I flirted with the idea of getting to Whidbey by driving up to the Olympic Peninsula and then catching a ferry from Port Townsend. But the schedule didn't quite match with my departure time, nor my intended arrival on the farm time. I did take a roundabout way to get to the Olympia/Tacoma area before getting on I-5, and saw a nice little chunk of a different area of Washington State, but didn't do the full lollygag of the peninsula and Port Townsend. I arrived just in time to have missed shearing. Literally. The shearers were gone, but everyone was still at the parlor cleaning up. After about three and half months away, it was funny to see so many familiar faces in such a familiar setting. When you're living where you work, and working where you live, the lines between the two are irrevocably blurred. There is a professionalism to the farm, but there is also a familiarity or personal element that isn't quite as present in more traditional workplaces. So half of me wanted to hug people, and the other half felt like I should shake hands? I don't know, it was kind of funny. I dropped into a tableau that was comfortable and right, but at the same time I hadn't really seen or spoken to the farm folks in a while. I jumped back in, however, and helped haul bagged fleeces and check in on the freshly shorn sheep. I very soon thereafter had to say hello to the chickens, who I wish I could say clearly recognized me and showered me with affection...but they're chickens, so they basically acted the same. But I was glad to see them and that'll have to do.
Saturday, March 21, 2015
My next destination was Tucumcari, New Mexico. I wanted to stay somewhere with a little character and landed on the Blue Swallow Motel, which is located on the old/original Route 66. Tucumcari was a little strip of a town. Both larger and smaller than I thought. I got there with a few hours of sunlight left and after settling in a little, I drove around to see what there was to see. Some mesas...I think that's what they were? Some beautiful light. Some run-down homes. Some ice. It was cold there too. Really cold, actually.