Crossing the Cascade Range May Be a Little Like Writing a Poem

9 April 2018:

All I know about the Cascades was learned on one unnerving drive in the May of 2013, crossing the mountain range at Snoqualmie Pass as the morning turned white. Fat snowflakes crashed on and off my windshield. Unlucky cars flashed their lights, resting in ditches. I heard the radio’s warnings, saw the signs. I heard the slosh and thunder of passing tractor trailers, barely slowing down. We all were in a hurry to see the sparkle and splash of Puget Sound, the bustle of Seattle waking. Or so I imagined. We were all in a hurry to get away from these snowy crags. These slick turns, weaving up and over the mountains.

What did I know then? And what did I learn?

Any trip anywhere, any goal, has a bit of trial and error to it: whims of weather, road work and luck. The Cascades—sharp and raw, snow-cloaked that day in May—eventually cleared. My car coasted down the mountain to find Puget Sound. The seals. The ferry. The world there—full of salt-air and brine. I felt pushed to a place farther than any place I had ever found before.

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