So yesterday morning I smooched Captain Midnight, threw my stuff into the car and drove solo through many miles of the American Northwest and Intermountain West. It was a full day of driving and from my observations, I can make one definitive statement: man, it's smoky out there.
I didn't take a lot of pictures because I was driving and it seemed like a bad idea, but I did stop once or twice.
Around 4:00 p.m. I stopped at a buffet-style restaurant for an early dinner. I had not counted on the scores of retirees who pretty much own the place at that hour. Nonetheless I managed to find an empty spot, sat down and began quietly eating my salad and mulling over the remaining trip mileage and so forth. By nature I'm introverted -- not necessarily shy, but unsure of myself around people I don't know -- so I was glad to find a spot to sit alone and regroup.
That didn't last long. An octogenarian gentleman shuffled over to sit nearby and promptly began hitting on me. "A pretty lady like you sitting all by yourself... are you lonesome?" I never know what to say in such situations (several options now come to mind: "No. Are you?" "Aww, you remind me so much of my grandpa." "I'm never lonesome... because I TRAVEL with my IMAGinary FRIENDS!") so I made a little polite conversation and withdrew. I mean, seriously, dude? I realize you're probably lonesome yourself and I feel for you and all, but I could easily be your granddaughter! Ugh. So I finished dinner and fled Geritol Central to continue on my merry way.
There was one image I wish I'd had the presence of mind to photograph, but it went by too fast. Right around Glenns Ferry, Idaho, I was looking ahead along the road -- and there, crossing a freeway overpass in front of me, was a whole herd of black cattle, with a 4x4 driving in front and a couple of cowboys on horses bringing up the rear. I've seen cattle being driven before, but never over the top of a freeway.
One of the few advantages of large swaths of the West being on fire...
By the way, if you don't believe me about most of the Western U.S. being on fire?
More later, assuming we don't all get burned to a crisp!