|South Dakota cornfield, with Beatrice and Oliver.|
|The Iowa-Nebraska line|
The Missouri River forms near Three Forks, Montana, where the Madison, Jefferson and Gallatin Rivers meet to create their massive progeny. Wikipedia has an interesting entry about the headwaters, describing Lewis and Clark's naming logic (this part is accurate, or at least consistent with signs at the park) and claiming controversy over whether the Jefferson ought really to be called the Missouri, thus ensuring the Mighty Mo's claim to longest-river-in-North-America-hood; under the current nomenclature, the Mo and the Miss contest that title.
|Headwaters! Source of riverine wonderfulness!|
|Beatrice and Oliver (on sign) prefer small, quiet hotels. The Gallatin for them!|
|Of course, the UK flag is also red, white and blue. Humph.|
|My hotel - not Romantik, just groovy.|
So I know some people complain about the hip-ness factor in the PacNW, Austin and maybe some other places. I thought of my Spokane hotel as more groovy than hip, but then I'm neither so I may have that wrong. It has a theme, like all 'boutique' hotels, and that theme is the arts, such as romance-novel-writing (although they pay a lot more attention to music and painting).
It has amusing touches like a polyurethane and chrome pod chair, cushioned in silver lame (like a Veronica pantsuit!) and suspended from a chain outside the lobby, so the chair swings and swivels (though not too much, as it's anchored by another chain to the ground). Very cool. Plus they gave me a gift certificate for a free second drink at their artisanal cocktail bar. I offered my second drink to the desk clerk, as I'm not a big fan of two cocktails on a Tuesday evening even if I'm not driving, but the desk clerk doesn't drink much alcohol at all. No petrol-flavored drinks at the Sapphire Lounge, by the way.
On Wednesday morning I walked around this small city, and became besotted with it. No falling in love -- I'm with Detroit for now -- but definite infatuation.
|Who rode a funicular on Madeira?|
|C'mon, Betty. It's a great country.|
|The Palm Court Hotel seems a place Cordelia & Charles might stay.|
|Spokane River rapids -- they helped build a nation.|
After I finally tore myself away, I started west toward Seattle. An hour or two into the drive, I was thinking that Washington state has the most boring landscape I'd encountered in 3,000 miles. Literally around the next bend -- well, shut my mouth right up. The Columbia River was suddenly, dramatically before me, its steep cliffs plunging into the deep ravine, and a beautiful 'scenic overlook' all laid out and ready for picnicking and picture taking. Washington state is sublime.
|Not boring! Got it! Thanks for clarifying!|