A girl, a dog, and the open road

12 06 2013

Up too early, too excited. Finished packing, car loaded, dog settled in- its time. My All-American Roadtrip! Three days, close to 2000 miles, solo. Woo! The trip got off to a great start with our first stop in the second state of the day….Starbucks on the border of Oregon! Ok, this was only 30 miles from the house, but it still counts! Within the second hour of the trip, my majestic mountains were but mere memories as we cruised out across flat eastern Oregon. Lots of giant wind farms dotted the landscape and a huge tree farm broke up the monotony. A classic country radio station sent the likes of Marty Robbins, Charlie Pride, and George Jones to keep us company, crooning the miles away.

wind farms in eastern Oregon

Wind farms along the Columbia, stretching for miles. Quite the sight!

Hunger hit just as we approached Pendleton, Oregon, famous for it’s massive rodeo and smooth whiskey. A cruise through a drive-through and off we went again. Soon we rose above the patchwork of crops, heading into the Blue Mountains. We pulled off to the viewpoint for a quick picture, leg stretch, and potty break (for Simba, not me). While boring to drive through, the land was lovely to look down on.

Blue Mountains Oregon viewpoint

Simba surveying eastern Oregon before we head back into mountains. He’s become such a model.

The stretch through the blue mountains was lovely. Not super tall mountains, but pretty. And it was nice to be back among trees again! Too quickly, we descended down and crossed into Idaho. Yay for the third state of the day! Soon, however, I realized Idaho was nothing to celebrate, at least not the part we were in. Interstate 84 across southern Idaho was…less than impressive. More like flat, awful, scorching, sweaty and smelly (the state AND me). So many windmills and semi trucks. After what seems like an eternity, we finally approached Twin Falls. This area of the state turns more into agriculture and less….nothing. Then the highway finally turns south, and at long last we dropped into Utah. Despite having never been there, I judged Utah pretty harshly and was dreading the many hours I would spend driving across this wasteland. I was so very pleasantly surprised at the abundant beauty of the fourth state of the day. New mountains (were they mountains? I’m not sure. They looked more like hills with attitude, but it was so hard to tell…) soon surrounded us, just in time for a wonderful sunset. This might have been my favorite part of the whole day.

sunset over Utah

The gorgeous sunset lighting up the clouds behind me and turning the horizon purple in front of me. Win win!

Despite the long, flat hours in smelly southern Idaho, Simba and I just had an absolute blast!! We had long, deep discussions on all sorts of things – he’s such a great listener! We lamented about how much we were going to miss J while we were gone, and laughed hysterically at my funny stories. I sang loudly every time a good song came on, and Simba was duly impressed with my performances. We tried to play games, but Simba kept falling asleep during the alphabet game and we couldn’t get far in that “I’m going to the beach and I’m taking…” game. I’m not sure Simba’s ever been to the beach…that could be our next trip!! Even in the brutal heat, Simba was such wonderful company. 🙂

Unfortunately, we started out a little later than planned, and forgot we would be losing an hour driving east. As the mountains faded into the darkness, I was sad I couldn’t see the uncharted territory around us. Then I realized the darkness would also make it more difficult to find the campsite we had planned on staying at. I stopped to check the map and was swarmed by mosquitos. I rolled up the window as fast as I could and started swatting. After smearing bug guts and blood all over, turning the inside of my car into a mosquito massacre, we decided to just keep going to the next choice of campsites.

We had to drive clear to through Salt Lake City to the next state park. Thankfully, at 11:00 at night, there’s not much traffic. At long last, we pulled up to the campground. And it was closed. A big, mean, gloating “Campground FULL” sign, laughing in our faces. Back on the road!

We drove up into more mountains and came to a roadside rest stop. The lights were dim on the ends, bright by the building, and the pet area was fenced for off-leash play. It was nearly 1am, time for bed. I reclined both seats down, locked all the doors, and pulled out my sleeping bag. Simba and I were fast asleep in minutes.

Thus ends Day One of our Amazing Solo Journey of AWESOMENESS!

girl and her best friend, traveling dog, american roadtrip with dog

My best buddy, travel partner and fur baby. So excited to go BYE-BYE!




2 responses

14 06 2013

Idaho? “Flat, awful, scorching, sweaty and smelly”? Them’s fightin’ words, lass. Though you wouldn’t be the first to make such a claim. Maybe you just need to spend more time there, and get to know it better…

16 06 2013

You’re right, that might be a bit harsh. Maybe I was just grumpy from the heat. I didn’t get a very good first impression of the state. I have heard northern Idaho is lovely. Guess I’ll just need to take another trip! 🙂

Give it to me straight -

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