Saturday, May 30, 2009

Yellowstone and home








We woke at 6 in Bozeman, and hit the road before 7. Made it to Yellowstone around 9AM and made our way through the Park, stopping to gawk at beautiful sights, animals, fumeroles and boiling sulfer springs. Someday I'd love to go and spend several days exploring Yellowstone, so I'm considering this just a scouting trip. We decided to try and make it home and grabbed a sandwich for the road in Thermopolis, then headed for Casper. At Casper we just hopped onto I-25 and headed for home. We were both tired, and I wasn't sure we'd make it, but I grabbed a couple of bottles of Dr. Pepper and some snacks and we did the long drive, making it home around 2AM. Got the pup from the vet's shortly after they opened this morning and now I'm trying to unwind and relax a bit. What a wonderful journey. The mother/son bonding has been fantastic. I highly recommend travel with a grown child.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Bozeman, MT

We drove out of Washington state this morning and into Idaho. First thing we noticed was billboards. Not a one to be seen in Washington, and blam, 20 yards over the state line in Idaho, there they were again. The roadways are quite pretty in Washington, without the billboards, but we also noticed it was harder to find resources and services without them, but by the time we got through Washington we were quite used to the new way of looking for things. The second thing we noticed was an almost instant change in terrain, from the rolling hills and plains of Eastern Washington to trees and little hills. Across the narrow part of Idaho on US90, we entered Montana's foothill country and then on up, up and up to the Continental divide, then down, down, down again. Fun watching the battery gauge on the Prius gong up and down, emptying and filling. Mileage went from a steady low 50's to mid to high 40's. No pics today, even though the scenery was gorgeous and awe inspiring. I kept saying "this is exactly what I expected Montana to look like". We were mostly interested in making the miles today. We're planning on getting an early start tomorrow and going through Yellowstone, then on towards home. My goal is to make it home before noon on Saturday so I can pick up my dog from the vets. Otherwise I'll have to wait til Monday to get her, and I miss her, so we're going to make the attempt to get home on time to spring her from the kennel.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The Cascades to Spokane

Well, I don't think I shut my mouth once on the way through the Cascades on the North Cascades Highway, either ooohing and aahing, or just plain open mouthed in amazement. It was pure enchantment almost the entire way. I did catch a couple of pictures of old clear cutting on mountain sides, but nothing as horrid as the Western part of the state with acres of tree rubble that looked like it had either been chained or chomped by tree harvesters. The Cascades appear pristine and gorgeous, and oh, so much water! There was still snow at the higher points of the pass, and even some blue glacier snow that I hadn't seen since I was in Alaska. After the Cascades, we lunched in Chelan and then headed due east on state road 2 across apple producing country and then miles and miles of rolling hills that looked like they were being farmed for wheat and hay. We're overnighting outside of Spokane and plan to make a big push for Livingston, Montana tomorrow, Yellostone the next day and then dash for home Saturday.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Oregon Coast, Washington

On Monday, we headed out from Coos Bay and traveled up the Oregon Coast, stopping now and then to appreciate the gorgeous views. Into Washington state, I was struck by the bare hilltops created by the clear cutting and the tree pulp plantations that are apparently mostly Weyerhaeuser lands. Ugliness abounded from Arlington to not far outside of Olympia. I know in my that the paper business is necessary, heck, I was a migrant tree planter for a season and got to see the plantations in the south firsthand. I wish I had gotten some pictures of the bare hills, but we were busy looking for a place to stop and traveled on farther than we'd planned. We slept late in Olympia and got an oil change and caught a movie in Olympia and hit the road this afternoon, ending up in Everett Washington. Our plan is to wend our way through the Southern part of the Baker National Forest tomorrow, heading towards Wenatchee and beyond. I'm trying to learn not to be so structured on this trip, but I find that I really like to know where I am, and where I'm headed. Can't wait to see what sights tomorrow brings. We got glimpses of the high mountains today, and I'm sure we'll be seeng a lot more tomorrow. Meanwhile, I'm wondering why we're not seeing all the rain that's supposed to be a given in the Pacific NW. So far all I've seen is some scattered cloudiness and some drizzles of rain. The Weather Underground says it's been raining almost every day at home...something unheard of.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Northern California, Oregon Coast, Redwoods!

From Willits, we headed on out highway 101 through rolling California hills and up through the Humboldt Redwood State Park. Amazing giant trees that I had only seen in pictures before. Absolutely breathtaking scenery! Lunched in Fortuna and hit the road again, up through the Redwood National Forest and along the Avenue of Giants. Hugging the coast most of the way. Tonight we're in Coos Bay, which seems to be a logging town for the most part. Onward and upward tomorrow!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

San Francisco, Berkeley and beyond

Wow! I drove into San Francisco and was overwhelmed by the sight of what seemed to be endless houses on the hills, and wider highways than I've ever seen with what seemed to be constant merging. Made it through, though, to the San Francisco/Oakland Bay Bridge and on into the Berkeley/Oakland area. Drove into Oakland a bit, before getting turned around back to Berkeley to find my cousin Barb's home. Made it there safely on Thursday afternoon and Barb took us by BART into the city on Friday. We did the tourist thing and took a cable car from the BART stop to Fisherman's Wharf, ate seafood on the wharf, then walked around the North Beach area, checking out the street vendors, and buying some souvenirs, and then through part of the financial district, back to BART and on home to Berkeley. Saturday we spent a bit of time visiting with Barb's son Yani, then we went to Telegraph Ave., checked out the street vendors there (I bought myself some interesting tie dye tee shirts), and walked on to the campus of UC Berkeley, marveling at the architecture and history and watching happy graduates and their families walking through the campus. Then Jake and I hit the road and meandered from Berkeley up to highway 1 and up the coast. Gorgeous cloudy/foggy day on the winding oceanside roads. It being Memorial Day weekend, we couldn't find any camping spots and ended up driving east into Willits, Ca. and shelled out a fairly hefty fee for a fairly nice motel room. Tomorrow we plan to head for the Redwood National Park and beyond. The road and weather are treating us well and the trip is marvelous so far.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Road trip 2009, on to Monterey

We drove from Bakersfield up through wine country, where we saw endless plantations of almond trees and large and small vinyards, and crossed the mountains into the green side of California. The sight of the Pacific was amazing. I'd never been here, and had only seen the Pacific in Alaska, and this is so different. so blue and overwhelming. very different from the Atlantic, which I find more cold and ? formal?? We couldn't score a camping spot, Memorial Day holiday seems to have started early, and we didn't want to be tied down to any set time/place, so didn't reserve anything, so we're in a motel in Monterey tonight. We went to the Aquarium on Cannery row this afternoon and then ate seafood on Fisherman's Wharf. Yum!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

road trip 2009

My son and I have taken a few small road trips together since he started college, and a couple of years ago, he took off on his own for a 'ride-about'. His travels took him to California, the Pacific Northwest and Idaho, Montana, and down through Colorado to home in New Mexico. We decided to retrace some of that journey this summer, and are in California now, hoping to head to the coast tomorrow. Yesterday we drove fairly quickly through Arizona, spending the night in Kingman. Today we started out from Kingman and headed into California, detouring through the Sequoia National Forest and ending up in Bakersfield. The scenery in the mountains through the forest was spectacular!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

long hiatus

Well, it's been months since I've blogged. Busy life and no real news. I'm stuck on December's BJP and will probably not finish this year's project, but oh well....other things are taking precedence right now. In the works is an upcoming road trip I'll be taking with my son Jake, we're going to head to Big Sur, then Monterey, then hopefully visit my dear cousin in Berkeley and then on up the California coast, with perhaps Portland as a northern destination, then home again. We have two we'll see how it goes. Meanwhile, check out the music widget on the sidebar. Neat artist.