“I guess I have a bad case of the American nostalgia for the clean, simple country life as opposed to the complicated world of the city.”
— Norman Rockwell, from Norman Rockwell: Pictures for the American People by Maureen Hennessey and Anne Knutson

“It is in the heart of the city that one writes the most inspired pages about the country.”
— Jules Renard, from The Journal of Jules Renard, edited and translated by Louise Bogan and Elizabeth Roget

Eastern Washington with view of Mount Hood

I admit feeling nostalgia for the country life, but I am now a city person, unwilling to give up ready access to libraries, neighborhood eateries and coffee shops, museums, culture.  I do appreciate the space and slower pace of the country, though.  This expansiveness and solitude seems especially apparent in eastern Washington, where the countryside is wide, open range rather small homestead farms.

Fences and sagebrush along Hwy 97 between Yakima and Goldendale, WA

Horses in the arid landscape

View from a rest stop along Hwy 97 in eastern Washington

I was reminded of the dearth of things to do in rural areas when I happened upon an odd sight at this rest stop along Highway 97 near Goldendale.  I wondered why this couple had plopped a couple of lawn chairs out in the sagebrush overlooking a dry, arid landscape — were they working on their tans?  Contemplating an attack on windmills like Don Quixote?

A seemingly odd place for an afternoon’s repose

But when there’s not much to do, you make your own fun.  Here in the mini-gorge below the rest stop is an historic road called “The Maryhill Loops Road.”  With its 25 curves in less than 4 miles, it is the destination for speeding cars and racing skateboards!  On this day, car racers were running trials for a Hill Climb event.  There was plenty of free seating!

Racing cars on the Maryhill Loops Road

Maryhill Loops Road

A feeling of infinity on the horizon line, with windmills

You just never know what you’ll see when you take a drive in the country!