Returning to Seattle

Last night was kind of weird. After I was done teaching my last class of the tour in Pendleton, I stood in the motel room with the feeling that it was all over. There was a bit of sadness mixed with a bit of elation. And the feeling of being in the motel room was different. It almost felt unnecessary and strange to know that I was in a motel room and had no plans coming up except for driving home in the morning.

There wasn't much going on on the ride home, but I did enjoy driving through the middle of Washington. The rolling hills were all different shades of brown as autumn was obviously in full swing.

I stopped in Stanfield, OR for lunch. The choices were pitifully slim, so I opted for Jack In the Box. I hadn't eaten at one since I was a kid, and I used to really dislike it because they would include a balloon in with the order and the balloon tasted like chemical. It ruined the taste of the food to have that toxic powder on my lips from the balloon.

Today I didn't get a balloon.  I opted for the most interesting-looking thing on the menu, a Sourdough Jack. It didn't quite look in real life like it did in the picture on the menu.

I literally could not taste the sourdough.  Nor the meat, for that matter. The sandwich had some sort of thousand island dressing on it, and that was all I could taste. It wasn't necessarily an enjoyable experience, but at least I wasn't hungry anymore and could focus on driving.

And I think I may have discovered a new favorite highway. First of all, I drove for a ways on one of my old favorite highways, US-395.  But then I found a great scenic drive in WA-821. It wound its way alongside the Yamika River and offered lots of spots to camp with access to the river. It was quite beautiful and I would have stopped to enjoy it if I wasn't so eager to get home. But I did make a mental note to take this route out of Seattle on one of my future trips, and to allow myself time to stop and play in the river.

As usual, I was blown away by the sight of Snoqualmie Pass. The steep, evergreen-covered mountains are like nowhere else in the country.

And some Seahawks fan(s) inscribed a 12 in the mountainside for everyone to see as they enter King County.

As was to be expected, as soon as I got to Lake Washington, the gateway to Seattle, I hit some very slow traffic. It took me half an hour to cross the lake, which is a three minute drive in good conditions.

Once I got over the lake and was driving in Seattle toward my house, River started to get very excited. It was obvious that he recognized the scent of Seattle and was happy to be home. I reserved my excitement for when we were actually in the garage and I got to lock the car and walk upstairs into my home.

I didn't bother to unpack. I'll do that in the morning. It's great to be home and finished with the trip.  Now I can begin whatever is next in my life.

First on my agenda is to undo all of the damage I've done to my health and physique by choosing to eat burgers and pizzas almost exclusively for the past five months. I gained a significant amount of weight. I have a bathroom scale and when I got on it today, it said I weight 169 pounds! That is officially the heaviest I've ever been.

I'll be focused on returning to healthy lifestyle habits over the next month and will be documenting my progress on this blog page.  I hope to get down to below 160 pounds, where I feel my best.

Stay tuned....


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