Kennewick on Thursday was simply gorgeous -- not too hot, maybe around 76 or so but with a breeze (unsurprising after yesterday's headwind!). I wrote up the www pages for days -2 through day 3, and renamed the pictures to something useful (the digital camera program saves them with useful names like "Tof00004"). Camp served breakfast only that day -- and I worked until 1pm, without eating... bad idea. Ro had found an ISP in town -- One World Technologies -- that would let us upload our www pages. After taking some pictures ( the Balloon Rider , our Lovely Porto-Johns , and a fellow rider's t-shirt back and front ), we headed out on the bus.
Well, actually, we first got onto a shuttle that was Just Leaving for the laundromat (we'd done our laundry earlier that morning, in camp, for free, and had set all our clothes out to dry on our clothesline). There were no pay phones in camp and the GTE Mobile-net Big Star van was closed for the day, but we figured that if we could just get out of Columbia Park, we could get anywhere. Little did we know how true that was! The 46 bus stop was just across from the laundromat at Fruitland Park (nice park!), so we got on and asked the driver how to get to Quay St., just south of the Airport. At this point we didn't realize that the Richland/Kennewick/Pasco Tri-Cities Airport was in Pasco, and was the only commercial airport around -- we actually wanted to go to just south of the Kennewick Airport, which is limited to small and special planes. So, we did rather get directed wrong, but it was by several very helpful and very friendly people, so it wasn't so bad. We took the 160 to Pasco, which was Just Leaving as we got off the 46, then on that bus we realized the misunderstanding and rerouted us to the 120 from Pasco to Kennewick, which goes to the Columbia Centre mall, yet another awesomely-located Bus Transfer Point. We were to catch the 48 to get to the closest possible block to OWT.
Well, during all this bus riding, my not eating as much as I had been over the last several (riding) days combined with a confused metabolism and my body basically shut down -- I effectively got a headache that acted like a migraine but was in totally the wrong part of the head for that -- like a bad hypoglycemia headache gone worse. So when we got to Columbia Center we stopped and fed me first -- liquids and a pear and fried rice. It actually did help! well, at least I could open my left eye all the way, and my right I most of the way (extreme photosensitivity and tired eyelids).
So, we caught the 48 and exited where the driver said we should, and followed her directions to exactly where we wanted to go. We met Donn Lasher, of OWT, who is one of the most awesome and generous people I've ever met. He set us up on a network port (Ro's laptop has an ethernet card), gave us an IP, downloaded the WSFTP program (for ease of use), and let us start transferring files. He even got me an extra-strength Tylenol and water. He said he had to take off at 5pm but we could stay as needed.
Just after 5pm we were finishing up, Donn was still there, and we discussed the best bus route back -- as it turns out OWT hosts the Tri-Cities bus route www page! It's an excellent page, too. While we were looking, Donn's wife Lori showed up to drive him to their shindig, and they were so nice they even offered us a ride back to Columbia Park!! We gladly took them up on their offer, of course. My thanks again to them; they totally reinforced any belief that I have that people are basically nice at heart.
We got back, stowed our stuff, and went looking for dinner -- I was recovered enough to actually have an appetite! Arturo recommended a taco truck just by the very same laundromat and pointed out the direction to walk there. Pete from Santa Monica joined us -- we walked out to the truck, but it was closed! However, the guy was inside the truck and after we told him that a friend had told us that he had the best carne asada in town, he relented and opened up enough to make us 3 #1 plates -- 2 soft tacos, rice and beans, and we bought tamarind sodas (which I haven't had since my Mexico caving trip!). We were walking back to camp when a rider whose daughter had driven out to meet him came by, and he gave us a lift to the east end of the park near our camp. We ate, watched the sunset, chatted -- a very nice and relaxed evening. We tried another sunset picture when we got back to the tent, then fell asleep after setting out what we planned to wear the next day. So go the plans of mice and men...
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