Tuesday, February 19, 2008

The Restaurant at the Center of the Universe (a departure)

The sun was out and the roads were clear through the west end of Montana and into Idaho. This did not stop a half a dozen people from wiping out on the winding roads. Gigantic car accidents have been a theme of this tour; we have been detoured by several, many involving jackknifed semi trucks, and one in Ohio featured a truck cab that had been peeled open like a can of tuna with the top half of it thrown about three hundred feet back on the road. No doubt it was a fatality. We managed to make it through all of this unscathed and once in Idaho we stopped in a town called Wallace, which was basically a late 1800's main street that once hosted a bordello on the second floor of every building. It also happens that Wallace is the center of the universe. There are even municipal signs on the signposts to prove it. We found a great diner whose cook knew the whole history of the town. It was refreshing to be in a place that was still virtually untouched by the gaudy corporate world outside. I enjoy visiting places that seem frozen in time. From there we floored it all the way to Seattle which was a grueling and overlong ride, but we finally made it to our friend Jme's house. It was remote in the woods but we were happy to be there as we had not seen her since our Rochester days nine years before. It feels like the sick that has been permeating the tour now wants me too so I am concentrating on staying warm, staying rested, and staying well-fed. Bob is now full-blown ill and he was one of the last holdouts so I may not get any say in the matter.