Adventures in America 4: Cross-Country Travels Off the Beaten Path

L. R. Laverde-Hansen By L. R. Laverde-Hansen, 29th Aug 2014 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Travel>North America>United States>The Pacific Northwest

My continuing journey in 2009 passing through the Rocky Mountains and arriving in Seattle, Washington.

STAGE FOUR: (Part One, Scene One) EN ROUTE TO SEATTLE

After two weeks in South Dakota, I was ready to fly. I couldn't afford a plane, but a bus did leave from Spearfish. So after a few more scrumptious barbecues with my hosts, I readied to board.

The ride to Seattle, however, was something else. It started pleasantly enough, but it in Billings, Montana, it got hairy. There an overzealous agent, thought it was fine to squeeze the equivalent of two buses into one. The glorious result (beside overcrowding) was that our bus was delayed over an hour and a half. Many of the people waiting on line were starting to complain. If that were not enough, when the passengers finally got on board, the bus driver told us about our fine mess. He looked even more frustrated than we were.

It was a literally stinking ride. Someone thought it was cool to travel with his dog on board. I don't know who was riper- the owner or the dog. All I can say is that every time there was a stop, I got out. Even in the intense sun of July, I was going to get some ventilation. I wound up eating some strange food at stops in Montana and Idaho, from a spicy beef jerky and a meat patty not made from regular meat (I don't know what it was, but it did not taste like chicken). Other than that it was a painless ride.

One thing that struck me was the constant sequence of ponderosa and other pine trees. I saw them throughout the Black Hills, then they dropped off as we sped towards the farms and ranches of Montana. As we headed toward the Continental Divide, they started popping out with a vengeance. There always seems to be specific vegetation which loves a certain place. Kudzu just can't get enough of the Deep South, and Cacti litter the deserts of our Southwest. If the sight of ponderosa pines piercing the sky from such rocky peaks weren't so amazing, the endless stretches of them would be a lot more boring.

STAGE FOUR: (Part One, Scene Two) ARRIVAL IN SEATTLE

After nearly a day of riding (and with the stench subsiding), we were ready to pull into Seattle. So this was the western terminus of Interstate 90, that cross-country highway that begins in Boston. Unfortunately we had to wait an hour, because the shortcut the bus driver had planned to use was clogged up with traffic. So much for the shortcut.
At last we pulled up in Seattle. I could see by the tall buildings that this was a major city (duh-huh). I knew I needed to stop for the night. My champagne-and-caviar tastes got the better of me, and even though I was nearly broke, I tried to check in to the Westin nearby.

The concierge on duty played that funny game whereby he stated that the hotel was booked up, but he would be a good guy and go back and check. After a minute, he said that he had one room available for the reasonable rate of two hundred dollars. I didn't hesitate: I told him, "No thank you."

I don't know why, but I didn't panic. I walked down a few blocks and found the Moore Hotel. It was extremely affordable. I did not know that it was also very historic. It turned out to be a wonderful moment of serendipity that would mark a wonderful weekend as well.

In my next installment, I'll talk about the manifold joys of this city (especially when the weather is clear). Until then, happy travels.

Originally Published on Associated Content
New York October 20, 2009
Revised
August 29, 2014

Tags

Continental Divide, Montana, North America, Travel, Washington State

Meet the author

author avatar L. R. Laverde-Hansen
Poet, playwright, commentator. I write wherever I can. Currently I reside in the City of New York.

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Comments

author avatar Retired
30th Aug 2014 (#)

The Southwest and Northwest are glorious parts of our great nation, the U.S.A. We have the world's best scenery and drop-dead gorgeous landscapes. Too bad your bus ride was stinky and filled with some self-absorbed passengers.

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author avatar L. R. Laverde-Hansen
30th Aug 2014 (#)

Thanks, hun, Still fun memories.

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author avatar HacBao
30th Aug 2014 (#)

Congratulations, you've had fun trip

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author avatar L. R. Laverde-Hansen
30th Aug 2014 (#)

Thank you, HacBao.

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author avatar cnwriter..carolina
31st Aug 2014 (#)

love this travel piece...well done...

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author avatar L. R. Laverde-Hansen
31st Aug 2014 (#)

Thank you as always, Carolina.

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author avatar Sherri Granato
16th Jan 2015 (#)

Interesting trip. I have crossed the Continental Divide and I have been to Seattle. I have never been to South Dakota though. My bucket list includes finishing out the U.S. I guess that I better get busy.

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author avatar L. R. Laverde-Hansen
16th Jan 2015 (#)

Yes, Sherri. A very interesting country out there. Thank you.

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