Days 12 & 13: Idaho, Oregon & Washington

I’m trying desperately to catch-up with my postings here. So desperate in fact, that I’m getting a late start in shoting to do this before it becomes hopeless. All it took was one night of socializing to throw things completely off track.

Despite falling behind on the blog, I’m now officially a day and a half ahead of schedule. Things have really been going smoothly. I’ve had two oil changes so that means more than 6,000 miles thus far. The weather has been perfect for picture-taking. I’ve been keeping the dogs entertained & well-exercised. Nik and Grem actually look fitter than when we’re home — if that’s possible.

I finished up with Idaho for a bit and crossed over to Oregon. The landscape continued to be a vast sea of yellow (wheat?). Now that I’m in eastern Washington, things have gotten somewhat greener and I’m seeing pine trees. There have been lots of cute towns in the past couple days that I would really have liked to explore. But this trip has to be pretty superficial — mostly just banging through some main streets and the things on my list.

Baker City, OR was one such town — interesting old buildings and probably great signs just around corners that I didn’t have time to go down. Lots of references (historical markers & business names) in Oregon to the Oregon Trail and Lewis & Clark. Here’s a nice motel in Baker City:


and the inexplicable crown sign over the Oregon Trail Cleaners:


Here’s more from Baker City — a turn-of-the-century looking, still-operating stationery store:


A great building — the identification up top says “Marble Works”:


A Masonic Temple globe sign. Sometimes this sun is not a good thing — the glare on the white globes washed out the detail & means it won’t make it to the website:


Here are some more artsy figures. These people are from Melody Mufflers in Walla Walla, WA. I only shot some of them. They were really fun and well done:


Yesterday, we were mostly in Spokane and then in the afternoon scooted over to ID for some “must sees”. Here’s another little behind the scenes look at what goes into these trips. The stack of printed maps and lists I brought with me was about two feet tall. Each state or section is binder clipped and cities with multiple stops are paper clipped. The less thinking and organizing I have to do while traveling the better. Sometimes my maps are simple — just one place with enough road detail to get me there easily from the interstate or the previous place:


Other times, major cities especially, the stops are laid out on a single page so it’s easy to visualize and navigate. It might seem hard to read but I just focus on the dots to knock things out in the most efficient way, working in the direction of the next page’s stop(s).


There’s also “the list” (info about the places, the address, and other notes) which is organized geographically as well. It keeps me on track when I’m baffled by my own handwriting or order on these maps. Here’s a done page with notes that will go back into the computer file when I get home and help me write the descriptions for stuff when I’m inserting these places at the website.


Back to the real photos. Here’s a place in Spokane that surely must have had a neat pagoda tiled roof at one time:


A neat mid-century building in Spokane — the International Union of Operating Engineers:


There were some fancy tree grates in downtown Spokane. I don’t think we have these back in New York City:


Also downtown Spokane, there were these neat busts of local important men and women:


Let’s wrap up with three signs from Spokane. Although this teriyaki sign is just a plastic thing, there are so many shapes and I find its busy-ness appealing. I bet the top spun at one time.


An old, towering Safeway sign. The new Safeway is further south with modern signage while this one hangs on. It’s probably awaiting repainting by another business.

This crunched sign is on the lot of Spokane Boys (a garden supply & produce place). It looks like this sign has been hit more than a few times by passing trucks. The middle, rectangular part must have rotated. I wish I could have gotten a better shot of it but it was rush hour and I was taking my life in my hands balancing on the median strip. Washingtonians aren’t used to jaywalkers and it causes all kinds of worry.

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