Monday, November 10, 2008
Yesterday we had a break in our first official winter storm so we took the opportunity to drive across the Cascade mountains to visit our Collegeboy on his birthday weekend.
A short aside: Here in the Pacific Northwest, we have pretty mild weather as a rule. Therefore, and especially during "sweeps" month, our local media like to take advantage of every chance there is to forecast and walk us through a storm. So we've already had our first taste of "Stormwatch" and "Stormtracker" on the various local stations, along with the unlucky reporter who is forced to stand out in the rain and make a big deal about a clogged drain that is threatening to flood a street. Not to make light of the fact that we do have a lot more flooding from rainstorms than we did when I was young (mostly because of over development of low-lying areas near rivers) but watching these people sensationalize an ordinary weather event is funny. It gets really good if snow is forecast. It rarely snows here and it seems to be difficult to forecast in this area. If it looks likely, there are reporters out all over the place, standing on hills and hoping for that elusive first flake. In any case, our rainy season has definitely started, there was some snow in the pass last week, and we wanted to make a quick trip over and back without getting stuck.
The scenery along the way is pretty. On this side of the mountains, we have lots of water and big evergreen forests. On that side, there are farms, flatlands stretching to the horizon, and more deciduous trees. I couldn't take very many photos in the mountains, because photography from the car doesn't work too well, but I got a non-blurry shot on the way back.
There isn't any snow accumulation yet.
We had a good time. T-Dog and the Princess had wanted to come with us, but both had work/schoolwork to do so it was just me, DH, and Grandma. The drive over was smooth; DH and Grandma sat in front and talked to each other; I sat in the back and knit. I made some progress on my second scarf for the Red Scarf Project (remember the deadline was extended to Dec. 15, so you still have time to make one) and made a couple of squares for my sock yarn blankie. This is totally addictive. It's going well now that I've figured out how to join the squares. My geometrically-challenged brain gave me a little trouble at first, but I think I've got it now. I'll put up a photo in the next couple of days.
We arrived in the college town of Ellensburg, WA a little after 1:00 PM, delivered our gifts (including the new black hat I successfully finished and managed to get dry in time), and headed out to lunch. Our Collegeboy was up and moving, but #1 roommate was still recovering from the party-filled weekend, so it was just the four of us.
We had a very nice lunch at an old yellow church that's been turned into a cafe. Small and cute and surprisingly good food. We then did a little sightseeing through the town,
and showed Grandma one of the places our boy works (lifeguard and swim teacher).
We drove through part of the campus of his college, Central Washington University, which is very pretty. It's a good fit for him - he loves the school and community.
We dropped him off and headed back. This is the view down his street, which is a cul-de-sac of new, small, houses. He has a horse for a neighbor!
Having him two hours away is just about perfect. It's very possible to do an over-and-back drive in one day, yet those mountains form just enough of a barrier that it seems like he's really away. It's been a very good fit for us all.
Of course, now I have to start worrying about snow for his trip over on Thanksgiving. A mother's work is never done!