Fascinating courtly intrigue and bloody power games set on a generation ship full of secrets―Medusa Uploaded is an imaginative, intense mystery about family dramas and ancient technologies whose influence reverberates across the stars. Disturbing, exciting, and frankly kind of mind-blowing.” ―Annalee Newitz, author of Autonomous

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Umatilla, My Walla Walla: Pandemic Road Trip Part 12

My email notes from November 9 at least hint at some interesting things:

Umatilla Walla Walla



Mt. Emily

Old cattle pen and trailer

Snake River

Ontario, Oregon 

But my photo files are skimpy, and I'm not sure why. We had driven next to the Columbia River, and now we were driving along the Snake River -- but we wouldn't visit the gorge bridge until the next day. Also, on the 9th we thought we were practicing blizzard avoidance, so we were trying to make good time on the road. But within the next couple of days we would be challenged by our assumptions.

After all, road trips are all about things going wrong, and then you improvise, and that's how stories are born. Yet the 9th seems to have been less interesting in general. It was a so-so day near the end of a really good trip. It started out well, with a visit to good ol' Dutch Bros. for coffee. And I think I ended up finally being able to do laundry at the hotel we landed in for the night in Boise. Also, I suspect this was my first visit to Idaho, though I'm not positive. We may have passed through when I was a kid. My mom was a big one for road trips.

We saw an old ranch homestead that still had some useful stuff, should anyone feel like salvaging it (assuming it doesn't already have owners who use it during the warmer months).

I think this was also the day that my brother insisted on buying premium oatmeal cookies for himself and for Mom. Ernie may have had one too -- I passed, though I'm a fan of oatmeal cookies. The moment just wasn't right. And Mom seemed more interested in holding on to hers as if it were a good luck talisman than eating it. We were inclined to indulge her.

It's a good thing we took her on that trip when we did. She couldn't have gone any later than that. She began to decline the day after we got home, and the way things stand now, I'm not sure she's going to see the New Year. Yet four to six weeks ago she was guzzling coffee, complaining about Lucky Trouts, enjoying takeout, looking pretty in thrift store clothing, drinking a lot of peach wine, and avidly watching the election and post-election coverage. Michael got two weeks of quality time with Mom, and Ernie and I got to see her enjoy one last road trip. The timing was perfect.

We got take out from Costa Vida that night, a chain restaurant that was new for me. I like their food and their model of serving it up. It was nice to be able to wash our clothes, too. On the news, Biden was announcing a Coronavirus task force and the National Security Council was still refusing to give the President Elect access to National Security briefings. So just because we saved the world doesn't mean it's going to get back to normal overnight. There's still plenty of petty resentment to be vented. Oddly, the fact that the world is caught in a pandemic may be our only saving grace. Everyone is struggling to handle their shit right now. The only people who seem to be accomplishing anything are Russian hackers.

You know it was a slow day when not eating an oatmeal cookie and getting a little snow in the hotel parking lot are your highlights. But all of that was about to change . . .

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