The Desert Dweller’s Guide to Northwest Escape…part 1

October 29, 2012

So…after years of trying to find a way, my son, brother, and myself made the move to the Seattle area recently.  We’d visited previously, me most of all, but there are some incredible differences that are worth noting to people like myself that go from the dead and dry to the wet and lush:

1.  Not only is the rain not over in 10 minutes, it’s possibly not done in days.  Also, the resulting water doesn’t evaporate within a viewing of a single sitcom.

2.  That big bluish thing out West?  That’s water.  Yep, as in “more than I saw in the Rio Grande for decades” water.  You can see that in a glance.  However, when you step out of your door in the morning, it’s still there.  The Rio Grande practically disappeared this year, so seeing the water just 10 minutes’ drive West of our hotel (about twice that from our eventual apartment) was pretty mind-numbing at first.  Hell, it still is.

3.  There are colors here besides “brown dirt”, “browned dead plant”, and the “Earth tones” being overcharged for in Santa Fe.  Autumn is wasted when one’s trees are mostly evergreens.

4.  No need to check, the water is still over there.  Yep.  The locals assure me that Puget Sound is unlikely to trickle away into a muddy shadow of itself…unlike, again, the Rio Grande.

5.  There’s a music scene here.  Not only that, but big acts come through here a LOT.  Not so true back in ‘Burque.

6.  Entire towns are hidden in the trees around here.  It’s amazing.  You may not have any clue what you’re driving past on a highway without looking down a ramp, and then seeing something like a Best Buy utterly obscured by trees from up on the road.  It has to be experienced to be believed.

7.  Mass Transit that not only works, but has several options.  My brain hurts.

8.  Coming from New Mexico, it’s a big deal to look at Seattle and see the massive football stadium next to the massive baseball park, with recent approval for an NBA/NHL facility to follow.  ‘Burque couldn’t even pack Lobo games regularly.

9.  The concept of “large building” really takes on meaning when driving by the Boeing facility that has jumbo jets parked like cars in its lot.

10. Something I find amazing: a huge number of older cars that suffer no rust, despite the climate.  I was used to old cars in New Mexico; the arid climate and lack of money meant a lot of old beaters had to be kept running.  Here, though…I’ve seen at least one LTD II (circa 1978), a couple Chevy Citations (early 80’s), and even a running Fiat X1/9 (likely circa 1980) driving around.  These aren’t classics, they usually broke within a very few years…and all of these looked well cared for!  As a car guy, I’m very puzzled.

So, there’s the primer for anyone else looking to escape the poverty (and regular massive fires) of the Southwest for the much damper Northwest.  As soon as I get all the mud and slimy leaf remains out of my shoes, I’ll crank out part II….


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