And they’re off…..
Seems as though we’ve planned for this a long time. The minute we decided to buy the trailer and put the down-payment on it we started planning. That was a few months ago. And now, here we are. Time always always goes so much faster than you think it will.
Today we loaded up the Jeep just right so the pups had a really comfy area, grabbed our travel cups filled with coffee, fired up the Oregon 2014 playlist, and off we went. First stop, Peoria, Illinois for a refill, of course.
Our first day’s adventures found us entering Iowa, where it rained and rained. It was nice. I’m not kidding. Much better with a little rain than 100 degree temps and high humidity. Early summer in the Midwest is unpredictable.
After we arrived in Mason City, Iowa, our first night’s stop, we went for a nice little walk along a river to stretch our legs, and the pups legs. It’s our pattern; drive for 6 or 7 hours, get checked in to our room, find a place to walk, find food, sleep, repeat.
The sights today included deer in a field, corn fields, rolling hills, corn fields, windmills, corn fields, huge legos, and deer on the path we walked after we got here. Very cool.
Tomorrow we make our way to Chamberlain, South Dakota. There will be more music, more singing at the top of our lungs into our thumbs, more laughing, more picture-taking, more fun, and more miles checked off on this crazy journey.
I can’t wait…
Some of you may have noticed a decreased number of posts in the last couple of weeks. Or, to be clear, basically no posts in the last couple of weeks. I finally remedied that today, with a 10 Word Review, but otherwise… nada, zip, zilch, zero. I love Z words. I have a great explanation and I’ll make it short, I was otherwise occupied.
It’s been cold in East Central Illinois. Really cold. We’ve had our share of snow this year, not to mention the whole polar vortex thing, which basically trapped us in our own home for three days. We love our house, but being forced to stay home, not fun. Neither of us like being told what to do, even by Mother Nature. To remedy this situation we’d planned, to be honest it was long before our version of the Day After Tomorrow happened, a family vacation to the much more balmy Florida Keys. Can we get a hallelujah? I thick we can.
So ladies and gentlemen, without further ado…
… this is where I’ve been, and what I was doing while I wasn’t posting on the blog. Everyone needs a vacation now and then and this was what mine looked like.
Sometimes you just have to let go, and jump in.
29. I’m thankful for travel. I’m lucky enough to have been a few places. K and I love to experience a new place; the people, the smells, the tastes, the culture, a window into the way people live their lives. We love this. I’ve loved it since I was young and our family headed out on one road trip after another. I loved it when I went to Europe for the first time when I was 16. I love it when K and I go on a car trip that can last a day or a couple of weeks. I love it when we pack and bag and fly off to who knows where or jump on a cruise ship or take a train ride. Traveling brings a sense of how large the world is, and yet it also brings a feeling of sameness and smallness. People are people, everywhere. Loving, searching, laughing, angry, happy, striving, living — the same. Travel gives you a window to that. It also gives a sense of wonder about the world. There are amazing things to see and wonderful people to meet. This world of ours is a fantastic place. However we travel, being out on the road with a backpack, a camera, and my honey is about the best place to be.
Ah road trips, how I love them. The sights, the experience, the music played along the way. They are glorious things.
When I was a kid our family did road trips all the time. It was sort of our thing. We mostly stayed in Oregon for these, though we did venture out to Arizona once, exploring different parts of the state. We always stayed in Mom and Pop motels, which don’t exist as much today. I loved those. One time we stayed in a motel with a pool shaped like an airplane. Very cool. There were always things to see, places to stop along the way, new adventures to be had. I grew up taking road trips and they got into my blood.
Luckily I met someone who loves to road trip as much as I do. When K was young her family hit the road every year from California to Oklahoma. During our drive out this past week she called her parents to confirm that their main route was route 66. There wasn’t an interstate the majority of the time her family was doing these trips so route 66 was the main route between Los Angeles and Oklahoma. Awesome. As we drove out this last week we basically followed what was the old route 66 highway. Now not even commissioned as a highway, there are still signs along the way indicting where route 66 was and there are long stretches of road you can still drive. Those stretches take you past, as we saw, old gas stations and motels and diners that have fallen into disrepair long ago, though there are still some establishments up and running today. It’s a bygone era, but along that route the feel is still there in some places. It’s pretty cool.
I digress though and will get back to it by saying that we both love a good road trip. It’s why we’ve decided on this trip every year. It serves two purposes… we get to drive back out to Oregon and see everyone we love who lives there and who we miss, and we get to have the experience of traveling different routes out with the pups. It’s tiring, but oh so much fun.
We finally arrived, day seven, after starting in Burns and driving highway 20 through Bend and Sisters, then highway 22 to Salem and the farm. It was nice to get here. Another great thing about road trips is the getting to your destination and getting up the next morning not having to drive anywhere. It’s a good feeling.
We spent yesterday, our first non-driving day, doing some chores like taking our Toyota Tacoma in for servicing so we can put it up for sale, and helping Mom work on the garage at the farm. She’s wanted to clean it out, reorganize, and paint for some time so we cleared that puppy out yesterday and went in and got the paint for it. Today, we paint.
The pups adore Mom and my brother, Kevin. They were very happy to see them and they also love the farm. What dog wouldn’t. They’ve been here many times and they basically get to roam pretty free while they’re here. They were exhausted last night when we went to bed. It’s nice for them.
It’s so good to be here and we’re looking forward to seeing friends and family while we’re here. We love this place and the people in it, and we loved the getting here as well.
Pretty soon we’re going to have to start planning our trip back out to Illinois… wonder which route we’ll decide to take this time?
Our sixth day on the road took us from Burley, Idaho to Burns, Oregon. Nearly three hours less time in the car today than yesterday, which was great. We even took some time to stop for our second cup of coffee at the Flying M Coffeehouse in Boise. We’d stopped there before and loved the place. With a more relaxed driving schedule today we even took some time to walk the pups at the Julia Davis Park. Awesome park in downtown Boise. A place we’d also been before. Sometimes it helps to know your way around a little bit.
We ended up in Burns. It’s a little town in eastern Oregon. Not much here, but we have a nice room, three channels of HBO, and the air is working. What more could you ask for?
Today’s drive was pretty uneventful. My honey took loads of great photos from the passenger seat as the scenery whipped by. Here are a couple of the shots.