Miscellaneous Musing by Judy @ 5:57 PM

On Tuesday, #1 Son and I completed a road trip that took us some 1300 miles through 3 states in 4 days. I was sooooo glad to get home and sit in a chair that wasn’t traveling 20 MPH down a highway.

Since #1 Son’s school doesn’t start until almost the end of September, I had decided to postpone my summer vacation until after Labor Day: kids in school, shorter lines, less traffic, better prices, etc. But Labor Day came and went and Vacation Day loomed without any clues about where to actually go. Finally, two days before leaving, I asked #1 Son to pick a direction and we’d just do a road trip. “East,” he said, and so east it was.

Day 1: Off to a late start, 2:30 PM found us just wrapping up lunch at Edgefield. Well… it is east of home.

From there we headed out the old Columbia Gorge highway to Crown Point Vista House. I haven’t been there for many years and I was amazed at the changes that restoration brought. Very cool and well worth a short journey from Portland. The other nice thing about the old highway is, of course, all of the beautiful waterfalls that you get to be up close and personal with. It’s a much more satisfying, albeit slower, trip than I-84.

After leaving the old highway just before Hood River, we kept going east. Since we’d had such a late lunch there was no need to stop for dinner very soon. So we just kept going. And going. Somewhere in The Blues, I recited a long story to #1 Son about a road-trip-from-hell in my younger years through the Blues in a Ford Pinto during a snow storm, when a semi passed me and then cut me off, causing me to skid and slide into the median. My companion and I spent a couple of very cold hours sitting in a snowdrift with two blown tires until someone finally had pity and sent a tow truck. We had been really, really lucky that the car hadn’t flipped sliding down into the ditch sideways. (So drive carefully, #1 Son!)

Nothing like that happened this time. Just after finishing my sad tail of long-ago woe, we stopped at a rest stop to “rest.” Four deer crossed the exit right in front of us. Because we were driving the Prius and it had switched to silent stealth mode, the deer weren’t frightened by any noise and we were able to watch them for a long time. A truck pulling a boat scared them finally and they ran off.

In Baker City we decided we’d had enough fun for one day, ate dinner and found a place to rest our weary heads for the night.

Day 2: From Baker City we kept heading east. But there’s a lot of east, and until you hit the Rockies a lot of it looks alike. Not that I don’t like the desert — I do, very much — but it’s not the most scintillating scenery ever. Cousin M lives in Lewiston and might not be too put off by a surprise visit. So at Ontario we turned left and headed north on US-95 along the Little Salmon and Salmon Rivers to Lewiston.

At Whitebird I pointed out the old highway that snakes down the mountain in hairpin turns for miles and miles. As a newly-minted driver, I drove that highway in a fog so dense I could barely see the road ahead. It was probably a good thing. (My mama: You can’t drive this road! My dads: She’s doing fine. Let her drive. [he then put his had over his face and went to sleep while mama panicked in the back seat]) When I reached the bottom the fog lifted. I turned back and looked up at the road I’d come down. Then I pulled over and asked someone else to drive. I felt sick to my stomach.

#1 Son thought the old road looked like fun. This driver was glad that the new road is straight and relatively boring.

Cousin M’s birthday was the next day, so she said we were her “birthday present” when we showed up unexpectedly. And we had a very nice evening chatting and catching up.

Day 3: From Lewiston north to Colfax, then a left turn across the middle of Washington, over Snoqualamie Pass and to Seattle. Lots of long, long, straight stretches of road on I-90. The pass was lovely, though.

Negotiating the Seattle rush-hour traffic as quickly as possible, and with only one wrong turn thanks to GPS Navigation, we made it to the Bainbridge ferry with time to spare. From the ferry we drove across Bainbridge and then up and across the Hood Canal bridge to Sequim. We were tired. It was dark. We found a place to crash and slept.

Day 4: With a few stops along the way to check out various points of interest, we followed US-101 around the Olympic Peninsula and down the Washington coast, then across the Columbia to Astoria. We made another left turn at Astoria. (Sometimes this seemed like a car race: Drive fast, turn left.) Then it was a short sprint along OR-30 home.


The fur kids were glad to see us. We were glad to see them. I was happy to sleep in my own bed and not have to drive anywhere the next day. Pics will be up somewhere as soon as I get around to it.

The Prius, I am happy to report, averaged 53 miles-per-gallon over the trip.

This was the first road trip during which #1 Son was a legal driver. I really appreciated turning over some of the driving to him while I knitted. The “secret project” is coming right along and should be finished on schedule!

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    • The whole world is festering with unhappy souls ...
      The French hate the Germans, the Germans hate the Poles ...
      Italians hate Yugoslavs, South Africans hate the Dutch ...
      And I don't like anybody very much.

      (Lyrics by Sheldon Harnick)
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