I got to take a trip up to my home town this weekend, which is about a 40 minute drive north of Spokane. There's something about highway driving in the remote area of Northeastern Washington that really gets you in a reflective mood.
Basically because if you break down, you're walking a looooong ways to civilization. To give you all insight into the wonders of rural highway driving I've constructed a timeline of my journey.
I bid farewell to my trusty roommates. Weirdly enough, I hear celebrations after I step outside the door.
Quick pit stop at a Cheney gas station. What's wonderful about my crappy college car is that people actually stare at me when I pull up to the gas pumps as if to say "you're really going to put 40 dollars worth of gas into a car that's worth 20 dollars?"
Ah, I-90, the only freeway on earth where you'll be forced to pass a tractor.
I'm in the depths of Spokane traffic, which means my speed slows down to roughly 45 mph through residential areas. While some people may ding the city for "not having anything culturally important" or "being less interesting than a reality TV show about the game of horseshoes", it's a whole hell of a lot better than the congestion on the west side of Washington. It takes nearly two hours to get to your nearest Starbucks, and those things are on every street corner.
Drop a CD off at the Spokane Arena for the Spokane Shock. The security guards there are nice. And I think they have guns. So I'm nice to them too.
And I'm officially outside of the Spokane city limits... which if you've been in north Spokane, you understand that this ends pretty abruptly. One minute you're in strip mall heaven, the next you're in the middle of a forest and Bigfoot is chasing your car.
Ah, Deer Park. Yeah never stop in this town.
The problem with a rural highway is the fact that it's only a two lane road, one lane for each direction. That means if you get stuck behind a PT Cruiser driven by a retiree who hasn't upgraded his "top speed" since the Great Depression, you're royally screwed.
What luck! A PT Cruiser in front of me.
You can't pass unless there's a long stretch of no oncoming traffic. The problem is, there's also a lot of turns on this highway.
Pass the PT Cruiser... and oh boy! A tractor pulling a large farming implement behind it that takes up rough 2/3 of the entire highway. And it's going 25 m.p.h.
I roll down the large hill that puts you into the Chewelah (or Coville, I'm not sure) valley. It's a wonderful view. You really get a good look at the Chewelah Casino as well.
After a brief stop in the Chewelah Safeway, I finally make it home. Home is eight miles outside of town, and I had to dodge a couple of small rodents on the road, and people.
The Lakers and Kobe lost to the Jazz... damn.