Wednesday, November 09, 2011

A Trip to Boise, A Trip Through No Where

For those of us living on the west side of Oregon, the land east of Bend is often considered a wasteland, a deserted, sagebrush encrusted, cattle riddled expanse of nothing.  Valley people tend to stick to the valley.  It's just safer that way.  Last weekend, The Man and I set forth from the densely wooded, blindingly green surroundings of home and drove through our fair state all the way out the other side and into Idaho.  Next time?  We're flying.
Hwy 20, Santiam Pass
The Man's oldest childhood friend and his wife recently moved to Boise, Idaho, from Oregon.  We had not seen them in four or five months, so we set out on this trip to spend some time with them, see their new life, and enjoy far too much good food with them.  We left the valley early on Friday and made it to the Santiam Pass around 10:00am.  We saw our first snow in the trees and on the ground a little bit past Cascadia, but thankfully we never encountered snow or ice on the road our whole trip.  Except when we were in Sisters and Bend, we could see at least some snow or a couple inches of snow almost all the way to Ontario.  The Man drove the first leg to Sisters, and then I drove to Burns where we traded back.  Our road food consisted of sugar cookies, some cheese slices, a tube of crackers, Halloween candy, and all the pop, juice, and water our bellies could hold.  We took about nine hours to get to Boise including the hour lost for the time difference.
View from Table Rock, Boise
In Boise, we were able to experience lots of new and exciting places.  Our friends took us to the top of Table Rock where we took lots of pictures and enjoyed the snow dusting.  We visited where The Man's friend works and toured the huge facility.  We also toured the Idaho State Capitol building which was fantastic.  Our friends commissioned a special cake for my birthday complete with a sea monster fondant sculpture that was very, very special.  We played games, shopped, went out to a movie, ate lots and lots of yummy food, and slept well each night.  That's what great trips are made of, right?
My "sea monster" cake
Our drive home on Sunday was no less exciting.  We broke back into snow just after we crossed back into Oregon and didn't leave it until we dropped into La Grande.  Cabbage Hill proved to be as annoying as ever, thankfully The Man drove through that nightmare.  We stopped for a couple hours at the Oregon Trail Museum in Baker City, a place we've both seen before but as children.  We were the first visitors of the day, a very slow day from what we could tell, and had the museum almost entirely to ourselves.  SO nice to visit a place like that and not have to worry about getting in someone's way or moving slowly or wincing over screaming babies.  Also?  The view from them museum over the valley there was spectacular.  Yay for the Oregon Trail!  I took over driving once we got into Hermiston, and we pushed through to Troutdale without so much as a pee stop.  The Man drove the last leg from Troutdale to home since I am not a huge fan of city traffic.  The drive took about eight hours if I don't count the stop in Baker City and the time difference coming back.
Idaho State Capitol
We loved visiting our friends, and we are glad to be home.  That was too much time in the car for this couple, though, and next time we will definitely not be driving through what I still consider the barren wasteland that is Eastern Oregon.

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