Tuesday, August 28, 2012

What is Home?

The word "home" can mean many different things. I can go "home" to the physical space I live in; or to my "home" town; or to the state where I live or where I grew up; or to the part of the country or the country where I live.

We have been "home" in the United States since we entered Alaska from Canada on June 29. We have lived this whole time in the RV which is our "home" (except for the 4 nights on the ferry). As we drive south and east from the Seattle, Washington, area, we feel we are getting closer and closer to "home." Why? Because of the cattle in the fields.

And the sagebrush.

And the round wheat and hay fields, growing that way because of the irrigation sprinkler that goes in a circle.

The air is getting drier. We have both lived most of our lives in the higher altitudes of Colorado and, more recently, in the Arizona desert. The humidity we found in much of Alaska is not "home" to us.

I am happy to report that the nights are once again dark. Among other things, that means I can see the moon at night. For many weeks, I was never up when it was dark. As the nights got a little longer, we were often along the ocean and the sky was covered with clouds. But for the last two nights, I actually saw a moon in the sky before I went to bed.

We drove from Ellensburg, Washington, to Pendleton, Oregon, then today to Boise, Idaho. That is three states in three days. If you drive on the East Coast, you can easily pass through three states in one day. Out west, where the states are larger, our trip is pretty amazing, especially for us.

Eastern Washington and Oregon have interesting hills, mostly covered with brown grass.

We also saw lots of vineyards, providing a good dark green contrast to the brown.

There are lots of hills to go up and down. And triple-trailer loads are allowed, leading to this sign on a FedEx truck.

Hay is a major cash crop around Ellensburg, where we saw lots of covered haystacks.

Pendleton, of course, is home to the famous Pendleton Woolen Mills. We didn't tour the mill, but we did check out the mill's outlet store. Of course, there were lots of Pendleton clothes, most made of wool. And we don't need those in Arizona. We did enjoy looking at the shelves of blankets.

And, through a window, we saw stacks of different colored yarn and a bright blanket on the loom.

Our RV park in Pendleton sat on a hill and we could look out over the valley and part of the town. Look above the ground and you can see the thick smoke that blankets the area and got worse, the closer we came to Boise. A number of wildfires are burning in Idaho and have been for several weeks. I read a story said they don't anticipate a major storm that could put the fires out at least until after October 1.

Driving from Ellensburg to Pendleton, we saw two mountains. I hope someone can let us know if this is Mt. St. Helens?

And, is this Mt. Rainier?

They sure are beautiful.

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