Monday, September 08, 2008

Bar Trip Days 20-21

Our push toward the Pacific has come to an end. After our experience with Mount Rushmore, we began Day Twenty with a big breakfast:

From Cody, Wyoming, it was about 50 miles to Yellowstone. For much of that route, we were in the Buffalo Bill State Park, which covers the town of Wapiti, and the northern fork of the Shoshone River, which was lined with fascinating geological structures.

Finally, we arrived.

One of the first things we saw was Yellowstone Lake. At a particular point, Steamboat Point, dad discussed philosophy with a local.

The surface waters of the lake itself are bone-chillingly cold, despite the fact that hot vents steamed around the lake, as well as elsewhere throughout Yellowstone.

One of the delights was being able to meet the locals. Alvin and Simon turned out, but Theodore was probably asleep.

The Continental Divide snakes through the park. At the point where this picture was taken, the snowmelt in a shallow pool flow two ways. One way leads to the Columbia River, which flows into the Pacific Ocean. The other leads to the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers, which drain the entire American Midwest, spilling into the Gulf of Mexico.

We did get to see Old Faithful. It was really cold while we waited for the geyser to erupt. When it actually did, it was difficult to see the water behind the steam.

On our way toward Mammoth Hot Springs near the North Exit, we ran into more locals, such as this buffalo.

Along the way, we saw Gibbon Falls, but no gibbons. After Niagara, though, Gibbon Falls is simply not as impressive.

When we finally got to Mammoth Hot Springs, we found that the waters were mostly dormant, making most of the terraces about as dry as Liberty Cap.

Nonetheless, there was at least one spring whose source waters were still in place.

On our way out, we finally met some elk. The rangers urged us along, but had nothing to say to this fellow who decided to cross the street without a favorable light.

As we left the park, there was a stone arch to send us on our way.

We got into Montana, and took Interstate 90 toward Spokane, Washington. We drove all night, taking small breaks here and there. We did not get much sleep; a Nissan 350Z is not a comfortable bed. Nonetheless, we did what we could as safely as possible. We got to the Columbia River Gorge, along the interstate west of Spokane, well before mid-morning.

As we kept pushing toward Seattle, we got glimpses of Mount Rainier in the distance.

Approaching Seattle meant crossing Lake Washington, first onto Mercer Island, and then into Seattle itself.

We paid for some parking in order to see Pike Place Market. Parking is very expensive downtown, so we could only afford 30 minutes. That meant most of our walk was rushed.

Because of the haste, I could not explore the brewery more than posing for this picture.

But I did feel a connection to this, the first ever Starbucks store.

The market is beautiful; unfortunately, we could neither see it all nor really linger on any one thing.

Finally, we called around and found our way to Lake View Cemetery, where Bruce Lee and his son Brandon are buried. We paid our respects. At first, given the effort it took to find the place, we were skeptical. After having seen the graves, however, and the obvious love and affection shown to the Lees, we felt touched in a way we hadn't thought possible. It was well worth the trip.

After our visit with the Lees, we headed south on Interstate 5, which we took to calling "the road home". We stopped by the University of Oregon for the sake of a cousin, and ended up calling it an early night here in Eugene, Oregon.

Before we sign off for the night, here is the latest video log entry.

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