17 June 2014

More

Old photograph in The Presby Museum - Goldendale WA
More postcards from America. From sleepy little Goldendale high on the prairie north of the Columbia River we made our way to the Yakima Valley - a green and pleasant land surrounded by hills. When the first white settlers arrived here after their arduous journeys through The Rockies they must have thought they had arrived in Canaan - the land of milk and honey. 

We stayed in The Cedars Inn in Ellensburg - home to Central Washington University. But the students had all gone home and the town had an abandoned quality about it. I am normally anti-pizza - discs of half-baked dough with gunge smeared across the surface - but Shirley dragged me into "Brix" in the centre of town and there we consumed one of the best pizzas I have ever eaten - strong tastes of feta, black olives and oregano on a tasty pizza base. It was worth waiting for as we sat in the window watching guys coming out of Arnie's Horseshoe Sports Bar to smoke cigarettes in the street.

And in the morning after breakfast we took Highway 2 through the Cascade Mountains all the way to Seattle. At one point we had to do a U turn because there was a big accident up ahead blocking the road but it didn't matter  we were able to negotiate our way to the Northgate area of northern Seattle where we are hunkered down in a large studio apartment above Amy's garage. It is splendid and has everything we might need. It is nice not to be in a hotel - nobody next door and we can make as much din as we like - singing "On Ilkley Moor Bah Tat" numerous times through the night while consuming vast quanties of Pabst Blue Ribbon beer.

Soon after we arrived I undertook a four mile walk through these northern suburbs. What a delightful area! So green and quite hilly with each detached house different from the next. Soon I will complete my obligatory ablutions and then we will set off into the thrusting modern American city that is Seattle. Hope we don't get mugged by the hobos!
Goldendale motel but Hoss and Little Joe were nowhere to be seen
In Toppenish - city of murals
Shirley with the Yakima Valley behind her
Pizza meal at Brix in Ellensburg
The Davidson Building in Ellensburg (1889)
Abandoned barn north of Ellensburg
Through the Cascade Mountains
Inside our Seattle studio

12 comments:

  1. YP, I spent a quarter of my working life in the USA. generally it's fine, folk fine but a touch tedious. If you look at the landscapes it is mind blowing, If you look at the thick crap about you it is appalling. If you look at the good, like the artists it produces. Like Laura Branighan then it is a conundrum I can't solve. How does such a wonderful voice come out of a country that thinks Bushes are a good idea,

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    1. You never mentioned you are a Laura Branigan fan Adrian. Next you'll be telling me you listen to the Cowboy Junkies too.

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    2. Now I have "Self Control" playing as an endless loop in my head...

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    3. Okay Cap'n Adrian, I now accept that you are not anti-American per se. Like any country, America is obviously a land of variety and contradiction. We pick the America we want.

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  2. You've never mentioned before that you retired so early (or that Shirley was so much younger than you). Goldendale City, Klickitat County and Ellensburg, Kittitas County. Don't people get confused? Mind you as Goldendale is a quarter of the size of Stornoway I don't suppose many people know it. I love photos of abandoned sheds, barns etc.

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    1. I am very partial to abandoned farm buildings - in Derbyshire or anywhere else. I have passed many great subjects in Washington State but managed to pull over for that barn. I even photographed the collapsing outhouse of personal relief. It was like a story of harsh agricultural life in days gone by.j

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  3. If you have been reading my blog for a while, you'll know that I have a "thing" for abandoned places, and that barn looks like my kind of place.

    Did you really WALK in a suburb?! I thought nobody walks in that country - with the exception of a few enthusiastic walkers who follow specifically built trails in national parks - and that whoever would be seen walking in a suburb was treated as suspicious and stopped by the police.

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    1. Yes Miss Arian. The kind lady who owns this apartment had left a book for us called "Seattle Stairway Walks" and it just so happened that one of these walking routes passed right by her property. On much of the walk there were no pavements or sidewalks - just quiet suburban roads.

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  4. Just checked in and see that you are enjoying our wonderful country. We live in the woods halfway between Seattle & Portland outside of a very small, backwoodsy town but are heading over the Cascades to Ellensburg on Friday for a weekend Washington State Convention Rabbit Show. If you'd been there just a few days later, we might have passed on the street. Love this land, but would dearly love to see yours as well! Enjoy!

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    1. Well Hilltophomesteader, I hope you have a nice trip to Ellensburg. Maybe you will stop in the bizarre Bavarian township of Leavenworth. I understand that there are various ways of cooking rabbit so you will probably pick up some good recipes at the show! (Sorry it's my off-beat sense of humour! I couldn't help myself.)

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  5. I swear, Mr. Pudding, one of these days I am going to send Adrian a supply of anti-depressants!

    So happy that the Puddings are enjoying themselves. Aren't the Cascade mountains wonderful? And the Columbia River and all its hydroelectric dams and waterfalls is a wonder. I wish you could go to the Willamette Valley with your camera. There is a bright, large blue butterfly that lives there that is found nowhere else in the world. I never spotted one myself, but I bet you would be able to!

    It is not even summer yet, but this week I have been splitting and stacking wood for next winter. I call that my summer exercise! I will bet that people in those mountains near where you are this week are doing the exact same thing!!!

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  6. All good. Self contained apartments are the way to go. They give more room, the ability to cater for yourself if you want to and often have a washing machine to make your life a lot easier when traveling..... and you can live a bit like a local which I enjoy. A walk around the suburb sounds like a great idea ... but 4 miles is a bit excessive !!!!

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Mr Pudding welcomes all genuine comments - even those with which he disagrees. However, puerile or abusive comments from anonymous contributors will continue to be given the short shrift they deserve. Any spam comments that get through Google/Blogger defences will also be quickly deleted.