Anil Mitra

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At the gasoline station there was no attendant at the pump and so I realized that I had crossed from Oregon into Washington. I have lived on the West Coast of the US for 21 years but had not until now been to Washington. I felt a huge thrill…

Driving north that night, Friday, October 15, I passed through the Washington towns of Woodland with signs for Mount Hood, Longview, and Centralia with signs for Rainier, Olympia, and Tacoma which is booming, and arrived at Seattle just before midnight

Spent a few hours on the Evergreen State College in Olympia, tour of campus, then applied for a mathematics teaching position available at the Tacoma Campus

It took about thirty minutes to orient myself to the streets of Seattle. I used my map but was tired. Found the International Hostel [IH] and checked in

Friday and Saturday, I visited University of Seattle, applied for a teaching position in Engineering and made contact with philosophy faculty with interest in metaphysics, then spent a couple of enjoyable hours at Pike Place Market, then on to the water front and aquarium, Pioneer Square and the Elliot Bay Book Co., the International District, Seattle Center and Belltown, the later walked around the Experience Music Project, architect Frank Gehry, $450, 000, 000 project of Paul Allen, Microsoft cofounder

There was a tour conducted by a volunteer at the IH of downtown Seattle; I met some fellow tourists and we promised to hook up… but did not

It is similar to San Francisco in its layout, in that it is next to a large body of water – the Puget Sound, and in that the city is quite hilly. I enjoyed my time in Seattle but I think I would not enjoy living there; Bellingham, with Western Washington University, 50 miles north, 80,000 people, Mount Baker nearby to the east has some appeal

Saturday evening, a tour of pubs… at first hesitant because tired and lonely but then with the lovely buzz of spirits I livened up. Local beer at Pike’s Place Brewery near the IH, Remy Martin at a locals bar on the main drag, the local girls friendly, on to a desolate sports bar, and then to one of Seattle’s show case night shows where I had a wonderful time of appetizers, music – not all that great but lets pretend, dancing, here met some wonderful gps, friendship

If I liked cities, I would love Seattle; if I longed for University life, I would love the University of Washington campus

Sunday – piroshkis at the famous Pike Place Piroshki Shop; drive north to Anacortes on Fidalgo Is. and ferry to Lopez, Shaw, and Orcas of the San Juan Is. of N. Puget Sound… back to Anacortes and down Hwy. 20 to the Keystone Ferry on Whidby Is. – no ferry because of tidal condition that night so slept in my truck near the marshes and marsh life with civilization and its lights here and there and across the bay

The San Juan Islands are in the Sound half way between the Washington mainland and Canada

Tuesday – ferry to Hwy. 101, Port Townsend -> Sequim  -> Port Angeles  -> Olympic National Park and Hurricane Ridge enveloped in mist… collected spring water shared later at work with coworkers I did not see much in the way of vistas because it was overcast, misty, windy, cold and raining but it was lovely to be among the trees, rocks, mountainsides and creeks, and the ledges where I peered out into the grey nothingness. Of all places, I am happiest when I am in nature. The rainfall varies significantly in the Peninsula and exceeds 120" of rain a year on the Western slopes of the Olympic Mountains. The lower slopes are home to rainforests – I think I read that they are the northern most rainforest.-> Port Angeles  -> Lake Crescent beautiful clear aqua blue and wind whipped waves  -> Sol Duc Hot Springs  ->

-> Sapho Hwy 113 -> Clallam Bay -> Sekiu -> Neah Bay on the Makah Reservation

… one of the high points was a visit to the Makah Indian reservation. Driving toward the northwestern end of the Peninsula I saw a sign that said “Most North West Point in the Lower 48 States: 45 miles.” Although time was limited, I did not resist the temptation to go to the “end of the road.” The road to Cape Flattery, the most northwest point, was rugged, often close to the edge of cliffs that went down to the Pacific Ocean. Inland, the day was cloudy and calm; at the Ocean it was clear with high winds – and waves smashing upon the rocky shore. The road went through Neiah Bay, the main town on the reservation where I bought a permit to visit Cape Flattery. In 1999, the Makah resumed the traditional whale hunt that had ceased in the 1920's. Thus far there has been one hunt [1999, successful] even though permission had been obtained to hunt annually. I do not know why the hunt has not been repeated. Perhaps it is due to the objections from environmentalist groups… A few miles before the Cape, the road became unpaved and muddy. The last ¾ mile was an easy trail down to the point atop what I estimated to be a 100 – 150’ cliff that overlooked the translucent pale blue ocean swell that carried sea birds up and down with the motion. A sign said that the birds and other life were attracted by the nutrients carried down to the ocean by the deep canyon creeks to the sides of the point. Beyond the swell stood Tatoosh Island with Cape Flattery lighthouse… I wanted to stand on the point but the situation appeared precarious. I lay flat on the ground, legs pointing inland, and reached out with my arms to touch the point

-> Cape Flattery and back to 101 -> Hoh rain forest where I took a short hike

In a parallel universe, in 2004, on Sunday, after the piroshkis and the Experience Music Project -> on to Bellingham, then on Monday morning, Western Washington University, application for teaching in mathematics and contact with philosophy faculty, then in the evening, Hwy 542 West. First on to Mout Baker Vineyards, 11.5 mi. east of Bellingham, 1.5 mi after crossing the Nooksack River [mmm.]

…Nooksack river valley, Glacier and excellent steak at Graham’s and nuclear soup across the road, to the road up to Mt. Baker and Coleman Glacier, then on to Mt. Baker Ski lift under Mt. Shuksan [blue-green Glaciers.] The glaciers are impressive for being at a relatively low elevation at this latitude: because of the degree of precipitation, above 6000’ feet [5000’ for north faces] is under permanent snow