Saturday, August 13th
I was nudged awake at 8am by a well-rested Devon, who seemed invigorated by the full nights sleep. After using the facilities and driving to a gas station to fill up, then hitting a Starbucks for some ‘nectar of the Gods’, we were fast on our way. We needed to make up some lost time, having not driven as far as we had hoped. This trip varies from previous ones as we don’t have a schedule to stick to. I’m pro this approach, this way we can make as many stops as we’d like. There is much to see along the journey to our final destination. Most of the drive through south eastern Washington is through a valley with beautiful scenery to take in on both sides. There aren’t many mountains in this region, just mostly a ground parched with perpetual thirst. As I look around to take in the views, I catch myself chuckling at Devon, who loves to car dance. She’s busy dancing away to some cheezy 80s music. There will be much of this along the way. The sparse countryside is dotted with lush patches of green. At 1:20pm, we crossed over into Oregon on a bridge into the small town of Umatilla and started to look for a store to stop and grab some water. This is going to be a scorcher of a day, but it doesn’t hold a candle to the kind of heat we’ll run into in Moab.
We always make this trip in August to take advantage of the optimum time of year to test our physical boundaries against the harsh climate and surrounding environment. Moab isn’t for everyone. John Q. Average couldn’t handle the heat and hiking in the red rock. This is what we live for, every year. Stopping in the quaint town of Pendleton with a charm not seen north of the 49th. Surrounded by smiles abound, it’s easy to see why the townsfolk would settle in the middle of Nowhere OR. This was their little slice of heaven. These towns treat their cities with a respect unheard of in our neck of the woods. Even their baseball diamonds are immaculate, watered and well-groomed. They take pride in their properties, each one with manicured lawns and flags proudly displayed for all to see. We should take note of this.
Around 2:30pm we passed into Mountain Time and it was then that we knew we were well on our way. An hour later, we had entered Idaho, potato country. They love their Idaho State Broncos, as seen by the multiple displays of license plates which say so. Idaho is a nice state to drive through during the day, but it can be dangerous during the night with all of the deer migration throughout the bulk of the state across the highway. We were getting peckish so we started looking for a place to stop and eat. Since we were a few miles outside of Twin Falls, ID, we decided to go to IHOP for some breakfast for dinner because, really, why not? After enjoying our meals, we walked through the parking lot on our way to Best Buy when we stumbled upon the cutest little motorcyclist, a Jack Russell, named Vince. This dog had on a little leather harness and he had his own custom leather seat. He was so adorable. On to Best Buy to get an adaptor for the laptop to charge it in the car. Unable to find any movies that piqued our interest, we made our way back to the car, then over to Malad Gorge to check out the amazing view. Never would we have thought we’d come across the sight of five base jumpers. We managed to get video of one of them jumping. Truly something to behold. What are the odds?
Back in our car and out on the open road, we set forth in search of a rest area to, well, rest for the evening. I will end up watching a movie, and Devon will end up falling asleep. Since I am not a licensed driver, I cannot take over and spell her for a bit to give her back a break. With a few hours left of light we are enjoying all that Idaho has to offer. In the distance is a mountain range which resembles a hillside to me. When you’re from the Great White North, and live nestled at the base of the Canadian Rockies, with world renowned ski resorts as Whistler and Blackcomb to call home, it’s hard to look at any other ‘mountain’ and think of it in impressive terms. From Twin Falls we continue east, looking for another rest area to bunk down for the night. After coming across something that might have been a decent rest area but looking as though it had fallen into a state of disrepair, we decided to continue on for the next 42 miles in search of the next stop area. Driving for what felt like an eternity we finally found a nice looking rest stop which looked familiar to both of us, having been one we had stopped at on our very first visit to Moab together, some four years prior. We set up the car for the night’s sleep and put a movie on the laptop, ready for the evening. After being briefly interrupted by a galloping horse in the parking lot, we found ourselves drifting off for the night.