759. Pasco, Franklin County (WA26)

This is quite a stunning courthouse! When we pulled up, I was immediately thrown by how gorgeous it was. I was immediately reminded of New Madrid when I looked upon it, especially the gorgeous dome atop it. For a moment, I almost wept, knowing that I could not truly experience the beauty of it. As in New Madrid, the gates were closed, and I would not be allowed entry. Then Buckandi reminded me of an important fact: it was a weekday! Of course they were open! We went through security, a checkpoint arranged outside the building as I had never seen with a courthouse before, and we went inside.

Now that is one heck of a place to renew your driver’s license, huh? If only more courthouses could be such an example. Then again, for every gorgeous palace like this, there are so many lost to fire or flood or to decay and the march of time. It feels sad in a way, but the needs of the present outweigh the needs of the past. At least a few of these civic monuments survive to give us a glimpse into a time that once was. They also provide a convenient place to use the facilities (yeah, that happened). A moment of beauty (the courthouse, not … the other thing) was a joy for at least a moment. For all the dazzlement that the courthouse could provide, the cache was the entire point of being out here, no?

We drove through the city and had a strange neighborhood encounter. We hit an area where all the business names were in Spanish, and the architecture changed. When I noticed a Spanish-language newspaper, I took in the entire scene. With the heat and the dust and the atmosphere, I swear to you that I almost thought I was in the Rio Grande Valley! I literally started thinking about hitting a La Michoacana (or the Washington equivalent thereof) for some carne seca, but other things were afoot. No doubt, it was all done in deference to the generations of migrant workers who have worked and lived in the agricultural sectors of the state. We stopped at a John Deere distributor for an appropriately themed cache. To be fair, while it was listed as a D1.5/T1.5, it was really more of a D1/T1, but that’s neither here nor there. The important part is that it was claimed, and we were off. We crossed the Snake River and made our way to the final destination of the day…

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