I promise I didn't forget about you blog-lovin' people! I'm back and settled at home so I'm playing catch up with entries.
On our second and last day in San Francisco we headed to Fisherman's Wharf to wander around and catch a ferry ride. After getting pretty frustrated about finding parking, we caved and paid $35 to park in a lot for the day. Honestly, it's not that much if you consider where we parked, but somehow yesterday we didn't pay for parking a single time! I don't know why we thought that would be the case again.
Our first stop at the wharf was to the San Fransisco Maritime National Historic Park. We found ourselves on a few super old boats, imagining what it would be like to be working on one, transporting various goods to and from the US. I will just say that I'm not sure if I would have survived. Some of the men on the ship slept next to the steam engines and they said they felt like they were burning alive! No way, José.
The time for our ferry was nearing so we started to head that way. The ride we chose was the Blue & Gold Fleet. After boarding the ferry we went to the top deck so we could get the best view. Thankfully we came prepared because it was windy and chilly! The ferry took us past Alcatraz and the islands of Tiburon & Salsalito.
Once back on land, we walked to the infamous Pier 39 sea lions. There are well over 1,000 sea lions that call Pier 39 home. They began hanging out there many years ago after an earthquake. The people who use the pier for their boats complained the Marine Mammal Center and asked for help to rid them, but the Mammal Center suggested the sea lions stay there because they're safe from predators. So, there they stay! Basking in the sun all day long.
We walked over to Boudin Bakery for a snack. Did you know that San Francisco is the home of sourdough bread?! I didn't either, until I arrived at Boudin. In 1849 the Boudin family started baking bread with the tangy air and wild yeast of San Fransisco. To this day, their bakery still uses starter from the original 'mother'! We got a croissant and also a loaf of sourdough to take with us into Yosemite so we could have some super fancy sandwiches one day for lunch.
Our dinner plans for the evening had us scheduled to leave the city in the early afternoon. But we weren't going anywhere without riding a cable car first. The history behind the cable car is an interesting one. In 1869 a man witnessed a horse drawn street car slip down the super steep roads in San Francisco on a damp summer day. 5 horses died in the accident and the man knew something needed to be done to prevent this from happening again. There are 3 cable cars still running today and they are the only 'moving national landmark' in the United States. We hiked up a huge hill to catch a ride back down via cable car. Why didn't we ride up and then walk down? Good question. I still don't know the answer.
For dinner we met up with some family friends who recently moved to the area, specifically to work at Apple! We got the 'insiders tour' and had dinner at their cafe, open only to Apple employees. Other than the cafe, we didn't see much inside of the Apple buildings. Which isn't surprising, since all of their stuff is super top secret. No photos were allowed, so we got one outside the building after dinner.
No day of city exploring can begin without coffee, so, to the 'spro we go! On my list of shops to visit was the ever famous Blue Bottle. They have a lot of locations, but we chose the one closest to where we were staying, in Palo Alto. Palo Alto is also the home of , Google (!!), Stanford University and where Steve Jobs used to live! The woman we are staying with met Steve Jobs a couple times, how crazy is that?! Anyways, B and I settled into Blue bottle with our cappuccinos and some breakfast. We worked on photos and blogging before planning a little bit of the day ahead.
As we left Blue Bottle, we drove around the campus of Stanford. It was pretty empty because school is over for the summer, but I prefer that to driving around a crazy busy college campus. It certainly lessens the risk of hitting some techie or future doctor in training. B and I then headed in towards the center of the city, with Lombard Street on our to-see list. The roads leading there were so steep, it looked like cars were ramping off one intersection and to the next! If I lived here, I would probably have killer calves from climbing the hills and terrible knees from going down them.
Lombard street is apparently a 'must see' when coming to San Francisco. It is known as the 'most crooked street in the world' and boasts 8 hairpin turns down just 1 city block. When we got there, there were people everywhere; standing in the middle of the street, selfie sticks proudly waving, cars honking, and even traffic guards directing, or trying to direct, the tourists and cars. We drove down the street, giggling at how silly it was, but also how crazy steep it was! We parked at the bottom and threw ourselves into the hoard of tourists. I tried to take a couple photos, but nothing can really capture the steepness, it's so steep you can't even see the road past the hedges that line it. There are a couple really good shots that are taken from the houses that line the street though, I'll include one below.
Soon after that adventure, it was just about lunch time. B wanted to explore Chinatown, so we went there for lunch. The San Francisco Chinatown is the oldest Chinatown in North America, and the second biggest, behind Manhattan. According to the interwebs, more people visit this Chinatown than the Golden Gate Bridge! We ate lunch at Hong Kong Clay Pot. They serve traditional Chinese food in clay pots that have been soaked in water, filled with food, and then heated to create a steam. Our lunch order was the chicken & mushroom clay pot and an order of shrimp chow mien. The food arrived and we knew from the get go we weren't going to be able to finish it. We did our best, and ended the meal with two cups of hot tea. The official entrance to Chinatown was just down the street, so we wandered down there to see the gate. All the little markets and shops were really fun to glance into, mainly filled with interesting fruits and veggies you don't often encounter and fun trinkets in the windows. We saw the gate, and sadly, weren't impressed. The one in Philadelphia is much more grand and beautiful! On our way back to the car, we stopped for some matcha boba tea at Steap Tea Bar. For those of you that don't know, boba are large black chewy tapioca pearls. They go into tea and milk drinks. They don't really have a flavor, I guess you can say they're kind of sweet, but mainly they're just fun to eat.
With hopes that the fog was going to burn off by the late afternoon, we drove to Chrissy Park to get a better view of the Golden Gate Bridge. The fog still remained, but it was really neat looking! While we walked along the pier, passing men and women fishing, a ginormous cargo ship. B guessed it was 2 football fields wide and at least 5 football fields long, based on how many shipping containers wide and long it was. It made the bridge look kind of small while it was going underneath. This ship was MASSIVE.
We ended our day with a short drive around Golden Gate Park, an evening cappuccino at Four Barrel, and dessert at Cream. I got a mini ice cream sandwich. Chocolate chip cookies and peanut butter ice cream was my choice, and I think it may have been the best combo. When we got home, we were completely exhausted after a long day of sight seeing, but we had to plan tomorrow, so we hunkered down and made a plan before getting some shut eye.
At 4:30am B and I were up with head lamps on packing up camp. I started tearing down the tent while B made breakfast. We were given an awesome Mountain House biscuits and gravy pack (Thanks Deb!) that we were pumped to try. Unfortunately, yesterday while we went to watch the sunset, a stinking bird came and pecked his way into the bag, taking some b's and g's with him and leaving some sand inside. B did the best he could, but the biscuits and gravy turned out to be some odd version of soup with a sprinkling of sand. It was warm and I was cold, so I ate it.
Before 5:30am we were back on the trail. We looked at the map the previous night and decided to take a different trail back to the car. It was a little longer, but the trail was more maintained which is really good for hiking in the dark. A little longer turned out to mean 2 miles longer, but we still finished our 6 mile hike in 2 hours. We were booking it! Our legs were so pooped and we just wanted to get on the road.. so we threw our bags into the car, took off our boots, and waved goodbye to the Redwoods.
B took the first leg of the trip. It was pretty foggy, but we had high hopes that it would die off by the middle of the day so we could enjoy driving down the coast. We stopped at Target to use the bathroom and have breakfast. I ran inside while B started to clean up the car. I came back carrying coffee and breakfast sandwiches and I reached B who had a look of bewilderment across his face. He seemed a bit frantic packing up the car and I asked if he was OK. He told me, 'Let's just try to get on outta here, sound good?'. I nodded and he came over to my side of the car. Apparently while I was gone for less than 10 minutes, a lot had happened to my boy.
First, he said that a freaking pirate came up to him and started chatting about weed laws in Colorado. He saw our license plate and just assumed we were going to be ready and excited to chat about weed. It's only a little frustrating that people just assume that those who live in Colorado are pot heads, it's certainly untrue. B said the guy had tattoos everywhere, his arms, his neck, and even his face. He went on to say that the man lives on a boat and sails all over the world. The guy was a super nice guy, and very well spoken, but told B to 'get on outta here, that this isn't a good place' and to 'not give a single thing to the people of Eureka.' B was a little confused, but not a minute later, a scraggly guy with holes in his clothes waltz by and asked for some money. According to our friend who grew up in California, there is a serious drug problem in the area we were in, Humbolt County.
We finished packing up the car and yet another person saw our license plate and struck up a conversation. It was an older gentleman who said, 'Colorado?! You guys just missed 3 feet of snow up there!' He was right, it had been dumping back home. B told him that we live right in the mountains and we were a little sad we missed the snow and his response was, 'Well, welcome to Eureka!' That was our cue to hop in the car and carry on.
The drive down the coast never cleared up, not once in the 400 miles we drove from the Redwoods to San Francisco. There was a rolling fog that we've never experienced before. It looked like dry ice, it was moving so quickly and spilling over the sides of the mountains. It was eerie and beautiful all at once. We pulled off a few times to get a glimpse of the beach, sometimes it was too foggy to see a thing, and other times the fog let up just a little to at least see the water. Although the fog made it hard to see, I really thought it was cool looking and didn't mind too much. The fog along the coast is really common, so I didn't let it get me down.
We crossed the Golden Gate Bridge and entered San Francisco in a cloud of fog. I had ordered us a pizza to pick up on the way to our friend's mom's house. After a 10 hour day of winding roads, slow cars in a no pass zone, grumpy B from the fog, and a 6 mile hike before 8am, we were ready for a shower and bed. No, we don't have a single thing planned for tomorrow, but we don't care. First things first, sleep. With enough coffee, we will power through tomorrow with no plan.
I almost slept until 8am! Glory be! B had been up since 6 and when I unzipped my side of the tent he was balancing on a log while reading a book, what a goof. He had already had a coffee so I went ahead and made myself one. Our breakfast was granola, nuts, (Thanks Hanna!) and M&M's. B cleaned up the dishes and I broke down the tent, our usual camp roles when we've camped before, and then we made our way to the Prairie Creek Visitors Center.
We knew that we wanted to hike the Ladybird Johnson Grove loop (1 mile) and also the Tall Trees Grove trail (4 miles). The Tall Trees trail requires a code to get in through the gate, they only allow a certain number of people in per day. Other than that, the rest of our day was open, and we also had no idea where we were going to sleep. As we chatted with the girls about where and what to hike, we got the code for Tall Trees, success! We also asked them about camping. There were two options, one was back country in the woods and one was back country on the beach. The site to the beach was a 4 mile hike one way, but we thought it would be awesome to sleep in the Redwood forest one night and the beach the next, so we went with that one! She had to call and see if there was space, and there were only two more slots after us that were available. Another lucky thing for us! The Redwoods were turning out to be in our favor apparently.
The trail head to the Ladybird Johnson trail was just a short drive away, so we headed there first. It begins crossing a large footbridge over the road below. I'm glad we chose to do a well maintained trail first, because my eyes were gazing up the entire time and I couldn't watch my feet.
I'm going to take a short pause here to say; I wish I could describe to you the feeling of being among the biggest living things in the entire world. Whatever I try to describe after this is just a lousy attempt. It's impossible to tell you what I saw and what I felt. Writing about visiting a city is easy, the buildings, the food, the people watching, it's stuff you've done before.. so it's easy for a reader to understand. But, these forest beasts, their sheer size, the way you can rarely see the tops of them, the 1 foot thick bark, they way they shake you to the core. There's something other worldly about being in the midst of them and it take's words I don't have to tell you about them.
The hike around the Ladybird Grove loop took us to trees that were anywhere from 500-700 years old, and these were considered quite young! Quite a few of them were hollowed out, allowing us to stand inside and feel the massiveness of the tree. You could put your arms out and take a full circle within the tree without touching any of its sides. We then headed towards the Tall Trees Grove trail. This trail was going to take us to some of the oldest Redwoods known to man. I put in the secret code once we got to the metal gate and we continued down a gravel road for 6 miles. With our lunches packed, we descended into the grove. We had lunch at the base of the trail and B, of course, brought a beer along to review. The wind was blowing and you could hear loud and deep creaking from the trees. Not the most comforting sound when you're in a forest surrounded by the biggest trees in the world. We journeyed back up from the trail shortly after lunch, because we had another 4 mile hike ahead of us.
When we got back to the car, we re-organized our backpacking gear and walked to the trail head. The main trail we took was called Miner's Ridge through the forest and directly onto the beach. It's insane to think that we walked next to the biggest trees in the world and ended up at the biggest body of water in the world. I've never been to a beach so close to a forest before. Again, we were in awe walking through the woods. Even though we had spent the whole day hiking around the Redwoods, we still were amazed at every turn. I think we said, 'That tree is BIG' or 'Look how huge that guy is!' at least 7,913 times today.
Arriving around dinner time, we set up camp on the sand and started to cook our meals. I had peanut noodles and B had basil rice with chicken. The beach was pretty windy at the time, so I hurried through my meal and crawled into the tent to read for a bit before sunset. As the sun started to fall, the wind died down. Everyone from the camp site started making their way towards the sand to marvel at the evening colors in the sky. Once sun set, I got myself ready for bed, knowing that the 4:30am wake up call was only a short bit away.
I don't know who decided waking up before 6am everyday was a good idea, but I'm not down with that business. At 5:45am I loudly squeaked my way down the loft ladder to turn off my alarm. We quickly threw together the last of our bags, stripped the bed, and packed up the car. Our first stop before heading down the coast was for coffee.
B found a roaster called Ristretto Roasters Coffee so we went there for morning 'spros. As we walked up to the counter a young man came up carrying a tower of brown boxes. He set them on the counter and the barista behind it had a sly smile on his face. 'Ohhh, yeah, thanks my man.', He said. I couldn't resist. I had to know what was in the box, so I asked. They were fresh donuts from a shop right down the street. I couldn't believe my morning had been blessed by the sugar gods. I chose a buttermilk donut and B got a maple glazed one. They were both sinfully good, but mine was the better of the two by far. We paired them with cappuccinos while we worked on photos and the blog.
Right on schedule, we hit the road just before 8am. Of course, our camping trip in the Redwood National Forest hadn't been planned, so during the first hour of our drive, we meal planned. After our list was made, we drove south to Eugene and listened to a podcast from 'This American Life'. When we reached Eugene we stopped at the market and grabbed our goodies. It was here that we hopped onto Highway 101, the highway that takes you from Northern Oregon to Los Angeles while hugging the coast for most of the way. The drive from here to the Redwoods was just shy of 5 hours with no stops.
Obviously, we had to stop every .5 miles because it was just so gosh darn beautiful. The drive began with some pretty heavy cloud cover during the morning, but cleared up right around lunch. The huge rocks scattered along the coast line and the bright blue skies were unbeatable. Every turn we took made us gasp in awe! We stopped in a tiny coastal town named Bandon for lunch at the famous Tony's Crab Shack. Although crab is a big deal around here, so are clams. B got the crab sandwich and I tried the clam chowder. Both were super good!
We continued our drive down Highway 101 until we reached the Redwoods. Our stopping time for photos and staring at the beautiful beach added on a bit of time, but we still reached camp before sunset. Even the trees on the side of the road through the park were massive. Just, the biggest things I've ever seen! I pulled us up to the rangers station to check into our campsite for the night. I had actually made a reservation, so this was supposed to be easy peasy. But alas, it wasn't. Apparently someone, somehow checked into our space and had already camped there and left?! Not sure how in the world that happened. The poor girl at the rangers station felt so bad. She said the woman working the shift before her checked this person in under my name. Thankfully there were a couple open campsites, she told us to go check them out and let her know if we wanted them. The first one we got to was already occupied and the other was in the middle of a field and we didn't want to sleep with no cover. After letting her know that one of her 'empty' sites was actually filled, watching her face fill with confusion once again, she allowed us to stay at the handicapped camp site since it was so late in the day and they weren't accepting any more walk in campers. Whew, we lucked out with that! Imagine if all the sites would have been filled!
B and I quickly set up camp and made dinner. We each had a bowl of chili and a peanut butter sandwich, central Indiana style (B thinks it's weird, but he's just weird). Rounding out dinner with M&M's we were ready for bed. Our next day is still up in the air with what we're doing, so, wish us luck!
I may have walked 7.5 miles today around Portland, but I also gained 15 pounds from everything we ate and drank throughout the day.
The alarm went off at another painfully early time this morning, but it was our only chance to see Portland, so we had to make the most out of it! We decided to drive into the city instead of taking public transportation. Even with the morning traffic, it only took us 15 minutes to get there. Our morning began with espresso at Coava Coffee Roasters.. and this time it was the good stuff.. good enough to wake you up and make your heart happy. B and I worked on photo editing and posting the blog while munching on the best pastries we've had since moving from Philadelphia and sipping on cappuccinos.
A short drive across the river took us to the Portland Aerial Tram. The tram is used by many people to from South Waterfront up to Marquam Hill. It's also a super awesome way to get a cool view of the city and, on a clear day, the mountains in the distance. The ride is only 4 minutes long one way, but it's worth the $5 ticket just to see the beauty! Once we got to the top we sat outside on the deck and soaked in the sun and the sights! We headed down to the bottom where there was a little set up of food trucks near the loading area of the tram. There was a waffle truck that was open and we shared a sausage, cheese, and maple butter waffle.
Our next stop was the Portland Japanese Garden which was back over the river. The cost to get in was a little steep, $15 a person, but for the most, what's said to be, the authentic Japanese Gardens outside of Japan, we wanted to see what it was all about. Here's a short bit of history about the gardens that I found interesting. 'Inspired in the late 1950s by growing cultural ties between Oregon and Japan, Mayor Terry Schrunk and members of the Portland community conceived the idea of building a Japanese garden on the site of the old zoo in Washington Park. Their reasons for building a Japanese garden were twofold: providing the citizens of Portland with a garden of great beauty and serenity, while forging a healing connection to Japan on the heels of World War II. At this time in U.S. history, Japanese gardens were founded across the country as a way to build cultural understanding. Needing no translation, an American could experience firsthand Japanese ideals and values, communicated simply through nature.' Our walk through the gardens was really peaceful. We were also in awe at every turn by how green and mossy everything was!
Back across the river was a brewery Brian wanted to visit. We often switch back and forth from coffee to beer during the day when we're in a new city, and we weren't about to stop that tradition. But first, we went to Pok Pok for lunch. Pok Pok specializes in street food that can be found in Thailand. Their most famous dish is the Ike's Fish Sauce Wings. We went to their smaller and newer location Pok Pok Wings because we heard the line was shorter and their menu was smaller so the service was faster. When we showed up there were only a handful of people sitting and eating, better than the other location which probably had a line out the door already. B and I shared an order of Ike's wings and also some steamed pork buns. I need to learn how to make steamed buns, they really make my world go 'round. The brewery, Hair of the Dog, was down the street. They have a beer there that is the most sought after beer in the world, and for $1,500.00 you can try it yourself, and no, I didn't make a typo.
After beer it was time for ice cream and more coffee. We had heard about Salt & Straw from a few people and tried to go yesterday but the line was too long. Today we decided to matter how long the line was, we would wait. The location we arrived at was on a street filled with cute little shops and interesting restaurants. The area was called Nob Hill. There was a line, but it wasn't down the entire block. It must get that long at times because there was a rope all the way down to signal that's where the line was. Once we chatted with the ice cream connoisseur and tried 4 ice creams, we settled on the two we wanted. The four we tried were Strawberry Honey Balsamic with Black Pepper, Freckled Woodblock Chocolate, Olive Oil, and Pear & Blue Cheese. They were all delicious but we chose the first two as our cones. They even make their cones in house all day long! We left with our ice cream and the line was starting to wrap around the building. We explored Nob Hill and ended up at Sterling Coffee for an afternoon cappuccino. Like I said earlier, we ate and drank so much. Oh, then we walked to two bottle shops and ended up at a bar where we got another round of beers. Yes mom, I was only drinking 4oz servings (that's like two shot glasses of beer), so we were fine to drive.
Our day in Portland was coming to an end, but first we needed dinner... and more beer. Brian had found a bar called Prost! that served German beers and food but also had 10 food trucks outside in their parking lot. We sat inside and each had a beer as well as a pretzel we shared before going outside to find some food. I chose to have sushi from one truck and some pot stickers from another, and B got a burrito and chips from the Mexican food truck.
We got back to the AirBnB, started packing up our stuff, and went to bed. Tomorrow, we leave for the Redwoods! I probably won't get a chance to post for the next couple days since we'll be camping. But, check back then!
Our first night of car camping on the trip went really well! I slept like a rock. My alarm went off at 5AM and I had a hard time not zipping up my sleeping bag and going back to bed. We quickly transferred our bags from the front seats to the back, which went way faster than setting up camp the previous night. I think the fact that it was so cold helped us get moving that early in the morning! B drove us to the only coffee shop in Boise open before 6am, Black Rock. The coffee was just good enough to wake me up while I uploaded pictures and posted the blog, but not quite good enough to enjoy. We were 'officially' back on the road by 7am, next stop, Portland!
I fell asleep and woke up to B dancing in the drivers seat, trying to avoid pulling over to use the bathroom. We got off in Pendleton, Oregon, grabbed a *gasp* gas station coffee, and it was my turn to drive! The scenery during the drive was, once again, gorgeous! Rolling hills at first and then we entered the Columbia River Gorge, driving next to huge cliffs to the left and the river splitting Oregon and Washington to the right! We saw some Big Horned Sheep and also an osprey or two.
Peeks of Mount Hood kept coming in and out of view. The first time we saw it, we were turning on the highway, came around a bend and BAM! it was there, glorious as can be. Mount Hood is the tallest mountain in Oregon and also probably one of the most prominent mountains in the country! I've never seen such a stunning and massive sight.. and we were seeing it from a nearly hundred miles away! Looking forward to getting a little closer to it in the next couple days.
As we neared Portland, we pulled off the highway to go for a hike and explore Punch Bowl Falls. These falls are responsible for the waterfall classification Punch Bowl, so, we were excited to see the original! This hike might be the one thing I actually planned for the trip. The hike was a little over 2 miles one way. At first, we went to the lower falls and didn't really see what we were looking for. On our way back up, we stopped and had lunch in the woods. Sitting under the huge trees takes your breath away a little! Thinking about something so much older and so much bigger than you.. it reminds me of looking at the mountains. It's natures way of letting you know that your problems aren't so big and your time here is just a little blip. After tuna sandwiches, we hiked up higher and still didn't really get a good view of the falls. We did go to the top of the falls, which was neat because we could see and almost feel how powerful the water was, but we couldn't see anything. I was a little nervous because there weren't any railings or anything and it was muddy and the cliffs were crazy steep! B and I started to head back to the car when we found a tiny little outcrop where we got a pretty awesome picture of the falls from the front!
Shortly down the road from the Punch Bowl Falls was the ever famous, Multnomah Falls. These falls didn't require any hiking, just a quick walk from the parking area. Multnomah Falls are the highest falls in Oregon, totaling in 620 feet. We walked up to the foot bridge and got a better view of the upper falls, and got a quick shower from all the mist flying off the falls! Our way back to the car was a little more of a run than a walk, trying to escape the tour buses pouring in. We also drove past at least 5 other waterfalls on the way back towards the highway!
B continued with the driving and took us to our AirBnb just outside of Portland. Click the link to see how cute it is! The space is perfect for what we needed. It's essentially a tiny house! We are close to the bus stop but also just a 15 minute drive from the city center! We unpacked some of our things, showered, and looked into a place for dinner. Bollywood Theater was our choice for the evening, just a short drive away. B and I ordered a variety of Indian street food off the menu and ate until we couldn't eat anymore. Our plan was to have ice cream afterwards at Salt & Straw right next door, but the line was crazy long, we will try again tomorrow. I hardly made it back into the house before falling asleep.. but we sat and planned for tomorrow before climbing into the loft for bed.
Driving Tally B: 918 J: 382
After a frantic night of packing and planning until late into the evening, our morning began at 3:45AM. A wee bit too early if you ask me.. but if you really want the honest answer.. way too early.
We left the house and filled up the tank, then we were officially on our way West. The first 45 minutes of the ride consisted of B singing America the Beautiful at least 3 times and one of us gasping and saying, ‘Did I pack _____?!’ about 45 times. Thankfully, the only thing we have currently realized we have forgotten is the peanut butter. Ain’t so bad if I say so myself.
I took my ‘first nap’ according to B at 5AM. To me, it wasn’t a nap, it was just a continuation of my evening of sleep, we won't argue about that here though. B woke me up at the border of Utah and Colorado where we made a couple pour over coffees and snapped a picture by the sign. We have our picture by this same sign from the last (and only other) time we have been to Utah, Lake Powell last year!
B kept on with his turn driving. Taking another nap is something that may have happened for me right around here. ;) I woke up and we were passing through Provo, Utah. The mountains were so beautiful with the clouds hanging low and snow falling atop them! We drove into Salt Lake City to have lunch and a coffee refuel. I had chosen a place called Robin’s Egg, but we found a Döner kebab restaurant instead! We got inside around 11AM and it was already poppin’! With 2 orders of döner and a side of sweet potato fries, we were two happy travelers! A short walk away was, Three Pines Espresso, a coffee shop I found on Yelp! Their drinks were delicious and we also split an earl grey blueberry scone which was yummy!
426 miles into the trip, I hopped behind the wheel. Yes, B is keeping tabs on how many miles each of us drives. After going in a huge circle by accident, I finally got us heading in the right direction. Ha! While heading out of Salt Lake City, B started looking for The Great Salt Lake. Unfortunately, you can’t see it from the highway we were taking. At the last minute, we decided to take a pretty big detour and head to Antelope Island to see the lake. Because, you can’t go to Salt Lake City and not see the Salt Lake. It tacked on an extra couple hours to our already huge day.. but we both agree it was worth it!
The lake was so huge! There were points when it faded into the distance and you couldn’t see it’s end point. We drove up to Ladyfingers Point to get a view from above. Some weather started rolling in, so back into the car we went. On our drive back out of the park we spotted some buffalo! They were grazing near the edge of the lake in some cattails. As soon as we rolled down the windows, it started snowing! B and I thought that we wouldn’t encounter much weather colder than home.. but good thing we packed our winter gear!
We hopped back onto the interstate and kept on West. I kept noticing the highway signs as we passed them. They look like bee hives! B looked up the history behind it and it has a really fascinating answer! One would think that maybe Utah has a big honey bee population or conservation program, but the answer is more than that! The early Mormon settlers used the symbol of the honeybee to represent hard work and industriousness. They saw the example of a beehive, in which all of the workers cooperated in the construction of something much bigger than themselves, as a model for a properly run society. We saw little hints of beehives and honeycombs all over, even the metal grating around trees in the city was honey comb shape!
I drove through some downright crappy weather out of Utah and into Idaho. I also totally blew past the ‘Welcome to Idaho’ sign. When the speed limit it 80.. things start to just blur by. LOL. We were going to turn around .. but the next exit was 40 miles away so that was a big ole’ NOPE. The weather let up a bit around Twin Falls. We passed a sign that said ‘Shehone Falls’ and since we didn’t have a single thing planned for this trip, we decided to go there! So glad we did! The falls are known as the Niagra of the West. The falls are on the Snake River, a huge gorge. It was beautiful, even though it was freezing and super windy!
The visitors center was near the falls, as well as the place where Evel Kinivel attempted and failed to jump across the Snake River Gorge.. so we obviously had to go check it out. Our hopes were that the visitors center had a 'Welcome to Idaho sign', it doesn’t, so don’t try that. We didn’t find our sign, but the major detour was worth it to see the falls and the gorge!
B cut my driving shift off at 256 miles. Whatever. He got us to Boise just before nightfall where we found a place to park our car and set up camp for the night. We put all our bags in the front seats and set up our sleeping bags in the back. Dinner was peanut noodles and leftover döner. After 12 hours of driving plus sightseeing.. we are pooped. Up again before sunrise tomorrow for the drive to Portland!
Driving Tally B: 569 miles J: 256 miles
Our yearly adventure is taking an unusual turn.. we are staying in the country for once! B's brother is getting married in Los Angeles, so we are taking the opportunity to make a road trip out of it. We will be on the road for 15 out of the 22 day trip and traveling over 3,600 miles by car. Betcha can't guess who is going to be doing most of the driving! We've outfitted the car as a tent/camper so we can sleep in the car here and there along the way.
Here is a tentative schedule of where we'll be going!
In classic J & B fashion, we're pretty unprepared.. but that's half the fun of a road trip, right?! That being said, any and all suggestions on these locations are more than welcome, they're needed! haha! Leave a comment below on what we cannot miss and what's not worth it. We don't have many days in each place, so there's no time to waste!
Follow along for updates on our adventure! Unfortunately, I won't be able to post each day, as many of these locations are deep in the forest. But, I'll post as often as I can.