Now, as promised, here is my Yakima story I hinted at yesterday. Yakima had played an important part in my personal history. Back in 1990 I was still searching for my first "real" job. I had just gotten laid off from a temporary job with the Forest Service (story about that to follow in about a week) and I had 2 potential jobs on the horizon. One job was as a geologist with the BLM in Vale where I had worked the previous 3 Summers. The other job was as a hydrologist for the Yakima Indians. As fate/luck would have it, I was offered both jobs at the same time. I went to Yakima to check out the area. I really liked it. I also really wanted to see if hydrology was something I wanted to pursue. It all came down to finding a place to live. It was extremely tough to find rental housing in Yakima. I tried and tried, but could not find a place. I had one final apartment to call. If they said "no" then I would move on to Vale. As fate would have it, the complex just had an apartment open up. I took the hydrology job. I still consider that day sitting in a Motel 6 room the most pivotal in my life. I lived in Yakima for just over 2 years. I got out of the apartment complex as soon as I could. I later ended up renting a cute little house that was set way back from the street.
Here is my first apartment. The complex used to be called the Fox Run, but now it's Quail Ridge. It was pretty ghetto when I lived there, but now it looks even more so. I saw a sign by the office that said they also rent by the week. Classy!
This is the house I rented for about 2 years. It wasn't great, but it was nice, quiet, and secluded. Whoever owns it now has fixed it up a bit. It looks a whole lot nicer.
I walked around downtown Yakima last night, and it looked like the economy is still in the dumps. There were lots of vacant store fronts although there were a lot more cafes and delis than when I lived there. Noticeably absent was Grants Brewpub which was one of the first in the country back in '90. I spent many a night drinking microbrews when they were still considered a novelty. They were really an anchor for re-development in the downtown area. I also noticed that a rather large mall that was right in the heart of downtown was completely vacant.
This morning I took my time in packing up and heading out. Chinook Pass won the coin toss as the preferred route over the Cascades. The air was thick with the smoke from the fires to the north. It still allowed for a pretty nice view of Mt Rainier. Once again it was an extremely relaxing trip with almost no one on the road. After I passed one local yokel doing 10 mph under the speed limit, I didn't come across any other traffic for over an hour.