Sunday, July 8, 2012

Here I am... sunny Oregon getting ready to go the coast.

So far I've gotten to hold a baby!  Yes, a baby!   I think he likes me.  He smiles and coos and giggles to me.   He turns and twists his mouth and trys to communicate with me.


I'm in love.

And I still kinda/sorta like Mr. Jenny, too, although the first day of the trip was not exactly infatuation inspiring...sigh...

I wrote some in a little travel journal on the way...and when we leave Oregon tomorrow for California I'll write more about our stay here...

But here's the first part of the trip.

Just in case you're bored and/or thinking about planning driving 800 miles PLUS in one day.   For the love of all that's holy people...don't attempt it.

Happy Sunday.

Sorry, I don't have any pictures to go with this blah, blah, blah post!

Part one of my boring travel journal...


Did you put the dog gate up?"

" Did you?"

Thus began our vacation, less than fifteen miles from home.

Leaving on a grey monsoon morning filled with too much busyness of final packing and remembered details (less the dog gate!) left me feeling exhausted.

Mr. Jenny and I had come up with a plan to swtich drivers every 100 miles. I had the first leg and It took me the full 100 miles to get into the road trip groove.

We stretched our legs and switched in Wickenburg.

As the road climbed gradually out of the river bottom western town, I sipped on my Burger King coffee and watched the Joshua trees alien forms begin congregating on the khaki colored hillside corralled inside the unlikely designation of the Joshua Tree Forest. A less likely looking forest might be hard to find. The unspooling road bisected jagged pyramids of mountain ranges cloaked in tattered gray shrouding.

And suddenly, through the rhythmic thrum of road noise, I was there! Full road trip mode. Excited and content. Carol King sang "It's too late, baby" on the radio, but she was wrong.

The adrenaline of exploration and adventure and the prize of a sweet new Grandson. Road trip! Road trip! It wasn't too late at all.

It was early...Early on day one of our trip north, north, north.

Now, it’s almost 1 in the afternoon. 300 miles down for the day...only 500 and some to go.

I’m not thinking about the 500 something. The only thing I'm thinking is that my butt feels incredibly flat.

I am thinking maybe I should find a way to sit on my stomach. Yeah. That would be good for the abs perhaps. Nice flat abs might be worth the destruction of my spinal column.

Since I drove the first 100 miles of the trip, I also ended up driving miles 200 to 300.


Little did I know I would have to drive across the canyons by the Hoover Dam. In the rain. With wind gusts determined to knock our little car over the precipice.

Mr. Jenny seemed oddly unaware how perilously his life was hanging in the balance.

Mr. Jenny should have been able to tell how scared I was by my fingers becoming imbedded in the steering wheel.

Instead, the silly man kept telling me how ‘wonderfully’ I was driving.

Instead of fearing for his life, as he should have, he actually read the newspaper.

The bits and bob of news he shared were lost in my heart beating hard inside my throat. From mile 238 until approximately mile 253.5 all I heard were odd words...”Iran...embargo...Amelia Earhart...80 degrees in Portland...”

The rest of his wonderfully informative current events were lost to me as I said my prayers, certain to die when gusting winds pushed our car over the cliff.


They didn't.

My superb driving (ahemm...) saved the day.

We survived.

And now Mr. Jenny is driving us through Las Vegas with a dust storm obscuring most of the highway.

It is like we are driving through thick fog.

Perhaps I shall entertain him with Book 2 of the Hunger games as he struggles to find the pavement in the fog of dust obscuring the road.


That would be cruel.

And I will not even ask him to re-re-re-re-re-explain the ‘bowlegged’ comment until this dust storm abates.

Signing off for now....500 and some miles from a hotel somewhere in Idaho.

Hi. I'm back. 800 plus miles is unhumane. There should be a group somewhere to protect wives against husbands cruelty in creating daily travel goals exceeding 500 miles.

I keep patting Mr. Jenny's hand and telling him, "I still love you." He pats my hand back and says, "I love you, too." What he doesn't understand is that I mean "I still love you in spite of the fact we have been in the car for over 11 freaking hours." Before we reach our destination I am going to have to bite my lip hard to avoid screaming,"I loved you hours 1 - 11. Now we're over 12 and all bets are off."


Holy flat butt, batman. Whose idea was it anyway to drive a gazillion miles on day one of vacation?

And whose idea was it to do these 100 mile switch offs?

Okay, technically it was MY idea, but still. I’m gonna be honest. Miles 400 to 500 driving kinda/sorta totally and completely stunk.

First, I was driving through the middle of Nowhere, Nevada with absolutely nothing to look at but mountains.

For the first 30 miles I tried to be all positive. “Oh, look at that mountain. It’s shaped like a walrus! Oh, look at that mountain! It’s shape like a VW van!”

After about 50 miles the whole ‘looking at the bright side of the mountain’ thing started getting old.

After about 55 miles my need to pee became urgent but, oddly, there were no rest stops, gas stations or decent sized bushes in the middle of Nowhere, Nevada.

At about 90 miles things were getting urgent when we finally spotted a rest stop. Holy my goodness. I don’t think I’ve ever been in a porti-potty that intense in odor.


There are still 219 miles to go and as soon as I finish writing this I’m going to pretend to be asleep so Mr. Jenny doesn’t make me drive again.

Seriously. There is only so much distraction John Grisham’s books on tape offer.


It's my turn to passenger up again. We're well over 500 miles.

It's kind of lovely actually driving up through Northern Nevada. Kind of. Kind of lovely in a barren, austere sense. Okay. It's not lovely. I'm just trying to look on the bright side.

I'm getting cranky. The reader on the 10 disc John Grisham book on tape is becoming annoying.

I'm going to sit here and sulk for awhile.

Signing off from somewhere in Nevada.

End of day 1. The 4th of July. At almost 10 pm we finally pulled into Twin Falls, Idaho to our hotel.

People were lining the streets looking at the sparkling fireworks. I was clinging to my door handle hoping to be able to walk upright into the hotel lobby.

Nice and clean.

Comfy king-sized bed.


Day two began grey and drizzly. Perfect for my mood. Had we slept enough? Had we been fortunate enough to have had someone steal the car?

No such luck.

"I'm going to call my friend, Dawn, to meet for coffee," I told Mr. Jenny,

"Ummm...I'm sorry. We need to get to Boise for the meeting."

I sighed.

I sighed again, louder.

I sighed again and then gave up when it made no difference to the harsh trip-master and only succeeded in making me dizzy(er).

Driving to the meeting, there were some gorgeous views along the Snake River Canyon. We stopped very briefly in Glenn's Ferry and took a few picture. There were some interesting places to stop but we pushed on to the meeting.

I cannot divulge anything about the meeting. Okay. I can divulge two things. Number one. If I am ever rich enough, I might purchase a pair of soft red Cole Haan loafers. And number two. Although I am personally a big fan of polka dots, I did not appreciate seeing them on the wife of the guy Mr. Jenny was meeting with. AND, I might add, somewhat snarkily, that IF you're going to wear hot pink and black polka dotted underwear AND you want to continually bend over for everyone to see them that you SHOULD probably be under 60 and NOT have about 50 pounds to lose OR wear mini skirts up to your hoohaw.

But, hey. That's just me.

The rest of day two was spent oo-ing and aw-ing the drive to Wallowa Lake where Mr. Jenny had rented is a tiny cabin for the night.

The drive there is incredibly scenic wih fast moving streams running alongside the road. Snow-topped mountains led us deeper into the canyon, white floweres drifted from flower trees and bushes in a pristine snow-like showers. We watched the temperatures fall...88...84...76...72...

By the time we arrived at the little Sugar cabin it was almost chilly outside. The tiny, tiny cabin was right at one end of the scenic lake and after a scrumptious dinner at the lodge, we hiked and drove around the area...gathering walks and saving astonishing views to camera and memory.

We slept soundly and woke to watch fishing boats ripple the cold, clear lakewater.

A brisk walk and we were on our way north, north, north again.

Walla Walla here we come.

We stopped at a barn sale. I tried my very best to convince Mr. Jenny that we could find a spot for the iron chest for 15 bucks in the trunk of the car. "We could take all the clothes out of the big suitcase and put them inside," I suggested. 'But then were would we put the suitcase?" the always logical Mr. Jenny replied.


I was mollified a few moments later when Mr. Jenny made a brief detour at a tiny town's Grange pancake breakfast. Home-made pancakes and eggs cooked on a flat top. A Grange members homemade strawberry syrup. A swet lady named Hazel who talked to us about the Grange and what they do for the community.

And now, it's my turn to drive again.


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anitamombanita said...

When in Nevada and not a bush in sight, open the front and rear doors on the passenger side and get to "it" fast.

As for the whole polka dotty thing, eww ick blach! Some people really are clueless or perhaps they should be pitied for their extreme need for attention.

Glad the baby is cooing at you. Nothing better.

Oh, and avoid rest stops. There's NOTHING restful about them. Double triple ick.

Pondside said...

So glad you're getting your fill of baby! Oooooh lucky you!
I am amazed that there is another couple that would make such a trip. I thought that only TGD and I were the only ones crazy enough for that sort of trip - ours was through Ontario and up over Lake Superior all the way to Winnipeg, switching sleeping and driving by turns - too awful!
Have a wonderful time in beautiful Oregon!

Theresa said...

Oh my goodness, you are too funny! I think after a certain age the mini-skirts and polka dots should stay in the closet:) Stay safe on your journey and post some pictures next time! Hehe HUGS!

summersundays-jw said...

Please tell me the red Cole Haan loafers were not being worn with the pink mini skirt!!!!! (I think that's against the law.) Love sharing the trip with you. Enjoy the cool air and babies. Jan

Jojo said...

Oh the joys of car trips! How did our parents do those 4kids in a station wagon driving even 6hours in the car. The stuff memories (and nightmares)are made of!

Kathy Felsted Usher said...

We did it too. It was about 930-940 miles. We drove from St Louis (basically) to Denver and then up to Estes Park Co all in one day. We started at night when the traffic was light, hit the tollroads, stopped in Denver to drop something off to my son and then to Rocky Mtn Natl Park. Long drive. Came home through Nebraska following Rte 80 and then down to KC MO and back to STL. Oh, and we were pulling a travel trailer. I feel your pain. Fortunately we like to drive.

Ms. A said...

My butt would be so numb, I don't think I could walk!

Cathy said...

I have to do something similar in about a month. Yikes!!

Sandy said...

Was fun reading your travel log.. reminds me of my driving through Nevada and the dust.. Hoover Dam was fun and your "flat butt" put a big smile on my face.. Did you make it to "Nothing, AZ"? But then it's 200 miles of a two lane road and literally nothing there except Joshua trees..haha
Keep up the log, is fun to read.

"Alone again.... naturally!" said...

Oh how I love a road trip....maybe even more so that I don't drive! Good luck on your next leg of your trip. I know how much of a "pain" the flat butt syndrome can be!

taylorsoutback said...

800 miles/11 hours + - oh the torture that goes through my mind...I will never complain again when my husband insists on an 8 hour drive - pulling an RV (one of several advantages - you always have your rest stop with you. We leave on our own adventure in a week - I will be hard pressed to top your travel journal, Miss Jenny - you have the gift!!!

Safe travels and enjoy the scenery...

Neabear said...

Great post! Funny too! Reminds me of a trip my family took in 1976. Bicentennial Year! We did some long days. Mom drove in the morning, my brother or I drove in the middle of the day and my dad drove the evening/night shift. One night in the Detroit area, we had a motel room reserved. But when we got there, my parents did not like the looks of the area so we pressed on. Drove until Dad was tired and we pulled into a rest stop and we all slept in the car. We had a Dodge Van. With three seats in the back and five of us in the family. Two of us had to sleep in the floor. And right now I don't remember if I was one of the floor sleepers or not. LOL! It was a great trip though. My first time to go East of Kansas and to visit the East Coast as well.


Slamdunk said...

Yea baby time!

Haha on the dog gate. We have had to turn around on long trips several times (the longest wasted time drive was about 30 minutes) for a variety of reasons--cat's water out, dog gate secured, back door locked, air conditioner on, etc.

Lmkazmierczak said...

Road trips are worth it. Hubby and I did 4000 last month and actually thrived....only one mix up in our mapped route. To find our hotel had to get on/off a toll road without the proper change, only to find we had exited too soon so had to get back on the we wasted some pocket money♫

pasqueflower said...

I'm still laughing at the "Holy flat butt, Batman!" line! Love your writing, Jenny.

Road trips are a challenge, but I am SO happy you had a chance to hold your precious new grandbaby.

Ames said...

We once drove from Florida to Rhode Island to Indiana down through Kentucky back home to Florida. Half way across Pennsylvania I wanted Mr. Ames to pull over so I could kill him. We have decided it is safer to fly to our destination and rent a car than to drive there and one of us arrive dead.

Oh and those rest stops? Never a square inch of grass for the girls to go on that doesn't have poop on it. Why don't people ever pick up after their dogs??? We avoid the rest stops.

So happy you got to hold that granbaby!! Try to enjoy the rest of the trip!~Ames

Rachel said...

Congrats on your new little'n! Happy road tripping :)

Sue said...

I'm only a little bit jealous about the baby...honest.


PS. Looking forward to seeing you tomorrow!

Lorrie said...

Oh my! In August we're driving from Chilliwack to Red Deer in one day. I just googled it and discovered it's 1009 kilometres and will take 11 hours 56 minutes. If we stick to the speed limit. But if I'm driving we don't. So let's say 11 hours 46 minutes. My rear end is going to be so flat.

Enjoy the baby snuggles. Standing up.

Busy Bee Suz said...

Baby smiles. Amelia Earhardt. Winds. Canyons. Polka dots and a random hoohaw. Really?
Only you Jenny, only YOU!
Bee safe!!!

Andy David said...

My dear Jenny,
Laughing...I do love your tangents! I would love to meet you one fine are just too funny!
I'm glad you both survived the road trip safely, although I must admit, I don't know how I would have coped with having to drive so many miles...I like to keep things plain and simple! At least it was all worth it to coo and dote on your new grandson. Wishing you safe and happy travels for the next leg of your journey. Looking forward to seeing some photos too. Thanks for sharing.

Amy said...

You have such a way with words! You somehow managed to describe Nevada in a way that it sounded beautiful, almost. That takes a true gift, my friend! And the lake by the cabins, and the Grange pancake house... Can I come on your next trip with you? I will drive the whole way, I promise! And I wont even make you listen to Girsham books. :) Enjoy the rest of your trip!

Tina said...

Miss Jenny,
Oh how I've missed you. I've had my commitment to visiting all the 1700+ participants of the April A-Z Challenge, but after 25 oh so average blogs, I decided I deserved some Jenny. And I just finished laughing my ASS off (still not flat, just lying on the floor) at your polka dot paragraph, which I read to my cleaning girl, who is 16 and therefore has a perfect one, but she laughed herself silly too. Is it rude to blog while someone is on hour six of cleaning your house? I sure hope not...

Tina @ Life is Good
Post A-Z Road trip!

Mama Zen said...

I recently survived the road trip drive from hell, and this had me cracking up!

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

Oh Jenny, we have a road trip coming up that fills me with both anticipation and dread. I hope I can keep a sense of humor about it like you have. I;m sure seeing your new grandson made this trip all woth it --get home safe!

H said...

If I set off from my home and drove for 800 miles in any direction, I'd fall off the edge!
Derby to John o' Groats, 558 miles SPLASH.
Derby to Land's End 337 miles SPLASH
Derby to St David's 267 miles SPLASH
Of course, if I drove onto the Eurostar and stayed in my car and pretended to drive all of the way under the Channel Tunnel...

Terra said...

Um Yeah, next time call United.