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Thursday, April 25, 2013

Home Again, Home Again

Am home again. Following my South Dakota post, we spent a night in Butte Montana. In the morning it was with great care we trod onto the motel walkway, as it was covered in snow and ice. We spent the day in a winter wonderland, or winter hell, depends on one's perspective. For Ila it was probably hell, as she was driving. The windshield wipers were coated with ice so didn't work well, and the car was totally snow covered. You would imagine that meant the car was fluffy & looked white, but as the snow wicked every scrap of dirt to the car's surface, we rolled along the highway in a crusty, mud brown Honda. Oh well! Am only glad it wasn't me behind the wheel. For lucky me, most of the day 'twas just a white blur of beautiful scenery.


Snowy welcome in Montana along the highway
This spectacle of wild swans was in North Dakota
We survived the snow and ended the day in Coeur D Alene, Idaho. We did a bit of sight seeing at some main street shops. I drove through the town maybe two decades ago, and did not recognize the town at all, it's grown so much.

What I did notice as the town's many art projects. First I noticed moose, everywhere. Moose on street corners.

There were arty moose on street corners

And even arty moose on balconys

The art that most captured my attention were located near the waterfront -feathers, of Osprey and Eagle. The giant metal feathers are near the waterfront and are called, The Guardians of the Lake.

Lovely giant Eagle Feather

Equally massive Osprey plumb, in repose

The next day - after taking the time to get car converted from filthy to shiny clean, we headed west through Washington state. I was at the wheel this time, so there were no Claire photos of the spectacular Mount Hood, an ancient volcano, kept us company on the drive.

We whizzed through Washington state, stopping in Portland, Oregon for a late lunch. There we serendipitously found a city block, lined by dozens of food concessions, most serving foreign fare.

You can probably find everyone in town here in the noon hour

You name a foreign food, and someone on this huge city block is probably selling it

There were trailers and booths serving Asian, North Indian, Slavic, German, Spanish and you-name-it, you can probably find someone serving it. Ila went for Thai, and I dove into a Japanese tray of treats. Afterwards I also bought one of my greatest guilty pleasures - a big 'ole tumbler of Bubble Tea.I love bubble tea! It's a sweet - that's the guilt bit for me - fruity mix with giant tapioca pearls, aka bubbles, floating around in it. You suck up the bubbles through a massively broad straw. Yum...

It was our last night on the road and we spent it in Roseburg, Oregon.


Roseburg, was much larger than it seemed at first. Stalwartly we drove around until we found a motel we decided to stay at. The clerk assigned us to a room, and as we parked in front of the door to our rented unit, we were filled with feelings of discomfort. Next to the room door, high up was a tiny little window. Ila & I shared a look of claustrophobic doom.

We sat in the car for several minutes, grousing about not wanting to feel 'imprisoned' in a teeny room. Just on the verge of just returning the key and getting our money back, I decided I might as well check out the room. Grumpily, I opened the door and went in.

Voila! The room was as claustrophobic as the Grand Canyon! The tiny window visible from the parking lot was the bathroom. Once inside, on the opposite wall was an immense picture window with a private balcony overlooking a beautiful garden, blooming next to - wait for it... wait for it... a river!  Couldn't imagine a prettier room or a sweeter setting. We realized our grumbling had more to do with Day Number Thirty-One on the road, than any room being too small. And it was a wonderful room to enjoy, for our final night on the road.

Our cross-counry trek is at an end.

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