Friday, November 12, 2004


Once again, I have woken up feeling utterly miserable. I think the cold is progressing, but I'm not healing as fast as I'd like.

After yesterday's walk I decided to e-mail the city of Bothell and ask about where the various hills are, not to mention what happened to the missing boulder. To my surprise, I got a response first thing this morning!

Nike Hill, listed as the tallest on the boulder I wrote about yesterday, is the same hill that I stupidly climbed in my Dodge Caravan during a winter storm. You see, I wanted to get home, and as the storm started I thought to go the alternate route, forgetting about the very large hill along the way. Had I been smart, when I got to the bottom of the hill I would have turned back and tried the other route, but I'm stubborn and was already stressed from driving that far in the icy snow. The streets were getting slicker by the moment, and I didn't want to end up in a ditch somewhere, so I aimed the van up the hill and kept up a steady acceleration. To my immense surprise, considering the condition of the tires on that poor thing, I slowly but surely climbed to the top. While I climbed, other cars attempted the hill. Some made it up, but most of them would get a bit up the hill then slide back down. That was how slick it was.

When I got to the top of what I now know is Nike Hill, I thought the hard part was over. Foolish me. I still had to get down the hill. As I started down, it quickly became apparent that down is much, MUCH harder than up. I spun out constantly. I was really lucky that there was no other car in front of me, and no ditch... just a wide shoulder. I have often stated that I believe I had a guardian angel stopping my van while I went down that hill... and I still believe that. There were several times that I knew I was going to crash into somebody's retaining wall, but I stopped just in time. I eventually made it safely to the bottom without hitting anyone, and was able to continue home. Ironically, it was on a much more gentle hill on the way home that I finally got stuck thanks to someone who couldn't push their car out of the way so people could go around. Luckily, there were enough people there to give the van a gentle shove that I managed to be stuck for only a minute.

The e-mail from Bothell said that the hill was named for the military base at the top, which I've passed many times, that housed Nike anti-missile batteries during the Cold War. I admit to being curious as to what it was called before the Cold War.

Norway Hill is the hill just South of downtown. It was the one I suspected it to be. I don't have a fun story to go along with Norway Hill. I do think the name is appropriate for me and Eric, though.

As for the missing boulder, it hasn't been installed yet! There was a construction project going on when the boulders were placed, and they were waiting for the project to be finished before installing the boulder. Now it's on the city's "to do" list, just waiting. At least I know now that I didn't miss it, it really isn't there.