I'm feeling somewhat optimistic having just completed my first leg of the trip (yes, it is rather pesky of me to write a second blog entry after having just created the blog five hours ago... but perhaps I'm feeling a bit needy in the communication department). I'm sitting in Tracy's house and will venture out on foot in a few moments to track down a coffee shop she recommended. We'll meet up when she's off work so I can get a mini tour of town - looking forward to it!
The drive here was uneventful, thankfully. I stopped in Albertson for gas, which was a ghost of a town. Cars were parked on either side of the road, and it had a promising high school on the main drag, but there wasn't a person to be found. Inside the gas station, I found (in addition to a clean bathroom - thank goodness!) the late 20ish cashier gossiping about her mom to her a friend who had stopped in to visit. Almost prompted a desire to do a study on the town. Almost. :)
The wide open valley of Missoula (which looks similar to the flats of Ellensburg) was a welcome sight after miles of towering mountains - the skinny, winding freeway seemed like a tiny passage between green, sleeping giants. Beautiful, for sure, in its own way, but Missoula beats it in my book. I did notice, however, a multitude of build-in-three-months cookie-cutter duplexes near the freeway, though - much like the cheap developments we saw go up in the back end of Ellensburg. I'm not a fan of those types of developments, but I suppose they do serve a purpose. In any case, the more historic area Tracy lives near, and the yellow/orange trees littering the town, was enough to set my mind at ease.
I miss you all dearly.