Posts Tagged ‘Mt. Rainier’


This was my view out the window when I left Portland last Saturday: Mt. Rainier (far left), Mt. St. Helens, and Mt. Adams as the sun rises over the Columbia River.


Miss Baby Blue Eyes met me at Richmond International Airport with her brothers and her dad.


Mr. Trouble was full of hugs and mischief.


Mr. Kindergarten wanted his photo op at the Airborne & Special Forces Museum.

I traveled light and I asked that my son not attempt to “entertain” me: this was about visiting, not sight-seeing. As a result, I spent most of my time with small people who felt the need to sit on my lap, comb my hair, run around in large circles in the living room, and squabble over the same things my siblings and I fought over in the 1960’s: “Dad! He’s looking at me!” “Dad! He touched me.” “Dad, She hurt me!”

The one tourist attraction we went to was free and kid-friendly, if your child is like Mr. Trouble. The other two were intimidated at first because the museum is set up to mimic a tour through several battlefields, with the constant sound of machine guns and artillery in the back ground. The sound could not have bothered them: they hear the same sounds from their own home just off base at Fort Bragg. I think it was the wax soldiers in uniform.

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I confess: I took a lot of photos just for my brother and my husband. It was a fascinating exhibit.


It even included the rotor from one of the Blackhawks that were shot down in Mozambique in 1993.

I have a list of places I do want to see next time I visit North Carolina: the Cape Fear Botanical Gardens in Fayetteville and the Carolina Raptor Center in Huntersville.

I discovered I could decompress a little by slipping out onto the front stoop when no one was out there smoking. The humid weather was perfect for just sitting (not too hot, fortunately) and listening to the cicadas and the catbirds (and the pound of artillery and rat-a-tat-tat of machine guns). One day, a man stopped and said there was a dead copperhead in the roadway. I took a photo and have consequently looked it up: it was a corn snake and hardly poisonous. A cat-faced spider was living in the television satellite and she rebuilt her web every night.


This wolf spider came into the garage and visited, too, much to the dismay of several house residents (and my delight, with apologies to my hosts).

I left Fayetteville via Greyhound bus: always an adventure! First, there was Pillow Woman. She had taken up residence on two seats with her belongings, most of which appeared to be pillows. When the bus started up the highway, she climbed atop the stack of pillows so she could see over the heads of the passengers in the row ahead of her. Her counterpart was Smiling Woman, who looked slightly drunken and never quit smiling. She stood for most of the trip, peering over my head to see where we were going. She was a tad bit unnerving.

We pulled off in Petersburg just as I-95 came to a screeching halt. Our bus driver warned us that noone who was traveling through to Richmond could get off the bus as we were behind schedule. Pillow Woman got off. What ensued was a short argument between her and the bus driver (“Ma’am, I am going to leave you. If you go in that building, I will leave you.” “But I want to use the bathroom.” “Ma’am, there is a bathroom on the bus.”). Bus driver won.

We left Petersburg and took back roads while the bus driver asked the nearest passenger if he would please dial 5-1-1 and find out where the accident on I-95 was so we could skirt the tie-up. It took the gentleman five minutes to complete this simple task, and when he finally had 5-1-1 on the line, he leaned forward and asked, “What highway?” I thought my seat partner was going to bust out laughing. (Really? You don’t know what highway we’re supposed to be on? Or what highway was at a dead standstill that we narrowly missed?)

The ride culminated at Richmond with a stuck exit door. It took our intrepid bus driver six attempts to push the broken hydraulic door open so we all could exit the bus. My seat partner just shook his head and told me, “This is so funny!”

I flew out of Richmond yesterday morning. I had to defend my window seat from DFW-PDX, but I held my ground. This HSP introvert desperately needed to stare out that window and attempt to decompress a little.


Mt. Adams (foreground) and Mt. Rainier as I flew in.


Mt. St. Helens, Mt. Rainier, and Mt. Adams – a poetic end to my vacation.

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