Mom and I drove out of Seattle early on August 20th, headed for Moscow, and made it in around 1:00 PM. We used the rest of the afternoon to run a few errands (Tri-State, mall, Co-Op) and to visit people (Pam, Todd, Cort). I stopped in the dean's office to talk to the accountants. I planned to spend all day Thursday doing some plant collecting for my project, so I talked to Todd and got some input from him on places to look, and also pressed some branches he'd been nice enough to collect for me.
Mom and I then drove over to Doc's house and dropped off our groceries and overnight bags. Doc and Carrie weren't there (student dinner), so we visited with Heidi and Josh a bit. Josh was disraught because he'd accidentally let the dogs out earlier and gotten in trouble, so I gave him the snickerdoodles I got at the Co-Op earlier. Mom and I then went back to town to try out the new Thai restaurant that apparently Moscow just couldn't have until IMMEDIATELY after I moved away. Bastards! The food was delicious.
The next day, Mom and I got in the car and headed south to Lewiston, then southwest towards Asotin. Todd had said there were some alders to be found near Cous Creek, but we spent the whole morning looking for them and found nothing but hawthorne. We did find Pintler Creek (a family name, which was exciting), and Mom enjoyed seeing a herd of a dozen elk. The steep grades down into Lewiston and up out of Asotin were also very pretty, as usual.
We got back to Clarkston in time to meet Pam for lunch at Rooster's Landing, which was fun. I ordered a Mojito and they both enjoyed drinking it. Then Pam headed back to Moscow, while Mom and I headed towards Orofino to try our luck collecting in a different place. We stopped in Lewiston and stopped in to see shaylith at work, but only for about 20 minutes, which was distressingly brief.
We did find the alders I was looking for in Orofino, but we had to go a lot further than I remembered to find them. A thunderstorm was brewing as I collected, so I finally called it good and we drove back out, then wound up the hill through Juliaetta, Kendrick, and Troy, and managed to make it back to Moscow in enough time for dinner with Doc and Carrie (polenta!). Then I hit Safeway, dropped off the plant press and Gazeteers at Pam's house, tried to see Harriet, and crashed for the night. It was a very, very busy day.
The next morning, we were supposed to have met Jim and Holly in Moscow (they had to fly up for a meeting), and then drive them back down to Cascade and fly in together. This meant we would have to be in Moscow on Friday morning, which canceled my original plans of staying only one night in Moscow, then sampling in Lewiston and visiting/possibly staying with naturamother. As it turned out, the plane had to turn back due to bad weather and they never got to Moscow, so I ended up missing seeing my friend for nothing, which bugged me. Anyway, we got up early, made a quick stop at the Co-Op for provisions (successful), at a drug store for my anti-canker sore toothpaste (unsuccessful), and at a latte stand for chai (successful).
Then we booked it down to Cascade as fast as we could, since we had a long drive and an hour to lose in the time change. We only stopped three times; once near Riggins for the fruit stand (so much goodness), once in Riggins for a drink for Mom, and once when we actually got to Cascade, so I could get our last-minute groceries: milk, eggs, cheese, and ice cream for Javan, who had been cat-sitting for us. And even though I have been SO VIGILANT, Molester!Pilot managed to sneak up on me in the checkout line and goose me in the side. HATES.
We met up with Tyler's parents at Arnold Aviation. They didn't think they'd be able to come, but the fact that J&H didn't make it to Moscow freed up two seats on our flight, so I called them the night before and told them the good news, and they came up from Boise that morning. I frantically unloaded the car and packed all our food into boxes, then we loaded up the plane...suitcases, food boxes, five people, and Diggory-Dog. It wasn't a very bumpy flight, but Mom got airsick and threw up most of the way to Taylor Ranch.
We landed in mid-afternoon on the 22nd. I took Mom to our cabin and had her rest and collect herself until dinner (I made lentils), while Tyler and I hauled all our stuff up from the airstrip and set about putting it away. I installed Mom in the Hornocker cabin, and the Morrisons enjoyed the splendour of the DeVlieg cabin.
We spend the next few days just visiting and enjoying each other's company. Bob mostly fly-fished. Tyler and Dee went for a few hikes and had fun, although the weather was still hot. I showed Mom all over Taylor Ranch so she could see the places I'd been writing about for years, and I think she enjoyed it. The beauty and the solitude here are hard to understand unless you've been here. We also got hooked on Sudoku against my better judgement. We all shared some wonderful meals and just mostly hung out.
The Morrisons flew out on Tuesday, the 26th, so they could continue their road trip. J&H flew out to Moscow the same day for their meeting. Mom and I spent a lot of the rest of her time pet-sitting Mica (who just turned 13) and the Beast (who just turned 12...weeks). It was distracting and a lot of work, but still fun. It felt weird to have Mom here, knowing how long a journey it is to get here from Seattle, and how she was fairly out of her element here. I'm really glad she came. Between a few of the students, Doc, and our parents, Tyler and I got really lucky with friends this whole summer.
Then Mom flew out on the Wednesday mail plane, and it was back to work as usual from then on. This is my first day off, and I am catching the hell up.