Back when Murphy was undergoing his second round of radiation at CSU, I witnessed a rainbow from a sunshower and wrote about the Japanese expression ‘Mono no aware’ in a blog in 2010. Down south we call that phenomenon the Devil’s Rain a phrase I renamed as to describe the hopefulness I felt beneath my tears.
As Hudson, Indiana and I drove through the Cascades Tuesday morning and approached the Snoqualmie Pass on I-90 to Seattle, I was welcomed once again by Murphy’s Rain (top left photo). That’s all I needed.
After a tiresome 2,800 mile 40 hour drive, the Fuzzybutts and I made it from Memphis yesterday to make final preparations and get a lil R&R&Romping prior to our launch from the Canadian Border. That’s a pic of lil’ Nana committing the cardinal sin of trespassing on Hudzer’s Altar. Yeh, you can tell how well that went by his expression.
Peace Arch Park
One of the first tasks on my list once we got there was scoping out the park where we’re having our launch this Saturday, high noon. Never been this far north and west before and the only border crossing I’ve ever made on land was from Brownsville TX to Matamoros Mexico.
There it’s all chaos with rows and rows of sputtering cars, a smoggy haze, and the incessant rapping on the window by Chiclet peddlers.
Here it’s, well, peaceful and I found the inscriptions on both sides inspiring. Facing Canada, it reads, ‘Children of a Common Mother’, and facing the US, ‘Brethren Dwelling in Unity’.
Task 2 began at 5:30 AM as I went to scout our route on the first stretch of our trek: The Border to Everett WA. Driving up Interstate 5 yesterday I became a bit concerned about the road conditions we’d be confronted with but after reconning this morning, most of my fears have been allayed. There are some tough spots sure; shoulderless backroads lined with water-filled trenches as well as long spanning narrow bridges but all doable and we’ve seen this many times before on our first 2 Dogs adventure.
However, there’s a 10 mile track on Route 11 that presents considerable risk to our safety. Pic nearby. High reaching cliffs on the left and a 50-80 foot drop off on the right with little to no room for negotiation.
This has me slightly worried but two things are in our favor. First, sunrise is 4:30 AM on the west coast this time of year and when driving this stretch this morning, it was relatively desolate so we’ll have a few hours to get through it before morning school and commute traffic gets underway. Second, it is not only perilous to pedestrians but cars as well so if there we do encounter traffic, it will be slow moving.
But there’s a saying on the road, as in life I suppose. Don’t walk 10 miles until you walk the first. Or maybe that’s my saying. I recall meeting a Marine on the trail and I always liked his perspective as we shared our many challenges on our travels. ‘Impossible is just a degree of difficulty.’
Yer Big Dog’s Notes 1: For the next six months, this blog is my journal of our journey from Canada to Mexico and this is where it’ll be posted first and from the road. I’ll have limited time and energy to proof, re-read, edit, or even re-think its content.
YBD’s Notes 2: In 2010, Seattle was our last stopping point on the lecture circuit after the Austin to Boston walk and it was right before Murphy was due for his second CT scan back at CSU where we would ultimately learn that not only did his first radiation fail but a new sarcoma had developed on his nasopharynx.
It’s bittersweet to be back here again and I couldn’t help but find a subtle irony in that to return here, we had to cross through the Bitterroot Mountains and the flowers that they’re named for. Nearby is a photo, not mine, as they were not in bloom yet.
What I love about the Bitterroot is it’s stubbornness to survive even in the harshest of all conditions. It can live up to a year without water…