Day 16: Moses Lake, WA

I woke in the middle of the night,
still undecided about where to go next,
and dreaming of spiders and a buddy in Australia.
What the heck is that all about?

East or South?
I couldn't make up my mind
whether to go to Portland,
where there surely is pool,
or Spokane, where there is pool,
but from what I hear, there is a
WPBA qualifier going on this weekend.

I decided at the last minute, of course,
and set my nav system for east.

After crawling through Seattle freeway traffic,
we finally found clear road and perfect skies
on I-90, where we climbed up, up, up through
trees and lakes and mountains of great beauty.
Finally cresting the Cascades (?),
the trees disappeared, and all around was a
great hardscrabble desert plateau.

The beauty came in the form of asphalt,
an unending ribbon of the stuff,
smooth and begging to be surfed at speed.
Several times I hit triple digits,
but then, it is so easy to do.

A little squeeze on the go-pedal
and it shifts down one gear.
Squeeze a bit more, and another gear down.
It seems to have no limit,
until you flog the beast to test it,
and it makes big noises and slams you into the seat,
and like a slingshot you are launched with great force.
What a beast!

I decided to hang out in Moses Lake,
where there is a lake, to be sure,
and a rather nice one, but I'm sure
Moses is long gone.

This is a laundry stop,
about halfway to Spokane,
where I may be able to bunk down
at a good friend's place.

I'll bet Moses Lake has a pool table...

After extensive research,
pool tables in Moses Lake were found
at the Ripple Tavern.
There are three of them,
one nine-footer and 2 coin-ops.
Five bucks an hour for the big one.

I took my playing cue, just in case,
but left it in the trunk of the car.
I didn't want to walk in with a case full of gear,
looking like I could play.

The tables were empty, so I started shooting
on the nine-foot table, but no interest
was shown by the sparse crowd of locals,
a rough-looking collection of overweights,
whites and Latinos.
The men drinking pitchers of beer,
sad and lonely women with mixed drinks,
laughing too loud to attract attention,
everyone a smoker, in a smoke free bar.

No matter how badly I shot,
nobody came up to challenge me,
so after a couple of hours I called it quits.
As I was cashing in, a swarthy Latino
wearing a wife-beater t-shirt sidled up to me
and told me he was going to challenge me
to play for $100, one handed.
I asked him why he didn't, and he said
he didn't think I had the hundred bucks.

Yeah, right.

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