Had a great visit with Alan and his wife, Lynn, in the morning. They live in an almost 100 year old house about a block from the UM Western campus. They've both worked there for over two decades.
A winter storm warning was in effect for today through tomorrow morning for the higher elevations in Montana, including Dillon. I was glad I was leaving early enough just in case.
These were some nearby mountains I passed in southwestern MT
My first Pronghorn of the journey, eastern Idaho.
Don't see these signs out east.
Passed quite a number of these stacks of big rectangular
hay bales. Also quite a few trucks hauling hay.
Stopped briefly at Craters of the Moon National Monument.
This area is covered with lava rock from ages ago volcanic activity.
I've explored this area more extensively in the past. Absolutely
intriguing. NASA used this area for moon exploration training.
Remnants of a fairly recent forest fire in western Idaho.
Had a reading at Hyde Park Books in Boise. Rain was coming down
and the temperature was quite cold. A blustery evening. Pleasant
conversation with the owner, Marti, and her 11 year-old son, Cody.
His birthday is the same date as mine, November 17, though I've
got a few decades on him. He's homeschooled and impressed me
with his intelligence and sociability. Marti has owned the store for
a few months only. She's pursuing a dream, having given up corporate
life to run this store. They were the only people for the reading until
two unsuspecting customers walked in and joined us. It turns out the
woman is from Buffalo and had just moved to Boise a couple of weeks ago.
Once again, a small reading turnout but a terrific evening, especially talking
with Marti and Cody. I wished her well at the store and left Cody with a
Zoo Haiku book of mine and a promise that he emails me some of his haiku
when he gets around to writing them.
Everytime I'm in Boise I feel it's a city I would enjoy hanging around in more. Every time I'm in Boise it's always a quick stay. One of these times I will have to linger here.
A statue of Anne Frank.
This quote connected me with the photo of Zapatistas
I posted on 9/7 when visiting the National Museum of Mexican Art in Chicago with Charlie Rossiter.
Again, as before, there were tears in my eyes at times as I read through the quotes.
From Boise I moved on to Ontario, OR for an Oral Memoir performance at the Ontario Community Library. I gave a reading there two years ago as part of the US 20 tour and had a great time. I had already booked a reading in Oregon, in Newport, for this tour and didn't want to do more than one reading in a state. But the library was anxious to have me back so we settled on an Oral Memoir Performance, "Snowy Owl and Other Teachers."
I stopped in at the library when I arrived in town and had a wonderful time with the staff. Dorreen gave me a t-shirt about reading and a few pins, two of which celebrated Banned Books, proclaiming "I Read Banned Books."
Ontario's water tower.
And a few minutes later on one of the streets.
Ontario Union and Pacific Train Depot. Built in 1907, a very distinctive building that is on the National Register of Historic Places.
From there I quickly went to the Four Rivers Cultural Center and Museum to visit the Hikaru Mizu Japanese Garden that serves as a memorial to the Japanese Americans who were interned at relocation camps in the US during WWII and to those who fought in the war for the US.
The Oral Memoir Performance went well. 10 people attended and seemed to thoroughly enjoy it. As usual, a comment that there should have been more people here, but I was fine with the turnout. Again, a number of books sold and we had good conversation and cookies afterwards. I hope I'm able to return here again someday and maybe stay a little longer. Good people.
I grabbed a little bite to eat after the program at Mackey's Irish Pub and Restaurant. Guinness and blackened tilapia with wild rice. Very good and very reasonable. While there I engaged in great traveling conversation with Susan and Judy who were seated at an adjacent table. They have been traveling for a few weeks visiting National Parks and Lewis and Clark sites. They are both retired educators so we also talked a bit about poetry and learning. In turns out that we've traveled some of the same path recently, even being at Yellowstone at the same time. I left them with a Twenty Days on Route 20 book as they will be driving 20 west from here tomorrow, through one of my favorite sections of the road, the Malheur River valley. I head off northwest, a long day's drive to Vashon Island, Puget Sound, WA for a workshop and reading on Saturday.
A day journeying from Ontario, OR to Vashon Island, Puget Sound, WA.
The high desert mountains of eastern Oregon.
Further on and toward the west, the Blue Mountains.
Passed a sign proclaiming the 45th Parallel, half-way between the
equator and the north pole.
Just outside of Pendleton on I-84 a sign:
WARNING BLOWING DUST AREA NEXT 40 MILES.
Near Prosser, WA big flatbed truck loaded with wooden crates full of apples.
Then a couple of more trucks with apples, this time in plastic crates.
Lush green orchards against a background of dry brown hills. Dry eastern Washington irrigated agricultural land.
Near Snoqualmie Pass in the Cascade Mountains.
Hit Seattle at rush hour, but no big problems. Short wait for the ferry to Vashon Island and a quick 15 minute or so ride. I went out on the bow of the ferry and had to immediately take off my hat, the wind was howling across the water.
Good to be back by sat water again. Started out by the Atlantic, now halfway through the journey and here along the far west coast, along the Pacific.
The Ferry crossing to Vashon Island from West Seattle.
On the island I headed over to Ann Spier's house, a FootHills poet who I had never met. She and her husband David live in a neat, Japanese architecture influenced house a few miles from the ferry. They had three other friends over for supper and we had a stimulating evening talking about art, the Pacific northwest, poetry, traveling, life paths, etc. Wonderful supper of grilled salmon that David prepared and a bit of Washington State wine.
Grilled Coho Salmon dinner.
Tomorrow I lead a Palm of the Hand Workshop in the afternoon and then a reading in the evening, the 24th of the journey.