Moses Lake, Washington, United States, Earth
Moses Lake, Washington, U.S.A., is located in the Columbia Basin area of Eastern Washington. Interstate 90 runs directly through it. To locate it on a map, locate I-90 at Spokane. Trace I-90 westbound until you find Moses Lake. If your finger passes the Columbia River, you have traced too far.
Most of the surrounding area is composed of plains with the occasional low hills; some distance to the south are the Saddle Mountains. Moses Lake (the city) is situated around (surprise) Moses Lake (the lake). Just to the south is the artificial Potholes Reservoir.
The last exit available (when eastbound) for Moses Lake turns off into a group of hotels, restaurants, and gas stations that are about half a mile away from the rest of the city.
The population of Moses Lake is approximately 20,000. Like all cities in the area, its population can expand and contract greatly as migrant farm workers come and go during the farming seasons. There are also many people living just outside the city on farms.
Moses Lake is home to the Big Bend Community College and an international airport; these two are situated across the street from each other. There is also a smaller municipal airport situated on the other end of town. Both airports would be worth a visit from a hitchhiker interested in aviation; the international airport is home of several WWII-era Catalina seaplanes and a Lockheed Electra (or a plane that looks exactly like an Electra), while the municipal airport has many private planes (look for a yellow-and-orange American Champion) and a fleet of spray planes. The Community College will not be of much interest to anyone not planning to attend it.
There are several parks; the most notable is situated just
north of I-90 on the eastern end of town. It has a boat launch and a swimming area, although the waters of Moses Lake have been known to turn a virulent green during some parts of summer. Fishing is also reported to be decent in Moses Lake--large carp are plentiful, as are bass. A city library is located near the center of town along a main thoroughfare (Pioneer Way); hitchhikers trying to locate it should ask a local for directions. Although the library is not huge, it is part of a chain of libraries in the area, so many books are available for mail order. It should be noted that the library chain now requires registration with a library card in order to actually check out a book or request one by mail order.
The Grant County Fairgrounds are at the north-westerly edge of town, on Airway Drive; the fair takes place in the second week of August, running all week. It is definitely worth seeing if you happen to be there during the fair; check out the exhibit from the local SCA, if you happen to be interested in that sort of thing.
There is a movie theater (Fairchild Cinema), which has several screens and shows most of the major releases.
Also, there is an outdoor amphitheatre at McCosh Park, on Dogwood Street. Various performances take place there from time to time.
To the south of Moses Lake is the Potholes Reservoir; the southern end of the Reservoir provides many sporting opportunities, such as boating, swimming, guided and unguided hunting and fishing, and golfing. There is a large group of houses located on a hill to the south of Potholes; this area is often known as Mardon, for the Mardon Resort that is on the lake edge. On the north end of the Reservoir is an area known as the Dunes; as the name suggests, there is an extensive range of sand dunes there, a favorite place for people riding off-road vehicles. A recently passed ordinance makes it illegal to possess alcohol while at the Dunes, so that should be kept in mind by any hitchhiker passing through.
There exists a respectable variety of eating places in Moses Lake. They can be divided into two categories: fast food and sit-down-and-wait.
Most of the usual fast food chains are represented in Moses Lake, as well as a few local places. The following list is not complete, but it covers a lot of the fast food places: Arby's, Burger King, McDonalds, Taco Time, Taco Bell, Arctic Circle, Baskin Robbins, Dairy Queen, Skipper's, KFC, and Subway. Of note are the little taco wagons that can be found around town; they server authentic Mexican tacos and other food, but don't eat anything that sounds too wierd (brains tacos are not uncommon). Also of note are the numerous little coffee stands that spring up in parking lots throughout town.
There are quite a few decent restaurants in Moses Lake; here is a partial listing:
*Eddies Chinese: Very good Chinese food, but in a rather hard-to-reach location (N. Stratford Road).
*Pizza Hut: I classify this and other pizza joints as sit-down, because you do have to sit down and wait for a while. This Pizza Hut is located downtown (Pioneer Way), right across from the Domino's pizza. *Domino's Pizza: It's downtown too (Broadway Ave.). The pizza is pretty good, but there is not much room to actually sit and eat it.
*J's Teriyaki: This is downtown at a major intersection (Broadway Ave.), right across from the Taco Time.
*Godfather's Pizza: Downtown, kitty-korner to the library (Pioneer Way). The pizza is good and there are some decent arcade games. *Chinese Buffets: There are two, one on Stratford Road and one on Pioneer Way. Many people will tell you that the one on Pioneer Way is better.
*Chico's Pizza: This is quite possibly the most popular pizza joint in town. You'll either love it or loathe it; the pizza is often quite greasy, but many people love it. It is a bit off the beaten track (Vista Village Shopping Center), but anybody should be able to point you to it. (I'm not joking, this pizza is VERY greasy).
*Inca Mexican Restaurant: In the downtown area, 3rd Ave. *Empereador Azteca: A small Mexican restaurant located in the downtown area (3rd Ave.).
There are several hotels and motels in Moses Lake; the largest and newest are up near the freeway at the south-eastern end of town. A non-inclusive list of hotels is as follows:
Ameri-Stay Inn and Suites, Best Western Lake Inn (pretty good), Best Value El Rancho Motel, Holiday Inn Express, Interstate Inn, Lakeshore Motel, Lakeside Motel, and Motel 6. Pick one and get it over with.
While there is a bus system, it is rather minimalistic. The best transportation option is driving, due to the somewhat spread-out nature of the city. If you can get a ride to the center of town (near the library would be a good place to start), you can walk to a lot of the places listed in this article. If you stay at one of the hotels near the freeway, it would be a bit of a walk to get to anything really interesting, but that may be the only option--of course, hitchhiking is always a possibility.
*Go swimming in the lake; it's usually pretty nice. *Check out the Grant County Fair, if it is in town. *Eat at Eddy's Chinese Restaurant. *Get a bicycle and putter around town (surprisingly fun). *Check out the airports. Talk to somebody at the municipal, look at planes at the international.
*Eat a brain taco.
*Attend Big Bend Community College
- United States