My drive from Spokane to Tacoma was relatively boring. I've driven that stretch of I-90 an ungodly amount of times, so I almost just zoned out the whole time, but I did want to stop at the Columbia River because it's so beautiful and I never stopped at the scenic viewpoint before. Really amazing. I wanted to stop at the Wild Horses Monument too, but you have to be going eastbound. Alas. It's crazy how diverse the geography is in Washington. I almost think it's hilarious that they call it "the evergreen state" because only a little bit of it is actually covered in evergreens. The whole central/eastern part of it is completely dry and arid. One time when I was driving only a few hundred feet from this pull-out a tumble weed rolled into my car, haha! So "old west".
I've been hanging here in Tacoma for the past few days and have absolutely fallen in love with it. Who knew!? Tacoma, you're pretty rad. Then again, the people in a place totally make it or break it and I'm loving the people here. I feel like I've made so many friends already- which for me is like... incredible. I haven't had a group of friends to hang out with consistently in over a year, so it's really amazing to be sort of grafted into an existing group of people who are awesome. Something about this place makes me feel like being more outgoing and extroverted rather than my typical introverted standoffish self. Of course, I will be moving on in the near future, so it's not going to last all that long. We'll see if I end up returning to Tacoma though... The past few months I've been really considering moving somewhere on the outskirts of Seattle (since I can't handle actually living in Seattle, but I love this Pacific Northwest area), and having spent time here in Tacoma has made it look quite appealing.
Tacoma seems to have taken a liking to me as well because it's breaking all my things. I guess it wants me to stay here? About 30 minutes before I arrived in Tacoma, my engine started making noises, so I pulled over and figured out that my alternator belts were SUPER loose. Somehow the bolt that held the alternator in place had become loose and allowed it to slip down, making the belts so loose they almost just came off. Then I figured out that my propane is leaking- which I still haven't fixed. So I can't run anything off of propane for the time being. Luckily I'm not really living in the Winne right now, and my next stop on the trip will be a place where I can get it fixed (I think). THEN my bike decided to lose some nuts and also get a flat tire. Ugh. Haha. Today I was productive though. I got a new tire for my bike, and I think I still maybe need to tighten up the alternator but for now it's good. I'll check it before I embark on the next leg of my journey.
Speaking of biking, I have been biking all over in Tacoma and man am I out of shape! I guess that's what happens when you have a job where you sit in front of the computer for 10 hours a day for 9 months. My legs are in quad boot camp. My bike is a super heavy cruiser, so it's not really built for the most efficient of rides. But damn do I look cute with that little blue bike and it's basket. Haha, I joke, I joke. No pain, no gain.
Tacoma is such a great city to bike in. It's a little hilly in places (and if I was in better shape it probably wouldn't matter much), but overall it's awesome to just bike around. I've always wanted to live someplace where I wouldn't need a car. After this trip, I'll probably have consumed enough gasoline for 5 lifetimes, so I may need to take a break from the gas station lifestyle for a bit.
So far my favorite places here are the Beyond the Bridge Cafe, the Parkway bar and the taco truck. I'm pretty sure I've gone to all three everyday. I've been living off of drip coffee, tacos, and Rainier. Bomb. Little Bit and I have gone on some walks too. The other day we walked quite a few miles. Down to the waterfront and all around the north end of Tacoma. My legs are totally confused about all this activity. I have a few pictures I took with my Holga some years ago and I'd totally forgotten where I'd taken them. Well, it turns out I took them in Tacoma like three years ago! Haha. My memory was jogged as I walked along the shoreline looking out at the piers. Kind of a cool thing. It was almost like a hidden treasure in my mind that I dug up!
photos of me by Daniel