Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Seattle - Seaside, OR

Before leaving Seattle, I wanted to see my old friend Ruth. She and I had been friends for several year in the 70's, back when I was designing video editing software and she was one of my end users (an editor). We used to confide in each other for hours on matters of the heart, discussing our affairs with other people, and finally (inevitably, one might say) we found each other's fire. There was a period of uncertainty (mostly on her part) before we moved in together, in the 9 E. 10th St. apartment she found and I lived in for the next 13 years. Our two years of cohabitation was acknowledged to be a mistake afterwards, and I have to admit I was partly to blame for pressuring her to do it at the time. But we've remained friends throughout the decades, and realize that our long friendship is more grounded in the relationship we had before we hooked up than in that tumultuous period of romantic melodrama.

I visited her in Seattle, where she has lived happily with the rabbi she married over 20 years ago. Who woulda thunk? We were both surprised at the memory holes we both have, and filled each other in on details of our life the other had forgotten. It was amazing to look through her photo album and see pictures of us and JP, on trips I have no recollection of, like the hiking tour of New England inns, and the drive up the California coast. The rabbi husband was away, but hopefully I'll get to meet him some day - sounds like an awesome character.

So it was late Monday afternoon by the time I headed out of the city and turned toward the coast on US-101. I passed through some logging towns on the way west, and finally reached the Pacific Ocean around sunset, thus ending the trip segment filled with that anticipation of driving to the other side of the country. It's always great to take that first long look at the expanse of the Pacific with that feeling of "I made it." I stopped for the night at the first town on the coast, Seaside, Oregon, which turned out to be a cutesy resort town. The main street, perpendicular to the shore, is lined with hotels, shops, and restaurants, which were mostly vacant at this time of year. It's called Broadway Avenue (one of many such streets in towns around the country apparently named by people who didn't realize that "Broad Way" is complete in itself, and the additional "street" or "avenue" term is redundant.) At the beach end of the street is a statue of Lewis & Clark, and a plaque hailing this as the end of the Lewis & Clark trail. They spent the winter of 1806 at Fort Clatsop about 10 miles north of the town, but this is where their salt camp was located, where they extracted salt from sea water.

Tuesday morning, I decided to stay a second night at the Comfort Inn, in order to give myself a break from driving and get some work done. Noticing that I had a couple of headlight beams missing, I brought the car to a service station on Tuesday, and the bike I was still carrying in the back seat came in handy for getting back to the motel. As much as I love being on the road, it felt good to be stationary for a day. And since I told the people at the violin auction firm that after Labor Day I'd no longer be constrained to a schedule, I need to start spending some large blocks of time designing the web site that's got to be ready to handle an auction in a couple of months, and I made good progress holed up in my room in Seaside.

I also realized that I'd lost my digital camera somewhere in Seattle, leaving me with just the iPhone to take photos, until I pick up a new camera.

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