...in 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.
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?"
"Ummm...no. 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.
My superb driving (ahemm...) saved the day.
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 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.