13-Nov-1999 -- After spending so much time near The
Gorge, and after waking up so late, I was worried I would run out of
time to make the other confluence. I hopped on I-90 from George,
Washington, and booked east. I was driving Liz' Jeep again, and the
thing doesn't handle to my liking. I guess it's just because I'm
spoiled by my sports cars. Obviously, the Jeep exhibits far spongier
handling than either of my cars, and that makes me very nervous. If
either of my little sports cars was to exhibit the body roll or camber
the Jeep does, I'd be surely headded for the wall or the grass. I've
got to learn to have more faith in the truck's surefootedness.
At any rate, I-90 straightens out substantially in this area. I stepped
on it, driving the truck at 80 miles an hour directly east towards Moses
Lake. I had my laptop open, and found that I could bail out at the exit
for Road U a few miles past Moses Lake and head south, towards my
Out here, the land is very flat. There are farms everywhere, and the
roads criss-cross each other at straight lines. To keep me company, I
had the University of Washington game on; they were playing Stanford,
and it was going to the fourth quarter.
Road U extended straight south from the highway. I followed it a
ways, and noticed that there was lots more traffic than I thought there
would be. That is, I passed probably six or seven cars in the first five minutes
off the highway. I was surprised to find so many people moving around out
The roads were numbered in a grid system just like they were back in
Seattle. Of course, the grid was much sparser here. Road U was east of
Road T, probably about five miles west. The streets crossed the roads
east and west, and were numbered in decimal. I passed 4.1 Street just
off the highway, and the laptop said I'd need to find 2.0 Street.
I made the turn off of Road U about 2 miles south of I-90. There was
a stockyard and a small natural gas plant along the road. But it wasn't
more than a mile before the turn where I found the point of the
confluence. Another road cut north, and then turned west. I parked the
Jeep there and headed into a plowed, unplanted field to find the spot.
It was easy! No hiking over huge logs or mounds of debris.
At the edge of the road, though, there was a deep drainage culvert. I
had to climb down into that thing, and then back up the other side. They
don't look so intimidating from the road, but they're really deep!
The sun was setting, so I took a picture of it as it fell. I need to
buy a half-opaque filter so I can balance these shots: the bottom of the
frame was quite bright to the human eye, but for the film it's more than 5
stops underexposed. It really wasn't as dark as picture #2 leads you to
believe. Picture #3 is facing north, towards a tiny farmhouse, and
picture #1 is facing southeast. There's nothing there!
After wandering around in the field for about 10 minutes, I finally
got a near-zero reading from my GPS. You can see that in Picture #4.
On the way home, I drove through the little town of Warding. It's
really just a little town of farm workers. About half of the roads are
packed gravel and unpaved, and the rest are very close to the state
highway. There's a railroad yard behind the coop, and all the houses are
rundown and mangy.