My friend, Dotti Le Sieur , made the comment she needed to go see her brother in Oregon.
I said, "Next time you go, I want to go."
She said, "Are you serious?"
I said, "Yes!"
And she said, "If you're going with me, we'll drive!"
And so began the manifestation of one of my longest held dreams -- to see the West Coast of the United States -- and everything I can possibly see between here and there and back again.
|Seattle at night from the Space Needle|
Ronnie and I drove up to the summit in his Viper red 1948 Chevy Streetrod many years ago. What an awesome experience that was! This time, I'll be driving. :]
Everything I see after we come down off Pikes Peak will be something new, something I've never seen before -- except in books and movies.
We will wind our way through the Rockies and Utah, hopefully making Salt Lake City for Sunday night lodging. If we make it that far, excellent. If we don't, that's excellent too. We are not in a hurry.
Leaving Salt Lake City, I'll get to see the Great Salt Lake! Then we will drive through Northern Utah and southern Idaho to Oregon. We will take as many "scenic" routes as we can. In Oregon, Dotti and I will visit her brother in Otis, and her cousin in Scapoose.
We're going to see the Japanese Gardens and stroll around the Pearl District, Portland's "premier urban-chic neighborhood" with its stylish boutiques, specialty retailers, grocery and book stores, up-and-coming art galleries and trendy restaurants.
|a scene from the Pearl District|
I have plans to attend the writer's group of my new friend, Chuck Pierson, on Thursday morning, the 14th, in Vancouver, Washington which is a few miles across the Willamette River from Portland. He came to the Wichita Falls Creative Writers' meeting while he was in Wichita Falls, researching for his novel. When he found out I was coming that way soon, he invited me to attend his group. I'm looking forward to meeting Washington and Oregon writers!
After I leave that meeting, we may drive on up highway 101 to Seattle, where I hope to hook up with Deidre's friend, Lori Jean Cowan and if possible, my friend Lanore's daughter, Lauren. I'd like for these two Texas girls to meet. They have some things in common. They are about the same age and both are as smart as a whip. They are both open-minded and accepting of others. It might be nice for them just to know a hometown girl is in the same area.
When we return from Seattle, Dotti's cousin is planning to get other family members in for a get together at a restaurant on Sunday, the 17th. After that, we will head to Otis. I'm looking forward to meeting Dotti's brother. If he's anything like her, he has to be a riot.
Thursday, the 21st, Dotti has us booked at Gold Beach, Oregon, on a Whitewater jet boat ride on the Rogue River! This is another dream come true -- in some ways. I've always wanted to travel on a river -- experience the nature and the wild country that we don't see from a road -- except that my dream DID NOT have white water rapids in it! : o
|The boat and the rapids|
|Jedediah Smith Redwood Forest|
If we survive, we will finish our trip with a drive down through the Jedediah Smith Redwood Forest, where I will leave the small remaining portion of Ronnie's ashes. He so wanted to see the Redwoods.
|I hope this is ours|
On Friday, we will check into the Vertical Horizons Treehouse Paradise for two nights. Here we may ride a zip line! :o We have two nights there, so lots of time to relax and reflect on all that we've seen and done, what all we've eaten, all the people we've met and the interesting conversations we've had along the way.
|Oregon Coast Pacific sunset|
The plan seems hectic as I record it, but there is time to see the awesome Oregon coast as we move between our different destinations.
I will not come home until I have seen the sunset on the Pacific Ocean.
Mts Hood and Rainier are both in the plans.
When we check out of the Tree House on Sunday, we will head back to Texas. We'll take a different route. I'd like to see some more of Idaho, and I want to see Wyoming! I just know if I drive through Wyoming, Sheriff Longmire will appear and I can snap a picture of him for Seth!
Since we are both on a "budget", I thought it would be a good idea to talk about what we both envision as far as three meals a day. We decided to take some "picnic" stuff. But here we ran into a little trouble. Dotti is not open to Spam sandwiches or canned chicken. :o So I decided she should go do her own "picnic stuff" shopping and I'll do mine.
I told Dotti not to worry about missing something because every road we go down will be something I have never seen before -- and I know it is going to be the most awesome travel experience of my life. I'm gonna miss my wonderful peeps and my critters -- but as always, they and the familiarity of Wichita Falls will the beacon that brings me home.
p.s. I downloaded all the pictures for this post from the internet. When I get back I'll write about the trip itself and share my own pictures.