Greetings from washington we continued our ...

Trip Start Jun 02, 2002
Trip End Apr 01, 2003

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Flag of United States  , Washington
Sunday, September 15, 2002

Greetings from Washington,

We continued our journey northwest across the northern tip of Idaho and stopped for a few days in Cheney, WA. Our house was parked in eastern Washington, because our destination was Coeur D'Alene, ID and we could not find a cheap campsite nearby. We hiked around Tubbs Hill Park and were treated with a nice view of the city at the top of the hill. On our way down I turned on to what looked like a continuation of the trail, but the further we went the steeper the trail became. At one point, we were sliding down on our butts as we held on to the tree branches and bushes for support. We made it down safely and the trail led us to the sandy shore of a very large and scenic lake. According to our trusty AAA book, Lake Coeur D'Alene was once considered one of the five most beautiful lakes in the world.

We went next to Post Falls Park in an attempt to enjoy the gorge and water falls we read about. Maybe we became a little spoiled during the past months, but the waterfall was a drip and the gorge was visually boring. We were on our way back to the campsite when we stopped at the local grocery store to pick up a pair of Idaho potatoes in Idaho. Dinner that night was very tasty and the next morning we left for the town of Puyallup which is about 40 minutes south of Seattle.

We were driving on the freeway towards our new campsite, enjoying our view of the majestic Mt. Rainier as it dominated the eastern horizon, when the driver of a passing truck yelled out to us, "This ain't like Florida is it?" We laughed in agreement with him as we thought to ourselves how friendly people are here. We've learned that the way a city's population drives is usually a good indication of their mannerisms.

Thursday - We spent the day at the Seattle Center exploring the Experience Music Project and the Space Needle. Experience Music Project is a very interactive hands-on museum dedicated to the past, the present, and the future of music. We had a blast taking turns playing on a real drum set in a sound proof room so no one could hear how fantastic we sounded. There was also an electric guitar and a bass guitar so we could jam like a band. Outside the room were musical instrument stations where they had touch screens that showed us how to play a song. We played drums, guitar, bass guitar, sang vocals, experimented with a sound board, and played around with effect pedals for electric guitar. I was totally wrapped up in my life-long fantasy of producing my band's first album and we were on our way to making it big!

We learned about the history of the guitar and how the electric guitar was born. They had exhibits set up for just about every famous musician and every style of music. We walked through a Jimi Hendrix chronological exhibit of his life and achievements. We rode in a simulator ride that tried to explain to us what it means to be "Funky" and they had the world's largest platform shoe signed by various funkadelic musicians to prove it. We had to go back upstairs to jam some more on the instruments before we went through the memorabilia room. I would highly recommend visiting this place if you are ever in or near Seattle.

Just next door to the Experience Music Project was the famous Space Needle which was built just in time for the 1962 World's Fair. We rode the glass elevator up 520 feet to the top of the tower and the view was breathtaking. We could see all of Seattle in the east, a little bit of British Columbia towards the north, the mountains of Olympic National Park were south of us, and of course Mt. Ranier which reminded me of pictures I have seen of Mt. Fuji. There were mental games painted along the walls and ceiling of the inside viewing area that also made the visit enjoyable.

Friday - We took a long, curvy, and scenic drive into Olympic National Park. We hiked up a moderate trail to reach the lookout point and enjoyed our views of Mt. Olympus and some of Victoria Island, BC. We sat on a bench to talk when a mama deer and her two babies walked out of the woods directly behind us. It made me think about how nice it felt being surrounded by nature. This is when I suddenly noticed that we were surrounded by fruit bees doing their business. All I could now hear was the low droning of their wings as I focused my eyes on all of them. I am known to be very scared of bees and wasps and there I was stuck in the midst of them all. Somehow I have become a little braver and I did not freak out and make a mad dash towards the truck in the far away parking lot. We quietly got up and casually walked away without disturbing a single bee. Go me.

Saturday - Jenn's mom, Betty, recommended we visit the Museum of Glass: International Center for Contemporary Art. We took her up on her advice and it turned out to be one of our favorite museums. They had a large room with big ovens and we watched the featured artist direct the other artists as they made glass life-size fire extinguishers. We looked at glass sculptures, 2-D art exhibits, as well as a moving sculpture that tricked the eye. It was Jenn's favorite by an artist named Gregory Barsamian and he called it Die Falle. It was a spinning frame in the shape of a tube that was placed in a dark room with a single strobe light going. The combination of the strobe light and the spinning of the frame made the objects on the outside of the frame appear to be in motion. It is hard to explain and we were not allowed to take a picture of it, but it was very cool and hypnotic. My favorites were the glass sculptures by Stanislav Libensky and his wife Jaroslava Brychtova. They were basic geometric shapes, but the way they made the light pass through and the simplicity of them really caught my eye unexpectedly.

The highlight of the museum was the Dale Chihuly exhibits. In one room, there were movies showing how Dale Chihuly and his crew created these exotic glass vases. They made it look so easy that for a second I actually believed that I could create something that looked like theirs after a few lessons in the art of blowing glass. There was a covered walkway outside and above the transparent ceiling panels were all of the Chihuly vases I saw in the films plus more. It looked like they were spilled on top of each other in no apparent design other than chaos. Also, one of the walkway's walls was built like a grid and inside each illuminated square was another Chihuly creation. The sky may have been overcast, but the sun still shined its way through the many colors and lit up our faces with rainbows and sunshine.

Originally, we planned on visiting Vancouver, Oregon, and southern Idaho. Originally, we would spend a couple of days in each place so we could see as much of the United States as we could during the ten months. Now, we are feeling a little burned out from all of the traveling and we miss being with people we know. So, we rewrote our remaining itinerary to give us more days in each location to allow us time to relax (I know you may find this hard to believe) and possibly meet our neighbors. We knew we had a flight out of Denver in late October and my brother lives in Denver, so we pointed the front of our truck towards Colorado and turned on the afterburners. We spent the next five weeks in Denver and it felt so good being a semi-permanent resident.

Wishing you all rainbows and sunshine,
Love Dave & Jenn
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