There is something about a road trip that takes me back to childhood. The anticipation of a journey, the smell of adventure (which more often than not is the smell of dairy-air). My husband and I woke up at 3 am, packed the car, and arranged our road trip snacks and beverages so that they were within easy reach. We hit the road at 4:30 am while the city still slept, the early morning air crisp. It wasn’t long before we hit patches of fog which soon turned into long stretches of pea soup. Adventure turned to worry, hoping that we didn’t hit anything. As we headed further west, things became clearer with the sun making an appearance around 5:45 am. Pine trees gave way to scrub brush and tumbleweeds which eventually gave way to farmland made possible through irrigation.
We reached the Tri-Cities around 6:30 am where we stopped at a gas station that had a Carl’s Jr where we enjoyed a quick breakfast and a potty break. After our breakfast, we got back on the road heading down to Oregon. We turned up the tunes while I sang along with every song. That was my strategy for keeping my husband awake. No one could sleep through my car concert. The landscape switched from farmland to huge industrial windmills the closer we got to the mighty Columbia River.
After several breaks to stretch our legs, we entered the high desert of Central Oregon. We were getting closer to our final destination of Sunriver Resort just south of Bend. Scrub made way for trees while the elevation climbed. After passing by Bend a large lava bed appeared on the right. It was 15 miles further south to Sunriver which we pulled into at 12:30 pm, just a half hour before the Travel & Words conference was set to begin at 1 pm. We checked into the resort and then I got checked into the conference.
We spent two days at Sunriver Resort where I had the opportunity to learn a ton at the conference and my husband and I were able to celebrate our 2nd wedding anniversary at McMenamins Old St. Francis School in Bend.
The day after the conference and our anniversary, we took one last look from the deck of our room before packing up the car.
We made a breakfast stop at Chow before hitting the road for home. It was in the 70’s so we sat out on the patio and enjoyed chicken fried steak covered in onions, mushrooms, blue cheese and country gravy and corned beef hash.
After our hearty breakfast we made the long trek back home. Why is it that the return trip seems so much longer than the beginning journey?