500 million Americans, weíll, like, rule the world… I mean, more than we already do.”
Cornflake – “You bring up an excellent point…”
Cornflake is a good man.
After stopping off at Missoula for a Hops and Barley based refreshments, we made our way to Butte, where we decided to rest for the night. Dinner could be obtained from a fine establishment known to the locals as the “Bonanza Freeze”. The burgers look foul, but are in fact quite palatable, edible, and nutritious. The fries receive a B-, however.
Our temporary home, the Butte Budget Motel is a fine establishment, if you define the term “Fine” to mean squallid, poorly designed and built, and in a crappy location. I think you can guess who I blame. The price is right however, and smoking is allowed, so I guess itís OK.
Now its time to sign off. Tomorrow we attempt to make it all the way to Minneapolis, where a safe house awaits us, in a single day.
I will be in contact when I can.