My last day on the road. After 7,575 miles coast-to-coast, today I make my victory ride from Pullman to Sammamish. It feels like I’ve been gone a very long time!
This is a route that I’ve driven hundreds of times since June of 1973. It feels so familiar and my mind’s eye compares it to all my other traversals. My first trip was taken as a high school senior with my buddy Dave Neir, when we borrowed my dad’s 1966 Volvo for a college scouting trip to WSU. What an adventure for an 18 year old taking his first long drive.
I liked what I saw at WSU and I made many more Seattle-Pullman trips over the next five years while earning my BS EE degree. This was so much fun that I spent two more years to get a Master’s degree, which again meant many more trips along this route.
Can I ride under a big farm machine? I’ve seen lots of machinery on my trip, as a consequence of being off the interstate freeway system. I thought I was done with them now that I’m almost home, but not quite. Here, near a wheat elevator west of Colfax, I see one more giant tractor. It almost seems like I could simply ride under it. Wouldn’t he be surprised! But it would be too close for comfort so I choose a wide path around it and pass when it’s safe.
In 1978, I married a Pullman girl and since then we drive there a couple times every year to visit. I have many fond memories (with a few not-so-fond snowstorms) of driving along wheat fields and over the mountains to Seattle. If we had perhaps taken pictures of each trip, we’d have a photo essay of our adult life and growing family.
Now, at last, I’m home again after 6 weeks and 8,000 miles, right where I want to be, in the best place in the whole country. Now it’s time to collapse!