I roll down US 12 into quiet little Waitsburg. Hmmmm nice bridge and nice creek and water I should be soaking in. Maybe later. My mind is still on my meeting a few miles back. A stop for iced rosemary tea given to me in a mason jar at the top of a long hill and a chat with the gentleman who lives across the road in a grain elevator. “Two stories of living space and 8 stories of attic” he says. How wild that must be. Back to Waitsburg.
Quiet main street, turn of the century buildings, a hardware/general store and colors of red and brown and green and maple trees in front of old Victorian homes. A scene straight out of a Norman Rockwell painting. At the Whoop Em Up Hollow Cafe, Sarah the waitress tends to my growling stomach with a plate of delicious frog legs, black eyed peas salad followed by the most wonderful catfish I have ever had. No meal is complete without dessert and banana pudding and warm cookies finish me off and I stumble home to my room full and satisfied.
I roll into Dayton and the hills begin just out of town, rolling wheat fields of green in various shades of color. Horses that stop and stare as if the know what my cargo is. That night my hosts treat me to delicious salmon and halibut and a fruit salad I embarrass myself on by literally devouring the entire contents of the bowl. I sit and listen to Bob, an 85 year old Iwo Jima Vet tell me of the day he landed there in WWII, 1st wave and untouched. He was lucky and came back to Dayton and has led a simple, hardworking, good life. I see years of wisdom and goodness in his eyes. I am lucky to have the pleasure of meeting men like that. There is history, laughter and knowledge in them that should be shared. Small town America holds many values. True and rich. I see it as I move along.
In a few days I will be in Idaho and this lush farmland will be behind me and the topography will change as will the people. Here in Pullman tonight my hosts Pat and Colleen take us to dinner at the Cougar Country Drive-In and a double quarter pounder with fries and a banana shake never tasted so good. A good, loving couple fiercely proud of their loyalty to their alma mater her at WSU and very thankful to live where they do. Each day is a deposit of generosity by my hosts. …… each day the treasures build….