It's been a while since I have blogged. The reason is I just pulled back into the driveway from driving 2,600 miles throughout the Pacific Northwest. What an incredible journey. There is lots to tell so I will whittle the story down to several posts. The reason for this long journey began with the announcement of my nephew Dan's high school graduation near the majestic peak of Mt. Hood, Oregon. Dan is one of those kids that has remained his solid sweet self since he was born. You really never knew that he hit teenage hood in the usual sense. He remained upbeat, happy and just truly embraces each day with vim and vigor. When I got his invitation, it made me sit back and realize just how fast life goes by. Here was the cute baby that I used to visit who now had become a man and was going out into the world after reaching the 12th grade mark. It was only fitting that I be there to join in the celebration.
After leaving Park City, our first stop of the night was in Boise, ID. Boise is one of those cool towns that most people probably have not explored but should definitely plan on doing one day. On this particular journey, we simply pulled into a hotel and spent the night. The real fun started the next morning when we hit I-84. All the way from home until the Oregon border, you can really crank it. The speed limit is 80 MPH. The minute you hit the Oregon border, you have to drop to 65. Seriously, how can you make any time at that speed? I pondered why this might be, but if you have ever driven this stretch of road, I truly think it is so beautiful that they want you to slow down and enjoy the sights.
My first "first" of this trip was stopping in Pendleton, Oregon for lunch at an amazing place called the Prodigal Son (http://prodigalsonbrewery.com). I had the most amazing salad ever: fresh goat cheese, toasted hazelnuts, sliced apples and mixed greens with homemade cider vinaigrette. I also splurged on splitting an amazing cheese burger with one of my road trip buddies. This was by far one of the tastiest cheese burgers I have ever consumed in my life. Every bite was a tasty morsel.
Pendleton is the ultimate western town. When you first pull into the downtown area, you are taken back to some old western film. There is even a giant cowboy boot on the sidewalk to advertise a very cool little store that sells all kinds of signs and house items. It's definitely worth a walk through. The name escapes me but it was right next door to the Prodigal Son.
As we winded our way up to the destination for the night, we spent many miles driving along the banks of the mighty Columbia River. What a beautiful sight. Since we do not have much water in Utah, it is always a treat for me to be around such big bodies of water. I just soak in the moisture. As we rounded the bend on I-84 into the Hood River, Oregon area, we were greeted with our first glimpse of Mt. Hood. I have been visiting Mt. Hood for over twenty years since I have family there. Everytime I spot it for the first time on a trip, it never ceases to amaze me. Just look at the beauty and grandeur of this volcano.
Stay tuned for the next installment in this awesome adventure through the Pacific Northwest!