Friday, February 11, 2005
by Jerri Honeyford
We travel often across our state. Much of the time the four-hour journey is uneventful. Sometimes there is more to notice.
This past weekend the mountain scenery was spectacular! New-fallen snow coated every tree and the sun made it glisten. Even though there was no skiing, there were vehicles at the summit of Snoqualmie, but there was noticeably less traffic than on skiing weekends. The roadway was clear and we sailed through.
We have been stuck in a snowbank twice in our travels; once we were able to drive away with only a bent license plate frame, and once we had to be pulled up and out. We appreciate the cleaned-off winter roads even as we pray for snow!
One piece of scenery I always love and that is going downhill into the Kittitas Valley. In each season of the year there is a picture book feel to the view. I'm quite sorry there are homes being built so near to I-82 and right in the center of the picture.
Another view is coming down towards Yakima and the sight of Mt Adams over the Yakima Valley. Soon the trees will be blooming again just south of the Gap and that is such an incredible sight.
Sometimes other drivers call themselves to our attention. You have all had the experience of the truck pulling directly in front of you going up a hill. I understand they are on the job, but they are asking for an accident. Some drivers whiz by, pull back in ahead, and then slow down. Then the drivers on the cell phones and writing notes, or the ones doing eye makeup with the visor mirror down. I'm always waiting for them to stray into my lane. Over here I have also seen many drivers reading the newspaper, especially when traffic is stop-and-go, and special attention is needed.
Sometimes we notice the vehicles themselves. Have you noticed the range of styles and sizes? There are still 60's hippie vans, now not so much decorated with flower power, but more often with anti-war messages. There are bright-colored bugs and dark-hued giants. In our state we see a lot more pick-up trucks than in some areas.
We always read the bumper stickers, sometimes to our dismay, sometimes delight. Yesterday I saw a station wagon with a mom and three children in it with the slogan, "Half my heart is in Iraq." I prayed for them. I also saw a truck from B and K Trucking, Rochester, WA that had a large math equation on the back door. It was 3 nails + 1 cross = 4 given. I had never seen that before. Another favorite was the sign decorating a Mr. Rooter truck from Yelm: "A flush is better than a full house."
Traveling is not always enjoyable, but it can be interesting!
Jerri Honeyford, wife of Sen. Jim Honeyford (R-Sunnyside), provides her Across our State column as a way to keep local readers informed on what is currently happening in Olympia.