Monday, November 10, 2008

Enjoy the Ride

I live just about a mile up the hill to the west of Hwy 195, where it's still Spokane but dangerously close to Cheney. Spangle is only 15 minutes south. My drive to Pullman is usually just over an hour if I use the "traditional" route through Colfax.

If your trip to Pullman on CFS begins on Hwy 195 in Spokane you must be aware of three inherent dangers of this route:

Danger #1 is the Washington State Patrol. The speed limit is just 60 and it can be very difficult to keep your foot off the accelerator. If you're in a hurry, your best bet is to wait for a bird dog (someone going way faster than you). Let the bird dog pass you and then catch up to him so you're going just as fast, then let up a little and set your cruise control to a couple MPH less than him. If all goes as planned, your bird dog races down the road at 70MPH, gets busted and you drive by and take his picture when he gets pulled over.

My bird dog showed up early yesterday, as I was still north of Spangle. I was hoping to stick with him a long way, so I set the cruise control at 65 and settled in for the ride.

Much to my chagrin, my 'dog got nailed within only a couple miles. While the strategy worked like a charm, I was now dogless and no one was willing to speed up after seeing highway justice in action.

Since dangers #2 and 3 of traveling Hwy 195 are crippling boredom and a lack of bars, it was an easy choice to get off the highway at the exit for Hwy 271.

If you've ever driven 195 to Pullman, it's probably likely that at one time one another, you've taken the "back road" on highways 271 and 27 through the towns of Oakesdale, Garfield and Palouse.

The back road is incredibly scenic, as it carves a winding path through the heart of the Palouse. The landscape is certainly prettier during the spring and summer but this is the magical time of year when the winter wheat is starting to sprout - giving the cheeks of God's Country a kelly green 5 o'clock shadow.

In addition to a collection of weathered, old barns and quaint little farmhouses nestled in-between the patchwork rolling hills, the wildlife is abundant. The hills are alive with deer, elk, moose, pheasants, hawks and all sorts of furry little critters.

This friendly little fellow was obviously quite used to all the attention he gets on the highway - he let me get close enough to pet him!

Before long, you'll find yourself pulling into the sleepy little farm town of Oakesdale. Be sure to slow down to a maximum of 23 MPH here and in all of these towns. The last thing you want to have happen in a town like this is to be caught speeding with an open bottle and half a joint. You won't get any liberal sympathy in this town, you dirty hippie! With no tavern in sight from the highway, you're best bet is to keep a slow roll through town and push onward.

You will soon find yourself approaching the farming community of Belmont. Despite the fact that the highway goes right through the middle of it, the cool thing about Belmont is that it's so small you don't have to slow down. The speed limit stays 55 but inevitably you get stuck behind some concerned traveler who takes it upon himself to slow down. Word has it that the Belmont grain elevator has already been chosen as the site for JT Levenseller's 2010 Heisman campaign banner. Don't slow down if you can help it, weary traveler - you're only a few minutes away from a well-deserved beer.

As you coast into the town of Garfield, you might be tempted to stop at the little market on the corner for a 6-pack of road buddies - but don't! You're still too far from Pullman to risk an open container. Besides that, you'll find a friendly little tavern called Grumpy's just around the corner, right on the side of the highway.

A trip through God's Country would simply not be complete without a luke-warm PBR from Grumpy's - which has the classic tavern bouquet of cigarette smoke, fry grease and stale beer. They probably won't like you at Grumpy's, but they will like your money. Stop in for a burger and a beer and thank me later.

"But Hooty" you ask, "My wife doesn't want to sit in a bar-full of old perverts and aging, drunk frat-dicks who won't take their eyes off her rack - What should I do?"

Well that's an easy question to answer, my thirsty friend. While you belly up to the bar at Grumpy's, your wife will thank you for allowing her time to take advantage of the Garfield shopping district, where great deals like this one are found on every street corner.

Indeed, Garfield, WA is fun for the whole family!

This portion of Hooty's blog is brought to you by the Garfield, Washington Chamber of Commerce.

You'll have so much fun at Grumpy's that getting back on the road may actually put you in a bad mood. But fortunately, the town of Palouse is just a few miles down the road.

While Garfield is definitely too far away to risk an open container, Palouse is juuuuust right! A mere 15 miles from Pullman, the Palouse Market is the perfect place to stop for an ice-cold 6-pack of delicious PBR tallboys.

After one sip of your tasty beverage, you'll be right as rain and excited about the homestretch into P-Town.

Pullman - here I come!!

Pullman is a distance of approximately two beers from Palouse. On a nice day, you might even want to spend some time exploring the beautiful Kamiak Butte park before arriving at your final destination - but for me, that adventure would have to wait for another day. I was getting anxious to get to town - and the first PBR was already working its way through me...

I arrived in Pullman at approximately 12:30 and I parked out in the old golf course parking lot. I finished beer #2 and stuck #3 into a glove for my walk to the RV lot. I've found that this is slightly more classy than the cliche' paper bag. As I approached the RV lot, I wasn't terribly surprised to see that was only about 3/4 of the way full.
By now, I was in desperate need of a pit stop so I stopped off at one of the honey buckets at the back of the lot.

Hypothetical question:If you dropped one of your gloves on the floor of a honey bucket, would you pick it up and try to clean it off?

Me either - but that's the second pair of gloves I've lost to the floor of one of Pullman's portable crappers.

The RV lot was totally depressing. The light drizzle kept everyone either inside their trailers or huddled up under tarps and awnings. The vibe I got from all the tailgaters was like that of a wake. People were trying to go about their normal tailgating routines but it seemed forced - like they were doing their best to put on a happy face in spite of the palpable gloom in the air.

When times are tough in Pullman, there's typically only two things that can possibly take the pain away: large quantities of malt liquor and making a new friend like this charming young man.

I don't recall his name but we did have a friendly argument over which of our teams sucks the most. Quite frankly, I don't know which of our teams sucks the most - but after watching this lightweight spill half a beer on himself while attempting to stand and speak at the same time, it no longer mattered.

My efforts to poke a little fun at our new friend by making fun of the big beer spot on his sweatshirt were foiled when his lady friend deftly swooped in at the last minute to hide his embarrassing wet spot behind her luncheon sausage. Indeed, by hiding the beer stain on his shirt, this young heroine completely saved her boozy companion from making a complete ass of himself.


Maybe next time...

With my heart warmed by the friendship of my new husky buddy and my beer-hand chilled by the lack of a glove, I made my way into the stadium for the game. I arrived just in time to see the Cougs score the first touchdown of the game. The meager crowd seemed to enjoy this. In case you forgot what it looks like to see the Cougs lead a football game...


I decided to hang out in the corner of the endzone where Arizona's cheer squad put on a spectacular show. Their moves were crisp and their timing was flawless. I found myself hoping the Wildcats would cover the spread in the first quarter just so I could see more!


Normally choreographed hip-thrusts by the opposing team's cheer squad really get my blood boiling but I'm sure you'll agree that this squad's performance was simply transcendent.

OK, OK...This was clearly not even 'Zona's 'B' squad of cheerleaders but they were so fun to watch that I almost missed the site of Logwone Mitz barrelling toward the endzone right in front of me. He was tackled just short of the goal line and then time ran out in the quarter so I raced to the other end of the field, where I captured this video that the officials quickly confiscated to review the play. Upon further review of my video, the referee concluded that Lopina had indeed just barely reached the ball over the pylon, a mere nano-second before his knee hit the turf. Pac-10 officials take a lot of shit every year but as you can see for yourself - they got this one right. They should be commended for their resourcefulness - keep up the great work fellas!


I finally decided to settle down and try to actually watch some of the game. To be completely honest, that didn't last long. I hung around until halftime but with out-of-town guests expected back home, I made an early exit. The crowd was small and their excitement for the 14 first-half points was tempered by the fact that we gave up 21 unanswered before halftime.

Just think how empty Martin Stadium would have been had it not been Dad's Weekend.

I won't go into the laundry list of shortcomings I saw on Saturday because I'd just be re-hashing what we already know about this team. Suffice it to say that despite the 28-point outburst, we still have a long way to go. I know there's a bunch of second-guessing going on right now about the decision to play JT only during mop-up time but please be patient with Coach Wulff.

I for one, believe in his plan - and as I hope I've illustrated above, sometimes the long way can be very rewarding!

Go Cougs!


Brinkhater said...

One of the greatest posts of all time.

Very, very, very nice Hooty.

Very nice.

Anonymous said...

Poo and DUI.

Congrats, your an idiot. A 12 year old idiot.

Chris '04
Pullman, WA.

Hooty McBoob said...

Correction: a 38 years old idiot.

Soze said...

Chris '04... would you rather be discussing Cougar football?

Coug2000 said...

That was a great gameday story. It put me back in the moment. Go Cougs!

kaddy said...

" the cheeks of God's Country a kelly green 5 o'clock shadow."

I might have to frame that - nice to see you Hooty. Yes, that husky fan was as stupid as he looks.

Logan said...

Hooty, great post.

I unfortunately know that drunkard you befriended. His name is Jordan, and he went to my high school. We played on the golf team and worked at Gold Mountain Golf Course in the summers. His wife worked there too. But yes, he can definitely be entertaining as you indeed found out.

TiltingRight said...

Hooty, were those mirrors I saw on the end of your boots in the crapper? What would those be for?

Hooty McBoob said...

They're so I can see my weiner when I pee (add a few layers of fleece to my beer belly and it can be hard to find)

bill gray said...

i loved this post. best one I've ever read.