For once, we actually got an early start today in anticipation of a long day of driving to Seattle. We hit the road shortly after sunrise and decided to drive a while before breakfast. We’re glad we did. In Wendell, Idaho, we spotted a sign along the highway for the Farmhouse Restaurant. We almost passed it up, but could see the place from the highway; the parking lot was packed, and there were are large number of pickup trucks among the crowd. Kathy swerved onto the exit ramp. It was only after we enjoyed a very tasty breakfast that we learned that the place had been voted “best overall food” in a nationwide survey of truckers.
The remainder of the day was a study in contrasts. Idaho’s Snake River valley was full of farms and people, but just a few miles west were the dry and barren ranchlands of eastern Oregon. The near desert landscape changed sharply as we drove over the Blue Mountains, which were tree-covered and lush. The biggest contrast, though, was the change from the east side of the Cascades to the West. Ellensburg, in the eastern foothills was surrounded by dry grasslands and the sky was mostly clear. Just a few miles west is the heart of the Cascades: deep spruce and fir forests, lakes, and snow-capped peaks, with a few puffy clouds in the sky. A few miles further and we crested Snoqualmie pass and plunged into the moisture of the Puget Sound. The remainder of our trip into Seattle was under a heavy overcast.
Finally, we were home. After some aimless wandering from room to room to reacquaint ourselves with the house, we both resisted the urge to collapse completely and managed to unpack the car and start in on the mountain of mail.