Mary Branscombe (marypcb) wrote,
Mary Branscombe

Summit and Snoqualmie

Conferences and meetings have been jam packed with information this trip; starrting at 8 or 9 and running till 6, often with evening events for talking shop. I'm still digesting a lot of the information and looking for themes. Today was shorter but just as crammed with content; three demos in one session, time to inhale lunch in the cafe and then I can't count how many in the next, including a tool for scrolling back through what you did when that I've been hoping for for years: my digital history is such a rich source and often the thing I want to find is something I've already seen. Automatically learning what was an important meeting or document, deriving what's a landmark photo and building a collage of the high points of memorable days. This is putting reasoning with uncertainty to work on the complexities of everyday life.

After that it was nice to downshift and drive off through the countryside: twisting green roads through forests, over arched angled bridges and wetlands. Past the Nestle headquarters in Carnation. We stopped to admire Snoqualmie Falls - much heavier spray than last time plummetting off the cliff and a brave paper aeroplane resting on the downslope. Past the rusting locomotives and the giant tree stumps and the steam saw and the restored trains and the diners selling cherry pie and damn fine coffee. We were tracking the mountains and the interstate turned out to drive right through them, splitting either side of the valley with crags and snow above and clouds below.

Summit is slow out of season but the coffee is still good - especially when it's down to 5 outside. The chairs and ski lifts march up bare slopes to the last snowpacks and the power leads to stop engines freezing dangle free. In under the trees the snow is still packed in deep drifts and down steep twisting roads the rivers run fast and frisky past campgrounds and firepits. The snowiest mountains are the ones that hide in the cloud: sbisson tells me about Bigfoot and the plane hijacker who parachuted out with the money and was never seen again.

Then back to Bellevue and Redmond, hunting which particular 24th and 156th marked the Malay Satay hut where we finally tracked down elimloth and spritimoving and friends and ordered far too much delicious food :) and 'home' via a drive around Mercer Island.

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