Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The Cat Trip - Day 6 & 7

Day 6 had the roughest start since Maryland.
By this point all of the cats understood what was going on and what their day would be like so they'd be all lovey and friendly from the time we woke up until packing started. As soon as Nancy or I zipped our suitcases all four cats would disappear. I mean it was like magic; one second Shadow is rubbing against my legs and the next there is no sign of anything feline.
In our tiny room at the Outsiders Inn in Snowville, UT there was an unreasonable amount of furniture: dresser, king bed, full bed, nightstand and chair in a room about the size of my dining room. So yes, there were plenty of places for cats to hide and i had to not only move furniture, but disassemble it. Multiple times.
But eventually we got on the road and after only 4 miles were stopping for a NEW STATE!
Really, Idaho?
 That is the most boring state sign ever.
 It wasn't worth getting out of the Jeep to take the picture, but i was still happy to get my last new state of the trip.

For some reason it was really, really hazy all day.
 This was my view of Idaho:
Pretty much the entire day was like that:

 hills, haze, triple semis and batch of trees.
My other impression of Idaho is that it must be a dangerous place because these are a sampling of the road signs we saw in the first 50 miles: Game Crossing, Deer Migration, Occasional Blinding Dust, Severe Weather, Dust Storm Area: DO NOT STOP.
Yikes. Intense much, Idaho?
I am happy to report that we didn't encounter any dust storms.
 Boise looked like any other city from the highway though there was a huge lizard on the side of road at one point. Oddly, i can't find any mention of it anywhere on the internet to know the story behind it; weird. Maybe i dreamed it after all that haze...

Finally we reached our destination state!

Now I just had to drive up the east side of the state and then across the entire length as there is no highway that goes diagonally northwest to Portland.
I was kinda disappointed that at first Oregon didn't look like Oregon; that is, it still looked like Idaho instead of the Pacific Northwest. About 100 miles in we had to cross some big mountains and it really started to look "right" to me:
but once we got over the last downgrade it went back to looking like the last gazillion miles since Wyoming. (ilovewyoming)

We crossed the Snake River several times
and stopped in Boardman where I-84 hooks up with the Columbia River.

Day  6: Utah, Idaho and Colorado; 515 miles

The last day of the trip; we were within striking distance of making it to Portland when we got up Friday morning.
Having learned a hard lesson the day before i was able to trick cats into the bathroom and catch them while they were still all lovey before we started packing.
Nothing like figuring out the best way to do something the last time you have to do it.

For the rest of the drive the highway followed the Columbia River, which is the border between Oregon and Washington.

It was beautiful as we went in and out of gorges and canyons, though even more hazy than the day before.
There was a nice scenic stop with an overlook that out over the river. Nancy and I were both anxious to get to Portland, but i am glad that we decided to stop because it was a lovely place to reflect a little on the trip almost being over.

By the time we got to Hood River we knew that most of the haze was actually smoke from wildfires. We didn't see any actual fire, but there was enough smoke that we had to keep the windows closed.
It finally looked truly like "Oregon" to me,
 but it was sad that it was on fire.
 I did spot one of the firefighting helicopter and saw it dump a load of river water on the mountainside, but it happened too fast to get a picture.

In a couple of hours we reached Portland and it was just a matter of finding Nancy's new home and parking the Jeep for the last time.

Day 7: Oregon; 143 miles

Trip Totals
143 hours from door to door
14 states
7 NEW states for Niki
6 capitol cities
5 interstates
4 cats delivered cross country
3 working windows (did i not mention that the back window was held shut with bungees?)
2 exhausted women
1 cat relocated

ACHIEVEMENT UNLOCKED: drive the width of a continent

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