The Great American Road Trip
Saturday dawned bright and sunny (no change there!), which is just as well as I had to get up at 6am in order to make the day's planned 6 hour round trip worthwhile. The car I've hired is sadly not some huge lumbering brute, but in fact a (bright white) small and zippy, almost European seeming Nissan Versa. I thought it seemed perfect until I sat in the driving seat (yes, I did remember to get in on the left-hand side) and tried to drive away. There's no clutch! The gear stick only goes forwards and backwards! Terror! After struggling womanfully trying to leave the car park of the rental hire company, I had to admit I had no idea how to make this car go and shamefacedly walked back into the shop. Initially, the two men seemed alarmed at my admission of not knowing how to drive, but fortunately my accent saved me, not for the first time, and I was soon on my way.
My destination was Leavenworth, which is a small town about 100 miles east of Seattle and 143 miles north of Richland (where I live). My supervisor had advised me against following Google's route and instead sent me on a much more complicated, but absolutely stunning drive over miles and miles of desert-type plains, along the side of a huge river and along the top of deep gorges (see Flickr feed), and oh, did I enjoy that drive! I tuned the radio to a local station and found the perfect soundtrack of classic American rock to accompany my trip.