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Friday, April 30, 2010

SAM Loves Hills

Yep, GREEN battery pack had 2 terminals come off. Slipped them back together & taped them down. GREEN powered SAM for 5 hours. Meanwhile, RED was being charged by the solar panels as we walked by Valley General Hospital upon leaving Bonnie's home.

Walking through the Kent Valley was a bittersweet trip. It was at the DeMoines/Kent hill that my two Brothers, Jr. & Jim and I worked for 4 summers in the fields. Jr. was 9. I was 6. Jim was 4 years old when we began in 1941. We walked 5 miles each way from our home on the Stump Ranch. First we worked for Japanese Truck Farms. By 1942, the Japanese disappeared (our phobia is still with us). For the next 3 years we worked for bigger Caucasian (cannot say "American" because the Japanese were American too) farms. All three of us brothers never missed a day of work thereafter. Jr. died 25 years ago from Leukemia. Jim died 2 years ago from a stroke.

Walking the road where we worked was for me, a very difficult moment. I miss them both. We were very close. I often wonder if Jr's death had something to do with us all being "down-winders". Down-winders were created from 1945 through about 1951 when the U.S. Government intentionally released radioactive gas into the atmosphere from Hanford (remember Nagasaki & Big Boy...manufactured at Hanford) just to see what effect the gas had on the environment and residents "down-wind". All three of us worked at Hanford all those years swamping the trucks Dad & Mother owned as part of our family business, Tri City Freightlines. I remember vividly handtrucking very heavy round concrete containers with funny triangles stamped on them...unloading them from ACME freight cars onto our trucks before we went off to school in the mornings.

But, I digress...apologize.

Walking in the North Valley, all the fields are gone; replaced by rambling warehouses and mini business parks. At our hill (DesMoines/Kent), the fields returned. Flower stands dotted the roadside. Milk cows peered at SAM as we slowly passed the feeding & milking barns. The aroma off the fields from freshly spread manure was pleasant to my nose. I wanted to do a report on Smith Dairy, but they said NO. They were afraid of being sued because of the liability. OMG...where have we travelled !! ??

Turning onto 277th, SAM & ME were confronted with one of the most severe tests of hill clilmbing so far. GREEN reached her 5 hours about 1/4 mile up. RED, having received electrons all morning from the panels, took over and pulled SAM up with a vengeance. I, on the other hand, had to stop to rest three times. WOW, what a monster hill.

Reaching Old 99, Pacific Highway South, we took a left turn and walked along newly laid sidewalks into Federal Way. Tried at 4 different business to go pee, but was turned away each time...no restrooms for non-customers. At #4, I was also turned away, so purchased a $1.50 icecream bar. Paid for it. Again asked to use the restroom and was told by a recent immigrant manning the counter that I was not a regular customer and NO, I still could not use the toilet.
I asked for my money back. She argued that I already bought it...Just give me my money back and shut up...You threaten me and I'm calling the Police...Good idea; now give me my money.

At #1, after receiving "NO", the white bearded turbaned attendant commented that life is no more what it used to be...Neither are the people, I replied as I walked away squeezing my thighs together.

Arrived at Son, Ronalds home at 5 PM. 7 hours after leaving Sister Bonnie's in Renton. RED died 50 feet from the top of the hill in front of Ron's house. Must again tend to SAM tomorrow before continuing our walk.

SAM received her 120 V electrons for the night. I received a more than warm welcome, a hot bath and yummy BBQ.

Tonight, I WILL sleep well in Grandson Braden's bed.

Nite All

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