SAT stands for me (Samantha Anne Thomas)
I’ve always wanted to go through a truck weigh station.
With a car filled to the brim, a rack-pack loaded on top and bikes hanging from the trunk this would have made for an opportune time to pull through. Oddly, in the 1500 mi distance we trekked every station we saw was closed. I guess perhaps the next move. (Although Kai and I vowed to save money for the next move so we can ship most, if not all, of our stuff.)
Moving out west would not be the same without making the drive. It is remarkable the range in landscape you traverse. The diversity of the geological formations of each state is quite awing.
Leaving the city lakes and sandstone bluffs of the Twin Cities we began to travel down through the farmlands atop the sediments from the Des Moines lobe in southern MN into the Great Plains of SD. The scene of the vast flatness creates a new illusion and sense of space; marked with contrast, as evidence of the Badlands that emerge from the seaming-less nowhere. A waste-land of softer sedimentary rock and clays that have been eroded by wind and water into a place only fit for beasts or the 500 some wild mustangs that roam the land. Entering into WY the dryness and strength of the sun becomes apparent. We take characters from Western films as the cowboy-esque, open range is before us. We look for refuge as we come down the mountain massives speckled with trees and giant boulders. The only sign for shade and water is along the floodplains of streams…
Crossing the bridge of Bighorn Lake, WY you can witness the surface tension as the water was nearly level with the bridge. A hundred miles more and we were entering into glimpses of the Earth’s interior, Yellowstone National Park. The world’s first national park, founded in 1872, and since then has become an international land-use model. A landscape with volcanism at the heart of it’s past, present and future. The magmatic heat is present in the powering of the geysers, hot springs, and now waterfalls of The Grand Canyon of Yellowstone.
Leaving the park past the calcium carbonate terraces of Mammoth Hot Springs we enter back into ranch land of MT. We see most of MT in the dark, an eerie sense, with the moon lighting the backdrop, the intersection of flat to mountain, as the road cuts through and we drive on to the howling of wolves. As the sun began to rise we were going through old miner towns built along the evergreen filled mountains, the waters of Coeur d’Alene and fertile valleys from the glaciers of the last great ice age. The Idaho panhandle was a 80 mile bliss of beauty that dropped us into WA. Soon we were crossing the commanding Columbia River over Whiskey Dick Mountain topped with giants…wind turbines. A few more hours and we were entering the spectacle of the Cascades. The Cascades are a contrast of mountains comprised of sedimentary and metamorphic rock within volcanic mountains as seen with Mount Rainier looming twice as high in the distance. Anxious to get to our new home in Port Townsend we press on. We stand from the ferry deck looking back at the Seattle skyline light up in the night. We inched closer through the dense fog of the Olympic Peninsula to our now home in Port Townsend.