Had breakfast with Erica at a diner on Mercer Island. I always relish seeing old CTY friends, but this was a little awkward. We have so little in common any more, if we ever did. I did enjoy exchanging news about fellow Lancasterites (is that a word?), though. Most are doing well, and we have heard nothing of the others. Nobody has heard any news of Nancy Blacklock for years. I am reasonably sure she really did exist: I had a crush on her for two summers, and I do not think I would have imagined something like that. I suppose that is the rub with hallucinations — they all claim to be real.
I had planned to slingshot around Mount Rainier, using its gravity to gain speed en route to Olympia. Erica recommended against it, however. The surrounding park offers little to see but the peak of Rainier itself, which I have been looking at from afar for 18 hours now. The park is really designed for hiking and camping, which I am not equipped to do this week. Maybe next time.
I spent the morning instead at the Museum of Flight, south of Seattle. I will spare my readers a detailed account of the exhibits and focus on two highlights. The headlining exhibit is the Lockheed M21 Blackbird with its D21 drone, but this was not what interested me. Along one wall in the main exhibit hall is a brief history of spaceflight in fiction, from the comic books of the 1920s to Buck Rogers to Star Trek, Star Wars, and others. These displays uniquely isolated a century of fictitious spacecraft from the literary elements of the sci-fi genre which tend to mar other fictional spaceflight exhibits. The other noteworthy exhibit displayed artifacts from the early Cold War space race, 1957–1969. While the exhibit broke no new ground, the period replica of Sputnik 1 deserves brief attention. Man's first artificial satellite is commonly described as the size of a basketball, but this is not accurate. It was really somewhat larger — about two feet in diameter, or the size of a beach ball.
Despite spending four hours at the flight museum, I still arrived in Olympia an hour early to meet Teri. I considered touring the capital complex, but fatigue was just beginning to catch up with me. Instead, I took out a book and sat in the shade of a tree on the state house lawn. I was pleased to realize an hour later that I caught a few Zs. I think I earned them.
Teri and I had fun, despite Natasha's absence. For dinner we trekked out to the booming metropolis of Tenino, Washington. Teri spins two yarns about the town's naming; the moniker stems either from a local Indian word meaning "junction" or a train that used to stop at the local depot, numbered 1090. If I ever found a town, I am going to name it after my right earlobe — deasilobia. Ditto if I discover a comet.