The land has the unique ability to change with each passing mile and state. As we pulled out of Colorado and headed up 1-25 to 1-80 in Wyoming we watched the traffic become less and the fields become more. We watched the city traffic dissipate into the pollution and looked ahead for rolls of hay wrapped tightly like freshly made sushi. The land was used for a purposeful meaning. It housed an abundance of cows and livestock, plus continuous fields of nothing. The fields even though had nothing on or around them they served a purpose. The purpose might be unknown to the passing eye, but to the ones who live around them serve that land to the full potential. The wind is rolling around blowing semi’s into passing lanes while the cows lay in the field soaking up the sun like there is no tomorrow. The tomorrow will come and go and as the weather changes so does the rituals of the farmers and animals. They rely heavenly on the weather and through the touch of the overworked and rough hands. As we take the long road through Wyoming on 1-80 the destination of Burley, Idaho is the only thing on our minds. We watch the plains as each mile goes past us in slow motion, similar to watching Neo in a battle with Mr. Smith.
The battle is in our minds, for each mile is long and slow… The two Chihuahuas lay in the back seat ready for the trip to end, but little do they know the trip had just started. As we stop at each rest area they become anxious to stretch their little legs and to mark their territory on the dry land. As we reached our destination of Burley, Idaho (a place I stay almost each year as I make my way up to Washington) the scenery confused me. I normally make the trip to Washington in November and everything is closed down and cold. This time, the temperature ranged in the high 90’s and the wind was dry and tore through the skin like a plaque of bacteria. As we started to arrive to Boise, I picked up the 2019 Atlas from the ground and pulled out my phone in order to determine how far Pullman, Washington was from us.
As I looked it up, I remembered it was 7 hours away and since we did not have a home for Saturday night, we decided to make the journey up to Albion, Washington to see some good friends. We took the road to Albion and arrived in the late afternoon. We got up and stretched, put on our masks and did a courtesy butt bump to say hi! We entered, and had some cheese and crackers and homemade humus and introduced the dogs to each other. They called ahead and made reservations at our favorite local spot, Merry Cellars. We ate a few bites, locked up the dogs and headed into Pullman. The sun was getting sleepy and was digging its way downward. We drove through the fields of gold and arrived at the college town. The winery parking lot was busy and we went said our hellos and grabbed our reserved table. The winery was shaded and cool. The breeze took over and provided comfort from the hot day. The sweet taste of their local wine was a prize won after a long day on the long road. We finally were able to sit and enjoy the day (without being in the car).
We arrived back and the house was filled with incredible smells of salmon. The night ended with the competition of a train game and sipping on beverages in the living room and discussing subjects. The next day came fast. We had to get a week’s worth of fun in one long night. As the hour struck midnight eyes became sleepy and heads began to fall. It was time for bed. We exchanged our evening departure and headed to bed. Our heads hit hard and our minds were full of dreams. As the morning entered, we packed up and said our goodbyes and headed back on the road. The one night was comforting and reminded me that even though my life has been changed so drastically I had some very special friends that provided me comfort and support for the next chapter in my life. I may not know where that path will lead me, but I do know that I have some amazing friends that provide support to the next pass.
As we drove on, we knew we did not have a spot ready for that night, but was ready to risk it and find something. We left Albion, drove to Colfax, Washington and took 26 west to 395 south. We followed 395 to 82 and then to our longing road of 84. We had passed the Hanford Reach National Monument that had supplied reactors from WWII. The monument seemed interesting to view, but as the hour passed we decided to continue. We followed the Columbia River and witnessed the water activity that ranged from personal boats to a large scale cargo boats. We arrived to Hood River which was a town of dreams. The town was filled with wineries, fruit stands, and never ending rows of fruit and grapes. The houses were old, but filled with never-ending history. It was the type of history that could be viewed but not felt.
We turned onto 35 South and drove into campgrounds looking for a spot. As we passed the closing wineries and fruit stands, the sleepiness of our eyes became apparent and we were ready to set up camp. We pulled into the Nottingham Campground and hopeful we would find a spot and as luck had it on Labor Day Weekend we pulled into the most stunning campsite. We found one to call home and proceeded to setup and wait for the morning to determine what our next day would bring. We called spot 14 home, unpacked, took the dogs for a walk and explored the site around us. We crashed early and ready for the morning of adventure.
Stay tuned for part 2 of the adventure…