Monday, September 30, 2013

Being tourists

Tonight we are in Rapid City South Dakota. The drive today was mostly through endless fields. There were some pretty strong gusts of wind along the highway, along with a wind advisory, but the Jeep and the trailer handled it well.
We had two big tourist stops today - the Crazy Horse memorial and Mount Rushmore.
The Crazy Horse memorial is immense. I feel like it is going to take several more generations for them to finish it. It's amazing how they can take a sculpture and transfer it to the mountainside like that, even if it is slow going.
Mount Rushmore was very cool to see as well. It's one of those things you've seen pictures of so many times before that it's a little odd to finally see it in person.
Tomorrow we're heading to Nebraska.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Plans change

Part of the beauty of our trip is that we can change our plans whenever we like. We decided to drive to Casper, Wyoming, a significantly shorter drive than we would have had if we went to Gillette. Here are a few photos from today's drive.

Boise to Wyoming

We spent all of Friday in Boise, hanging out with Tom's friend John and driving up on the ridge above the city.  While we were there we had some really good food (and beer) at Bittercreek Alehouse and Bardenay. It was nice to stay in one place for a little while.

Saturday we headed out for Jackson, Wyoming.  On the way we drove through Craters of the Moon, a gigantic (over 750,00 acres!) field of lava flows.  It was pretty much impossible to take a good picture of it, but it was really cool to see.
It looked like this for miles

Most of the drive through Idaho was endless flat fields, but as we got closer to the mountains there were some really pretty views.

On our way into Wyoming we got an amazing view of the valley from the mountain pass.

Howdy Stranger - Yonder is Jackson Hole - The Last of the Old West

We went to The Roadhouse Brewery for Tom's birthday dinner. We ordered fried pickles because I had never had them before, they were really tasty! Dinner was also delicious - I had a BLT with a fried green tomato and Tom ordered the brisket with chicken fried brussel sprouts.

Today we are heading for Gillette, Wyoming.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Sea lion caves, the redwoods and Crater Lake

On Tuesday we headed back out to the coast. We stopped at the Sea Lion Caves in Florence, OR. The sea lions were out feeding in the ocean and we saw a few in the waves on the way down to the elevator that takes you down to the cave.

 We have seen plenty of sea lions so we weren't too disappointed that there weren't any in the cave when we were there. The cave itself was an impressive sight on its own and smelled a lot better than it reportedly does when its full of sea lions.

We arrived at the redwoods (and California) after dark and the rain let up just long enough for is to set up the trailer. The rain woke us both up sometime in the night and we felt sorry for any tent campers in the campground. The campground was a beautiful place to wake up in. We made our coffee and took a walk to check out the redwoods and the nearby Smith river.

On Wednesday we left California and headed back into Oregon to see Crater Lake. It cooled off as we were driving (always uphill, it seemed) and after a while we could see snow higher up in the mountains nearby. Then we started to see bits of snow out in the trees on the side of the road. Suddenly there was snow everywhere and the road had clearly been plowed earlier in the day.  We hadn't expected snow, but it made for a beautiful view of Crater Lake.

After Crater Lake we headed to La Pine to spend some time with my grandpa.

And then Thursday morning we took off for Boise.  Here are some shots from the drive.

Sunday, September 22, 2013


While we were in Astoria we ate at Fort George Brewery twice. I had the fish tacos both nights because they were so good the first time.  We also had a really tasty breakfast at the Columbian Cafe.  My favorite part was the really good toast and pepper jellies that they bring you before your meal.

My friend Rachel drove out from Portland on Friday so we got a chance to catch up.  We also spotted one of our old professors at dinner and spent a while trying to figure out if it was actually him (it was...we think).  On Saturday we met up with Rachel for coffee before we headed out from Astoria and headed south on the coast highway.

I decided that Tom had to eat at Mo's (an Oregon coast essential) so we stopped in Cannon Beach for lunch.  We both got Slumgullion (clam chowder with bay shrimp) in bread bowls and enjoyed the view.  Cannon Beach also happens to be the home of another Goonies landmark - Haystack Rock.

After lunch we went to the Tillamook Air Museum to check out the truly gigantic hangar (it was originally built for military blimps) and the neat old planes.
Tom really liked the engine area
Now we're in Corvallis visiting my dad, step-mom and grandma and eating really delicious food.
Tuesday we're off to the redwoods!
This rainbow was much brighter in person
But we could see pretty much the whole thing

Friday, September 20, 2013

Washington and Astoria

I haven't updated in a few days because we've been hanging out with this little munchkin:
My niece, Nora
(and my mom, brother and sister-in-law) near Seattle. We spent some time at the park, watching Nora run around and took a ridiculous number of pictures of her.  The next day we went to the Seattle Aquarium. Nora mostly just liked to run up and down all the stairs but we had fun checking out the new octopus (they had just put it on exhibit that morning) and all the other critters they have there.

After the aquarium we met up with Tom's friend Jenna for lunch at Local 360.  It was delicious and I am now inspired to make BLTs with avocado and a fried egg.
Me, my brother, Nora and my mom
We dropped off my car to get trucked to NY and fedexed a few of my boxes so there's less stuff for the jeep to carry across the country.

On Thursday we hit the road again and headed for Astoria, OR. It was a gorgeous day so we went up to the Astoria Column and hiked the stairs to the top.

And then we had to stop by the Goonies house before meeting up with some of Tom's friends from the Coast Guard and the show for dinner.
I think you're pretty much updated now. :) 

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Prince George and Hope

Tom and I have been terrible at taking pictures. I will probably be a little better about it after we ship my car.

The last couple of days have been long days of driving. I think we covered something close to 400 miles each day.

We have both been listening to various audiobooks to keep us busy and it's amazing how many we have gone through already.

Tomorrow is a shorter day of driving down to see Brian, Jessica and Nora near Seattle. I'm really excited to see them (and mom too since her vacation lined up with ours!)
Here are the two pictures we managed to take today:

Friday, September 13, 2013

Watson Lake and Meziadin Lake

We didn't technically go to Watson Lake yesterday but stayed in a campground just outside of town called Nugget City.  There was a little restaurant with pretty tasty food and some entertaining characters around for us to observe while we ate.
Look how tiny our trailer looks!
Today was a long day of driving, about 350 miles on winding roads with beautiful views. There were a couple of animal sightings today, two little black bears and some horses wearing cowbells. Now we're hanging out at our campsite by Meziadin Lake having a fire and enjoying the break from the car.  Tomorrow we're off to Prince George, it's supposed to be around 80 degrees there and I'm not quite sure I'm ready for such temperatures after being on Kodiak for the last couple years!  It's also our second-to-last stop in Canada.
At the Nugget City rv park
The long trek to the bathroom at Nugget City
Horses on the road, and my dirty windshield
Pretty stop to fuel up
Meziadin Lake
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