I made it out to Seattle in one piece. Today was definitely the worst part of the drive, although still very scenic (I'm at the Kingsgate Library and the computer only has a disk drive, but not one for CDs, so I can't post my new pictures). Idaho was short, very mountainous and thus rather pretty. The Montana/Idaho border area had a few too many winding roads and sharp turns, so it was a bit more intimidating than anything previously. Of course, once I hit Spokane, where there was (gasp) traffic, I would have preferred the turns.
I stopped in Ritzville for lunch because the map gave the impression that there would be no towns of note for at least an hour, and I was hungry. Unfortunately, that meant I ate at the slowest Perkins ever. I understand food taking a while, but I had gone to the rest room, returned to my seat, and read at least ten pages in my book before my drink even came. And then it tasted weird. Well, it's not like I'm ever going back to Ritzville anyway.
Today's drive seemed extremely long - I'm not sure if it's because it was my fourth day on the road (by the way, I think I have permanent sun-glasses indentations on my nose), or because I have other reasons to be a bit hesitant and reserved about actually being here (one of them of course being my lack of desire to be a TAC). Although, I probably shouldn't complain about the Army thing that much. One thing that this drive has helped me realize is the fact that I'm independent, which is nice. I have a few friends that are still living at home or had to move back home due to money issues. I might be in the Army, but I'm also financially self-sufficient, and I should be able to save up a nice nest-egg to help support me through grad school. And thanks to my parents, I was able to move out during college and live in dorms and apartments despite the fact that the University was in the same town, so it's not like I'm going to need to adjust to my new and complete financial independence (if anything, I might need to adjust to living with people again, since I might end up with a roommate in barracks).
Another thing I discovered today is just how grateful I am to my parents for the fact that we moved out of the Seattle area before it was time for me to start driver's ed. The traffic is crazy here: I was going 20 miles on the interstate at times, there were too many other cars, and then there was the elevation issue. At one point (off the interstate), I was behind a car on a hill, and it was stopped. Obviously I stopped and left a bit of space between us because I was afraid the car might roll back. For some reason, this made the car behind me honk, so then I started freaking out about rolling back when I took my foot off the brake. My solution: hit the gas and then take my foot off the brake. My tires squealed but at least I didn't start rolling down the road into the people behind me. (And for anyone thinking I'm an idiot: I'm from Illinois, it's flat, and I have never stopped on a hill before - back off.)