Thursday, October 20, 2011
I am on my way to Las Vegas, Nevada, to start a new career path. My first day of work is October 24, so I chose to leave on the Thursday before. It’s a good thing, too, because my chosen route is about 300 miles longer than the straight shot path Google calculated for me. I plan to go through Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Utah before ending in Nevada. I’ve never been to Idaho or Utah (not counting the Walmart in Moscow, Idaho), and chances are that I will not be returning to those states in the foreseeable future. So why not do a drive through. A Lengthy Vacation
Originally I planned to get out of the house by 9am, but I ended up leaving at 11 o’clock instead. There were a lot of last minute details to take care of, and packing the stray boxes in my car. My fat cat, Callie, was not excited to see boxes collected next to the door, and struggled to get out of my grasp as I kissed her good-bye. I will collect her from my parents’ house once I am settled in my new apartment (which I
have yet to acquire).
My mom and I agreed that this departure felt like I was headed out for another vacation. Except I was going to stay away longer and work in my vacation destination. The concept of permanently relocating hasn’t sunk in with anyone yet. Drive, Drive, Drive
My path was as follows: Hwy 3 South to Hwy 101 South to I-5 South; Exit to I-205 South and then I-84 East. From there, my driving directions said to drive for 590 miles until my next turnoff. Once I was on I-84, all I had to do was go forward. Highway 30 Scenic Byway
Somewhere east of Portland is a seven mile scenic byway. On a whim, I turned off the main interstate. After all, it was unlikely I will pass this portion of road again. The drive was beautiful. Curving roadways lined with trees and autumn foliage. I passed a reflection pond (aka retention pond) that mirrored the fall colors perfectly. There were three fantastic waterfalls on the route, all with convenient pull-offs. Each had at least one hiking trail leading up to a bridge further uphill. But with time constraints and my ankle still sore
from my not-so-graceful fall this morning, I appreciated the waterfalls from ground level. Drive, Drive, Drive
Back on I-84, I again headed east. And kept going. The landscape quickly changed from the lush green of the Cascade foothills to the rolling brown hills of the Columbia Basin. I passed a huge collection of wind turbines. It seemed the only thing that outnumbered the electric poles was sagebrush. But I know that in the spring this whole region is green. October is the wrong time of year to appreciate the landscape, unless you’re a geology fan. Done for the Day
I ended my day at Baker City. I could have driven further, but not as far as the next town. Right off exit 304 were four hotels. I picked Super 8; it was the cheapest. And it was clean and quiet, which is all I was looking for. Dinner was a big salad at a “mom & pops” restaurant. No frills, except the toy train that circled the restaurant. Cable! Oh, Happy Day!
After dinner I returned to the motel and turned on the TV. Law and Order: SVU, Project Runway, The Office, Doc Martin, Harry Potter… I
was on cable overload! On my overseas trip this summer, there was only a choice of one or two English channels, so I watched what was on. But now, in the luxury of Super 8, I was experiencing the joy and anxiety of deciding how to spend my precious time in front of the TV. A strong rum and coke and some mindless internet surfing later, and I was ready for bed.
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