John & Anne Wiley

2012/08/11

Well Spoken

Today, after a wonderful organic breakfast with friends at their riverside home near Fall City (outside Seattle) our plan was to reach Cranbrook, British Columbia for the night. After a quick visit with a dear nephew in Renton we rushed to the airport and got Tripp ready. Taking off was glorious in the fairly clear air.

1814 Mercer to Seattle

1814 Mercer to Seattle

Looking across Mercer Island, Seattle actually looked better than this pic. I know, complaining about my camera skills doesn’t improve the viewing experience for you. 🙂

1844 Mt. Si

1844 Mt. Si

Above is a clearer shot of iconic Mount Si just past Fall City on our route to Spokane. The views through the pass were even more crisp as you can see in this random shot from the dozens I snapped.

1853 Crisp Pass

1853 Crisp Pass

As we were beginning to emerge onto the prairie at the east side of the pass I finally put on a polarized filter to cut the haze for this next shot.

1888 Altered Reality

1888 Altered Reality

In terms of clarity and the effect of haze, it’s much nearer to how everything looked on our mountain passage. But as you can see, the color looks really strange. Compared to what we saw, I’d even say it looks a bit fake. True, I also tweaked the color a bit trying to correct for the shift from the filter. I left the filter on for the rest of the flight, so you might notice a strange quality in some of the pix. It helped a lot with this next one tho, because there was a small fire nearby and it was smokier than it looks in the pic.

1917 Grand Coulee

1917 Grand Coulee

Grand Coulee Dam conjured up images for me of a tall concrete structure wider than Boulder Dam. As you can see, I was wrong. I hate being wrong. 🙂 Actually I already knew it looked like this, having watched an interesting PBS docu about it. So at the left is where the river used to run. Now it gets a trickle, with the rest going into that canal angling down to the right from the dam. It goes into tunnels that then pop out again nearby in a continuation of the canal. The idea was to make a verdant valley where there had been desert. It worked, but one does wonder what the old river looked like and how life has changed along its course. After a less fascinating transit across the dry plain we were greeted by the riverside oasis named Spokane.

1925 Verdant Spokane

1925 Verdant Spokane

It’s really beautiful from the air, and fun to walk the zillion bridges and gawk at the many waterfalls. I only dimly recall attending the World’s Fair there back in my 20s, so it’s interesting to visit remnants of that too.

1934 Hotel & Togetherness Walk

1934 Hotel & Togetherness Walk

It turned out we arrived too late for our Cranbrook plan, because Canadian Customs there keeps banker’s hours. Now when we’re flying, all Joy sees of us is the backs of our heads and we don’t see her much at all though we can all talk with some minor difficulty. So we decided to walk from our hotel (3-winged multi-story building just above and to the left of the thing that looks like a white upside down boat) to a nice Italian restaurant. After a great meal we went looking for a thin cushion for me to sit on that might increase my comfort on the now longer flight we’re planning tomorrow to reach Edmonton. What I imagined would be a time for conversation and togetherness walking to Pier One (white roof just across the river at right) looked like this.

1947 Different Agendas

1947 Different Agendas

Joy was worried that the store would close at 8:30, Anne was on the phone with her sister, and I paused to snap this scene so unrepresentative of the noisy traffic rushing across the bridge in chaotic surges.

1941 False Impression

1941 False Impression

Happily we did get into the store, the call ended, and I stopped dallying for photo ops. Joy decided to walk back to the hotel, so Anne and I enjoyed a leisurely (and now serenely quiet) stroll along the river walk and thru part of the World’s Fair area. Tho you won’t hear that enchanting call of their quiet familial honking as they flew low over our heads on the silent foot bridge, Anne wanted me to snap these geese to share with you.

1954 Geese

1954 Geese

See them? “It takes a long exposure to get a decent shot when it’s almost dark out,” I replied. Yes, the fuzzy shapes to the right of the red-tipped circus tent looking thing are geese and not freak clouds. I like the effect, and hope you can imagine being there with us. Still, I’m glad to have a digital camera rather than wait for prints from film. 🙂

1962 Train/Trolley

1962 Train/Trolley

Near the circus tent thing this passenger train/trolley thing went by occasionally ringing a most gentle bell. It added a magical note of charm to the friendly darkness that was now draining color and dimension from the world to replace it with mystery and a soothing closeness. Back in the hotel I snapped this view out the window, and you can see the arched red sign for Luigi’s at the right.

1968 Looking Back

1968 Looking Back

Like our adventure from Seattle to Spokane today, it seems much longer than a couple of hours since before sunset when we walked over to Luigi’s for dinner. Right now I’m looking back at Luigi’s, looking back at our waking near Fall City, and further back to the start of this adventure. Past some gaps I can see almost the whole way back to the start of My Journey. I enjoy looking back occasionally, because it helps me enjoy being Here and Now. 🙂

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