There is a pulp mill in town that provides employment for a good percentage of the population. (Population, by the way, is 30,904 of Nez Perce County's total 37,410. Neighboring Clarkston has a population of 7,337 of the total Clearwater County population of 20,551.) The pulp mill, as I understand it, takes trees and turns them into the pulp that later becomes paper. It also produces a foul odor that pervades the town, especially mornings. You step outside into beautiful sunshine, take a deep breath, and - yuck. I tried for a couple of days to define the odor. The closest I got was some sort of sewage mixed with mildew. One local told me they call it the smell of money. I've never even had a pile of wet money smell that bad. Come to think of it, I've never had a big pile of money, wet or dry.
Back to baseball. Tonight was the championship game, or at least it would have been if we had won. We both had our #1 pitchers on the mound, and theirs turned in a masterful performance. We lost 5-1, with our sole run coming in the bottom of the ninth. Our pitchers gave up 3 home runs. Once again, Davis warmed up but did not come in the game.
This means that we play Lubbock again tomorrow night, since as of tonight both teams have one loss. Tomorrow's game will decide who is #1 and who is #2. No pressure or anything. I heard we will have Chris Honer on the mound. Chris threw 125 pitches Monday in our win over Oklahoma City. Chris is a senior. I asked Davis how his arm will be for this and if he'll be able to go very deep into the game. Davis said, "Mom, it's the last start of his college career. He's going to pitch the best he possibly can and the longest he possibly can." That didn't really answer for me whether or not his arm has had enough rest. Good thing I don't make these decisions.
So we have another day to enjoy Lewiston. Our frustration is that we can't really go off and do fun stuff that takes too much time. The guys sleep in and move slowly, and have to leave for the field by 4:30. Two popular excursions are helicopter tours and jet boat tours of Hell's Canyon. Unfortunately they are a bit pricey and they take some time. However, two of our players did take the 1/2 hour helicopter ride earlier this week and they both hit home runs that night, so maybe we should take up a collection and send our starting lineup on a tour tomorrow.
Today I went with a few other parents to Moscow (pronounced like Costco) because we'd heard they had a bakery with great muffins. We finally got there at 4 pm, only to find they closed at 3. Moscow is a college town (University of Idaho - terrible baseball team, I hear) so we drove around the campus and then headed back.
The front page of the Lewiston Tribune this morning reported that Lewiston was named the best place to live in the US for outdoor activities, particularly hunting and fishing, by Outdoor Life magazine.
Speed limits are really limits in this town, and not just suggestions as they are back home. People actually drive 25 mph in a 25 zone (20 near schools). One young woman we spoke to, who is from Fresno but living and working here while her husband finishes his degree, said her car hasn't been over 50 in months.
Coming from California, we are accustomed to all the housekeping and food service staff being Latino. In this area, they are all Caucasian - not even Native American. I commented on this to one of the other moms. She said she'd heard they "run them out of town." Sounded unpleasant, perhaps similar to San Leandro in the 50's and 60's.
There was a small cruise ship docked nearby this weekend. We thought it a bit odd but remembered the river cruises Mom and Dad have taken. Very plush. Lewiston/Clarkston seems like an odd port of call, but I guess you can take a shore excursion to Hell's Canyon, and enjoy the Lewis and Clark history here.
People are unbelievably friendly here. Davis and I went out for a late breakfast this morning, and the waitress talked about how much they love it when the world series comes to town. We said we were hoping for a win tonight, and she said she hoped not - she wanted us all to stay another day. That restaurant even gave a 15% NAIA discount. Oh, and a mom with two young boys came over and asked Davis if he had played in last night's game. I think she was a little let down that he hadn't.
The people here have season tickets for baseball and the world series. We've sat with the same people every night. One man told me he'd had the same 4 seats for 16 years, except that now that the "kids growed up" and moved away they cut it back to 2 seats. The other day I went and sat in some seats way down the right field line, before the game, to chat with some other parents. A man came to sit in his seat, and I started to move my stuff. He told me I'd be OK, that the other seat holders would be filtering in and I could probably stay. I thanked him but said my tickets were closer to home plate. He said "How'd you get those? I've been coming for 6 years and this is the closest I can get!"
One woman approached me to let me know how impressed she was with our team - she teaches at one of the schools they visited. She thought they were exceptionally kind and patient with the kids. She also told me she's rooting for Point Loma.
Today's pictures - can you tell who one of the major sponsors is? We caught this in downtown Lewiston this morning. The second photo - when Dean left I changed hotels to be where the team is. This is the view from my balcony - a putting course, the Snake River, the bluffs beyond. Take a deep breath ...
[We finally paid to watch the game last night (8 bucks, seriously??) Anyways, it was heart-wrenching to see them lose. But it was cool to watch the game, it seemed like a pro-game. And I even saw Davis a few times on the screen. We 're going to watch the live stats tonight, maybe my bad luck curse will wear off. :( ]