Bernadette and I began our eastward crosscountry cruise on a gray Seattle Monday morning, crossing the verdant and piney mountains on Interstate 90, suddenly leaving cold clouds behind as hills gave way to the flat desert lands of eastern Washington. We laughed and listened to music and Abraham tapes as we drove, thrilled to begin our adventure together. As a Washington native, Bernie has traveled this highway as far as Spokane many times, and had a favorite view to show me: the Grand Coulee Dam from the hills near the town of Vantage.
The bridge where Interstate 90 crosses the Columbia River at the Grand Coulee Dam.
A mysterious herd of metal horses gallops the ridgetop above Vantage
As we crossed over into Idaho, we found ourselves in forested mountains again, and passed the glorious Coeur D'Alene lake near the city of the same name. The landscape rolled by in shades of green and red all seventy miles to the Montana border, at which the sky darkened with the smoke of numerous forest fires in the hills. We did not see any fires close to the highway, but the smoke obscured the sun, turning it into a red ball at sunset and the full moon into a deep orange ball at moonrise.
Mountainous forests in Montana
A river along the side of the highway in Montana
We arrived in Missoula with only moments to spare, and made our way to the Feng Shui Center, a very sweet little New Age book and gift store with a class room in back, owned and run by an angel named Johna Koontz.
Johna making celestial sounds upon a crystal bowl
A variety of colorful and beneficial merchandise greets the visitor to the Feng Shui Center
I greeted my newfound friends with story and song...
...and, they, in turn, greeted me with pure love.
Afterward we went out for a bite of
supper. Behind Johna is Rick Gold, political
Here is Rick Gold's poem about the fires raging in the forests of Montana:
Please let my tears cleanse your face in my silence
with the fires raging scars
with the air burning acrid
with your rivers running muddy
with the sun bleeding red hearted
with so little understanding
with your gentle rain please join us