1. Vacummed my room and packed my last few bags
2. Left Helena
3. Did a short hike in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho
5. Got a speeding ticket for going 75 in a 70 (seriously who get's speeding tickets for going 75 in a 70).
6. Staying the night in Bremerton
7. Drank my first ever V8 (not very good)
So I had to say goodbye to Helena. I got one last picture of Mt Helena and then drove out towards Missoula. It really seems like yesterday that I was leaving North Carolina and driving to Helena. Anyway's I got to pass a few of my favorite spots The B&B Market (which I loved until they made the tragic mistake of stopping made-to order sandwiches), Jill and Claire's apartment, and McDonalds Pass came first. A little further on I passed Elliston, MT which is home to one of Montana's strangest events, the annual bigfoot hunt, where on a freezing febuary night hundreds of people run into the woods in search of a man in a bigfoot costume. Yes . . . this really happens. But its not as strange as this .
After Elliston I went through Missoula and was finally in a place I had never been before, which made it feel like things were really under way. Between Missoula and Coeur d'Alene there were a lot of mountains and a lot of fog. When I reached Cour d'Alene I needed some gas and lunch and I decided to try and get down to the lake I had seen from the highway to eat. When I got there I found a series of hiking trails at Tubbs Hill right on the waterfront. From the perspective of a roaming tourist with 3 hours to spend it was a nearly perfect city. It had a great downtown that really merged into the enviornment in a seemless kind of way. Its funny that I mentioned Muir in my last post because he and a few others really represent the idea of a nature that has a spiritual value in and of itself. I think the concept has definitely caught on in a lot of religious traditions. Most notable in my mind is the oceanographer Katherine Jefferts-Schori becoming ECUSA's primate, but there are plenty of other examples as well.
Sometimes I wonry that these attempts to "save nature" forget to really think about how to include people. I'm all about saving preserving certain tracks of land (and I'm planning on visiting a bunch of them in the next few weeks) but its even more important to think about how we can synthesize people and the enviornment into cities that provide both a productivity and quality of life that we can be happy with. Its a bit of an anthropomorphic view, but its the only reasonable view I can come up with. If "nature" has its own value and needs to be saved, then how do we decide what to save. We can't "save" it all if we want to survive as a species. We already have to choose what to save and we choose based on what we like the best. In the meantime its more important to think about how to create cities that "we will like the best". Cour d'Alene may not be a good example of this, but from the perspective of a passer by it definitely seemed that way.
After Cour d'Alene the landscape really flattened out and looked a lot like the eastern plains of Montana. There was some bad traffic around Seattle and Tacoma, but I got through that and I'm on the peninsula now. I'm going through Olympic NP tomorrow and staying at La Push. Then onto Portland. I'll try to blog again then.
Big Foot loves coors light
From Tubbs Hill in cour d'Alene
The plains of eastern Washington
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