Nick & Sara’s Tour de West – 02

Sun, 6 Sep 2009

Well, *that* was embarrassing.

I’m in Richland, WA. Got here about 5 PM, after a nice drive through the remainder of Idaho, on into Oregon, then a quick trip just over the border and the Columbia River into Washington State. After checking into the hotel, went for a nice run along the river – not to far, just a few miles to loosen up the legs and work out the kinks after sitting all day. After a relaxing shower, I walked next door from the hotel to Anthony’s – a seafood place with a nice view of the river. Sitting at the bar watching the sunset with a nice glass of Washington wine, a light dinner of a crab cakes and salad, a finally a cup of decaf – life could be worse right? Add to that an attractive, friendly waitress, and life could definitely be a lot worse.. until she brings the check. Then I reach into my back pocket to pull out my wallet and.. nothing… I had hidden my wallet in my backpack when I went for a run, and when changing for dinner had forgotten to pull it back out.

Oh. Sh*t. What do I do now? Cold sweat is forming on my forehead. Do I make a run for it? Skip out on the check? Leave my hat, book, car keys and iPhone here while I walk back to the hotel? I can leave my book and hat, but d*mned if I”m going to leave my phone or my car keys just sitting there. In the end, I decided honesty is the best policy, call the waitress over, and fess up in a mortifed tone of voice. She chats briefly with her manager, and comes back and said it’s no problem if I want to go back to the hotel and grab my wallet.. so I did just that. Luckily, it was a lovely evening for a walk, as I ended up going back and forth between the hotel twice.

I suppose if that’s the most embarrassing thing that’s ever happened to you you’e lived a pretty sheltered life. I’m sure I’ve have more embarrassing moments myself – not that I’m going to reveal any of them right here and now.

Anyway – yeah, Richland, WA. I’m kinda proud of myself, actually, for not pushing on to Portland tonight. I had originally anticipated doing just that – but decided I’d rather do the Columbia River Gorge in the morning light rather than drive it while I’m tired and cranky. Now, of course, a couple of friends on facebook are urging me *not* to go to Portland at all but rather to drive directly to Seattle from here via I-84 and I-90. Apparently, the traffic from Portland to Seattle on I-5 gets pretty horrible on a long weekend like this. So, we’ll see in the morning – if I get up early enough, maybe I’ll drive the Gorge and brave the I-5 traffic. If I don’t, I’ll take the more direct route through the mountains. Either should be visually pretty appealing.

So why am I proud of myself? Well, my type A personality was originally planning on pushing on to Portland “If we get up early, we can be in Portland by nightfall,” but then I remembered what the purpose of this trip was – to enjoy the experience along the way, *as well* as the experience the joy of arriving both to a new place, and, as my old friend TS would put it, to “arrive where we started And know the place for the first time,” and deliberately dialed it back to reaching Richmond, staying here overnight, then driving the Gorge in the morning provided traffic’s not too bad. Sarah said she wants to see the Gorge in the daylight, anyway – and Sara, like pretty women everywhere, usually gets her way.

Speaking of Sara – I’m glad I had my iPhone/iPod with me today. Apparently, in Idaho “they got both kinds of music – Country, *and* Western.” OK – that’s a bit of an exaggeration – in between the C&W stations there’s a couple of “classic rock” stations – you know the kind that seem to swing between Def Leppard, Whitesnake, and Deep Purple’s “Smoke on the Water” every 3rd song – and a few bible thumper (i.e conservative Christian) stations.

I did listen to one of the conservative Christian stations for just a little bit – apparently, they were having a dial-in discussion show regarding the question of “Would Jay-sus vote for or against government run healthcare.” The right-wing host didn’t put it quite that way, however – he wanted to know “What would Jay-sus do,” because he didn’t believe “Jay-sus would vote for killing unborn children or senior citizens.”

Funny thing, I don’t think Obama or the legislature would vote for those things, either.


Today’s playlist via the iPhone: It was a Led Zepp kinda day – Lep Zeppelin 1-IV, and Houses of the Holy, in that order. I suppose I could have listened to one of those classic rock stations – actually, on those it’s not really the music I usually object to, but the constant stream of blather in between songs..