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Wednesday, July 31, 2013

POST 1170; JULY 31, 2013; BELLINGHAM, WASHINGTON


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After 48 hours since returning to Bellingham, the right foot pad bruise is nearly healed...but for the left foot, we are ready to walk and roll.

Alas, the left foot is doing strange things indeed.  Upon return, the left ankle swelled to a size to hide both ankles.  Today, the swelling has spread to the entire foot.  There is NO pain.  The foot pad bruise is about 3/4 healed...another couple days should do it for the bruise.

The swelling, however, is not going down...very strange.  The TENDON from the center of the shin to the top of the foot has a single sensitive - sore - spot exactly in the center of ankle rotation...

Have remained immobile; i.e., have not walked except in the apartment...and then, only when absolutely necessary. 

Will begin applying ICE packs to the left ankle / foot.

Initial job search reveals lots of opportunities for work are available in Bellingham...most of them in the trucking / driving industry.  The Post Office, however, is hiring all over America...starting salary for NEW employees:  $21.00 per hour.

Geeze...no wonder the Post Office is bankrupt...what ever happened to minimum wage for new employees.

In any event, I will apply to the Post Office...but must wait until the left foot gives some indication of it's intent.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

POST 1169; JULY 30, 2013; BELLINGHAM, WASHINGTON


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At 4:00 pm, the sunny afternoon of Tuesday, May 30, 2013, SAM is safely parked in the bicycle shop in DICKINSON, NORTH DAKOTA, while I am resting in my NOISY apartment in BELLINGHAM, WASHINGTON.  Noisy, because it is situated on Mount Baker Highway...a most heavily travelled 4-lane highway leading from I-5 Interstate in downtown Bellingham, to the flanks of our local volcano, MOUNT BAKER...some 80 miles to the East.

SAM and ME have come to this dislocation because of the severe damage done to my feet - and left shin-splint tendon pull...all happening little by little over the past two weeks while walking and rolling across North Dakota.

Since arriving at my apartment, the shin-splint has SWOLLEN.  Both feet are, however, a bit better.  I estimate both will take at least a couple weeks to heal fully.  Return to walking is up in the air for the moment.

My $$ funds have been COMPLETELY depleted.  To return to walking will require a miracle of manna falling from the sky.  Will scour Bellingham for work.  Finding none, considering returning to Dickinson, North Dakota, where work is plentiful for any and all who want to work.  We shall see !

Attempting to keep our blog current, I offer the following Show and Tell of my Bus journey from Dickinson, N.D. to Bellingham...passing through the cities of:

BILLINGS, LIVINGSTON, BUTTE, MISSOULA, COEUR D'ALENE, SPOKANE, and SEATTLE...together with a half dozen smaller towns in the states of MONTANA, IDAHO, and WASHINGTON.

Departing at 6:15 am, Sunday, July 28, 2013, we arrived in Bellingham at 10:35 am, Monday, July 29, 2013...a most uncomfortable journey in that the bus seats offered little in the way of adjustment to get the body from becoming a pretzel.  Therefore, virtually NO sleep was possible !


The JEFFERSON LINE out of Minneapolis, Minnesota supplied the bus from Dickinson, North Dakota to Missoula, Montana.  GREYHOUND supplied the bus (nearly identical vehicles) on to Bellingham - continuing on to VANCOUVER, British Columbia, CANADA.

Cost for a one-way ticket was $203.00.  Being a "Senior", I received a discounted $179.00 ticket.




Our Jefferson Lines Bus Driver.






A bedraggled ME about to board the bus in Dickinson, North Dakota.





We are on our way, leaving Dickinson, North Dakota via Interstate I-94...first destination:  BILLINGS, Montana.





Eastern part of Montana is a virtual Savanna...dry...hilly...seemingly without life.





Nevertheless, the scenery of such a place is without parallel.  Walking with SAM through this arid land is both stimulating and fascinating...life is actually everywhere...but not at 75 miles per hour.





Many photographs of the land follow...needing little or no explanation...





Interstate Highway I-94.





The YELLOWSTONE RIVER...which originates from Yellowstone Lake, flowing Eastward out of WYOMING, across MONTANA and NORTH DAKOTA, before joining the MISSOURI River...then the MISSISSIPPI...flowing, eventually, into the GULF OF MEXICO at NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA.

I have had the pleasure of being at all these places at one time or another...worth every effort to get there.





Our Bus traveled through a storm-like rain storm...not a single mile per hour did our bus slow down...quite a ride...





The YELLOWSTONE RIVER through my window.





Most MONTANA Bus Terminals are located at established Truck Stops...ALL with "LUCKY LIL" invitingly beckoning.  We bus passengers, however, were prohibited from entering the CASINO...on fear of being booted off the bus if we did.




















Interstate Highway I-94 comes to it's END as we reach I-90 on the outskirts of BILLINGS, Montana.





Downtown BILLINGS, Montana.





Having a real-live Bus Terminal, the BILLINGS Bus Terminal Ticket Desk...















Off to the right through my window is seen the rather large town of LIVINGSTON, Montana...one of our bus stops along Interstate Highway I-90.








































A pic through the Driver's front window.

All bus windows are of the clouded non-glare type glass...not the best for taking photographs.










Approaching BUTTE, Montana, the ROCKY MOUNTAINS show why they are so named.










BUTTE, Montana, occupies much of the large valley below...a most spectacular vista at night...with the valley lit up as I-90 enters from high above through a natural "portal" of rock.










BUTTE, Montana Bus Terminal.















The CLARK RIVER.., which accompanies I-90 through the Rocky Mountains.
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In the city of MISSOULA, Montana, we welcome GREYHOUND buses for the remainder of our journey.

This is the first stop after Missoula:  COEUR D' ALENE, Idaho.





LOVES Truck Stop...also serves as GREYHOUND Bus Terminal.










Please say HELLO to TIM....our GREYHOUND Bus Driver.





Please say HELLO to CHANTRELLE, my bus companion all the way from DICKINSON, N.D.

Chantrelle, a nurse, is on her way to visit relatives in MOUNT VERNON, Washington...a mere 20 miles from Bellingham.

Chantrelle has invited me to join in a Saturday family wedding...look forward to to so.





Sunrise...as we enter WASHINGTON STATE.










Interstate Highway I-90...approaching the CASCADE MOUNTAINS...about 90 miles from SEATTLE.










SALMON LA SAC...at the Eastern foothills of the CASCADE Mountains.  The YAKIMA RIVER flows under the bridge we are about to cross.















Lake KECHALUS...at the foot of SNOQUALMIE PASS...carrying I-90 over the top of the CASCADE Mountains.










SNOW SHED:  Protecting I-90 traffic from annual AVALANCHES sliding down steep slopes above the roadway.  This section of I-90 highway has been under almost constant construction since I first remember crossing SNOQUALMIE PASS...sometime back during the SECOND WORLD WAR (1941 - 1945).





This portion of Interstate I-90...was, long before the Interstate was born...the location of a Fishing Village, complete with cabins, etc...today, all is removed, including the rather large hill that dominated the lake front on the left of the present freeway.















At 3,000 feet above sea level, SNOQUALMIE PASS is often hidden by cloud cover...appearing as FOG, as in the above photograph...taken as our GREYHOUND Bus descended the West side of the CASCADE Mountains...SEATTLE only 45 miles distant.










Approaching the famous FLOATING BRIDGES across SEATTLE' LAKE WASHINGTON.  The original HYDROPLANE RACES began just to the left of these bridges back in early 1950s.  Today, Hydro-Races are still a main attraction of Seattle's SEA FAIR CELEBRATION.





A rather good view of the FLOATING BRIDGES.





Entering the I-90 Tunnels from Lake Washington to downtown Seattle.










The SMITH TOWER...for nearly a half century, this tower was the tallest building in the United States West of the MISSISSIPPI RIVER.










Please say HELLO to LANNY.  Lanny was also our companion all the way from (and beyond) DICKINSON, North Dakota.  Lanny, Chantrelle and I kept close during the trip.

Lanny eventually left our bus in the city of EVERETT, Washington...about 30 miles north of Seattle.





A City of Seattle ARTICULATED Transit Bus.





View from outside the GREYHOUND Bus Terminal in downtown Seattle.





QUEEN ANNE HILL, Seattle.





LAKE UNION...with a CANAL to nearby PUGET SOUND, this fresh-water lake graces the center of Seattle.  The famous SPACE NEEDLE sits a bit to the left of this photograph.

Most photographs in this update have been taken from our bus as it traveled...making quick decisions necessary to get ANY decent pics...absolutely no chance for second chances !










Approaching I-90 Bridge over the SKAGIT RIVER...where a couple weeks ago, one span was knocked into the river below...





SKAGIT RIVER...from the bridge-under-repair...is one of the most productive SALMON (fish) rivers in the PUGET SOUND area.

BELLINGHAM is only 25 miles from the SKAGIT RIVER BRIDGE.  No further photographs of our trip were taken...my fault, as I was VERY engrossed in thought about being here at all.  I should now be walking and rolling with SAM in the vastness of Central MONTANA...not crawling back to my nest in BELLINGHAM to recover from a stupid injury.

Returning to Bellingham has completely depleted my $$ resource....even those $$ so generously gifted to SAM and ME from so many...

I must, first, sit still for a few days letting my Lymphatic System heal up the injuries.  Then, I MUST find work...not easy for an old man in such times here in Bellingham.

What I truly wish to do...is return to DICKINSON, N.D., retrieve SAM...and complete our walk before Winter closes the mountain passes.

We shall see !!!