Go West Old Man - Fall 2005 travel blog

Museum of Glass

blowing glass

finished piece

Dale Chihuly pieces


Mt. Rainier

When a diesel truck needs an oil change, you can't just go to the nearest Jiffy Lube, so we found ourselves in Tacoma taking care of this boring, but necessary task. Tacoma is the gritty, hard working step sister of Seattle. Since we were so close, we stopped in to the highly regarded Museum of Glass. It is a modernistic silver cone, perched on the edge of an expressway in a gentrifying part of town. It housed both traveling exhibitions and permanent displays of art glass, but we spent the most time in the Heat Hut, where artisans were making pieces on the spot. This took place in an auditorium setting with a video camera providing close ups of the process, when the men at work blocked our view. A narrator with a mic explained the process as the artists sweated their way from a glass blob to a recognizable piece. An impressive bridge outside went from the museum across I-705 to the Museum of Washington. The bridge was decorated by pieces by Dale Chihuly, an artist I discovered when he made glass flowers to go with the plants exhibited at the flower show at Navy Pier in Chicago.

It was 42 degrees last night, so clearly it is time to start moving south. We waited around at our campground until the mail arrived - it's been almost a month since we received some and left our campground tantalized by more glimpses of Mt. Rainier. Since it was late afernoon when we made our getaway we only made it to Portland, which features a similar mirage mountain, Mt. Hood.

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