She Said: This morning we got out of here by 8:45 and headed to Badger Mountain. It's the desert here, so think Kelowna. Badger Mountain is the tallest hill in the area. It looks barren from far away but it's covered in brush, thistle-y things that I sat on, and some very large dandelions. I'm not much of a horticulturist. I'm sure it was already 28 degrees when we arrived. Mara and Ryan and Brad stopped hiking at the playground and Gillian and I trekked up about half way to the top. It was high enough to get a great view of the area. I wondered why we seemed to only see women coming back down the trail. At first I was thinking "Hey, way to go. You show those lazy men how to stay fit". Then I remembered it was a weekday and figured that the men were probably at work - maybe. Gillian noticed that the neighborhood was reminiscent of our friend Trish's area. Large, fancy houses with access to the public walking trail. I agreed. Gillian did great up the hill and down. She put me to shame. So full of energy and not at all concerned about heat. Half way down she said "hey, you know how your leg muscles were tired at the place we turned around? Well, mine aren't at all tired any more." I explained to her how it takes different muscles to pull you up a hill then those that are required to stop you from falling down it. She liked that - then ran all the rest of the way down and did a loop around the playground before joining Mara and Ryan on the slide. Maybe I should get her into cross-country running or some such activity. She's certainly built for it. Maybe a tri-athlete some day. We then went to the Science Center across the river in Richland. It was small but good. I learned that just north of here was a nuclear reactor site that was built during the second world war. It was one of three facilities that was created for the production of nuclear weapons - known as the Manhattan Project. Extraction of Uranium ### from Uranium ### and the creation of Plutonium were done here. Then the plutonium was shipped to New Mexico to creat the bombs. The scientists were sequestered with their families on some mesa in .....um..... darn, I forget. So, the upstairs part was a museum with artifacts from the reactors. The downstairs section had the intereactive science stuff. Although it was small and didn't look like much, it was actually quite well done. The exhibits were fun and interesting even to Brad and I. The favorite was the screaming booth. It was a carpet lined closet that you got to scream at the top of your lungs in. Then it measured how many decibels you produced. Brad and I each got it to display OL - over limit. Which seemed to be over 110 decibels. Which is louder than a chainsaw. Ryan couldn't figure out how to scream loud just for fun. Then when we said it was time to get out he screamed "I DON"T WANT TO". We weren't watching the metre - but I'm sure he reached the OL too. Short picnic lunch at the plaground - too friggin hot still. Then back to the hotel pool while Ryan napped. 3 hours in the pool is tiring. Mara loves the hot tub. I'm falling asleep. Good-night. He Said:Wow. Now I know why I don't follow Shannon. She's there with the facts, the stories, the poignant dreams of future glory for her children. I'm shallow and superficial, looking for the cheap laugh. Something to entertain the audience. You're welcome. The sound section of the museum was interesting. I like the scream room; I could see doing that in my basement. Very cathartic. It was a bit depressing to see my record player as a child, my first Walkman, and my first discman all in a display about technology past. I'm not ready to be a museum piece. There was an young lady demonstrating the electrical doodad that makes your hair stand on end. I felt I had to record her for the sake of science, but felt a little awkward with whatshername beside me. It was purely scientific. Overall, great city. Everyone is friendly, everyone talks your ear off, lots of parks, lots of pools. We tried the best Sushi in Tri Cities, Subs N Jean. Sounds llike a sub shop, looks like a sub shop, but "the guy is actually from Japan", according to the review. It perhaps set the bar a little low, but it seemed good. I enjoyed it. I don't have a very sophisticated pallet, though. I once ate cold leftover KFC gravy using an equally cold and congealed sausage as a spoon. OK, that's not true. It wasn't once. Tomorrow we're hitting the road. Not sure where (well I know where, because I'm writing this tomorrow, but I'm not supposed to know because you're supposedly to believe it's today. Show biz rules, people!) If I had to guess though, I have a feeling...I don't know..I'm seeing a wolf, and a raccoon, and....incredibly overpriced plastic trinkets. Thhe words...wait, it's clearer...Impressive Pile? Hmm. I have no idea what that could mean.
Day 9 - Richland, Kennewick & Pasco
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