NOTE: All times are approximate.

4 am: Bryan and Ily wake up to get ready for the road trip.

5:30 am: Get boys in the car.

6:00 am: We cross the Columbia and officially begin. Bryan at the helm.

7:00 am: Notice the outside temperature is already 74. Arrive in The Dalles, OR (that’s one city, it just sounds plural) for breakfast. Boys refused to sleep in the car so we stopped for breakfast at McDonald’s. A Styrofoam Hotcake container holding one entire hotcake is knocked to the floor. Nobody eats it. An older man talking loudly and using, uh, “rough’ language is a cowboy according to Micah. We also pick up a cooler at Fred Meyer. Boys earn their first Happy Dollars (but not for the pancake incident).

8:30 am: Back on the road with Bryan still at the helm. He notices a large number of wind surfers camped on the shore of the Columbia, but none are on the water, which is smooth as glass because there is no wind. This is unusual for The Gorge. Ryan Shupe and the Rubberband is playing on the CD player.

10:00 am: We see six hitchhikers on our way through Pendleton, OR. It’s 80 degrees as we begin our climb up Cabbage Hill (which is actually green right now!). At the top the temp has dropped to 75.

11:20 am: We stop in La Grand, OR to use the bathroom (Bryan drank too much orange juice at
Mc Donald’s) and refill half a tank of gas ($4.30/gallon). The boys purchase the privilege to watch a DVD with their happy dollars. We depart with Ily at the helm.

11:48 am: We cross the 45th parallel. 80 degrees outside. We can see snow on the tops of the Blue Mountains.

12:00 noon: Stop in Baker City for lunch. The kids were, “starving!” We eat at McDonald’s again. What can we say, Play Places are nice. The loud old man here is much more, um, polite in his language than the one in The Dalles. Micah says nothing about cowboys. Ily and Bryan power nap on the benches in Play Place while the kids get energy out.

1:30 pm: 86 degrees. Depart McDonald’s with Ily at the helm. See 3 more hitchhikers.

2:00 pm: 95 degrees. We pass the cement plant.

2:50 pm: Stop in Ontario to go potty. 96 degrees. Bryan realizes the significance of the name Ore-ida as we pass said factory so close to the Oregon-Idaho border.

6ish pm: (Kind of lost track of time here) We stop in Twin Falls for dinner. Walk around Magic Valley Mall (doesn’t take long to cover it all) and eat at the food court (not McDonald’s!). Decide to give up on Salt Lake for today and stay the night. We play at Centennial Waterfront Park along the Snake River in a beautiful gorge. Bryan has worst allergy attack he’s had in years. The landscape and foliage does look very similar to the Tri-Cities, only the Snake is much smaller here. Stay night at a new Ameritel Inn.


Nolan June 30, 2008 at 8:32 a.m.

I'm impressed you attempted Vancouver to SLC in one day! I hope you enjoy Wyoming today. It's prettier than the Eastern Oregon/Western Idaho drive you just did... But that's not saying a whole lot. You should be able to find antelope somewhere along the drive. There are lots of them in Wyoming, and no trees for them to hide behind.

Just remember there are "major" towns every hundred miles or so, and about half way between Evanston and Rock Springs there is a "Little America" with 50 cent Ice Cream cones (but gas is expensive). This may be another good place for happy dollars!

shannon b June 30, 2008 at 9:55 a.m.

Hey, a stop in Twin Falls! We'll be heading there pretty soon. And Scott & I stayed at the Ameritel Inn once - when were in town for our wedding open house. Enjoy your trip!