A Travellerspoint blog

June 2015

Rocky Mountain States

Montana, Wyoming, Montana, Idaho.

sunny 82 °F

Morning in Missoula is pleasant in the shade and monstrous in the sun. Temperatures are liable to climb over 100, but we'll be changing elevation faster than the mercury, so no worries. The mountains are beautiful and lettered and the air is very clear. We drive for-freaking-ever up and down hills and mountains, coasting through valleys. There's a very strange phenomenon out here: The gas stations are casinos.

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Heading into Yellowstone National park, I see a herd of bison. Compared to domestic cattle, bison look like that kid who hit the gym real hard but doesn't acknowledge leg day. He's all, like, "But my deltoids, man..." Yellowstone is stunning and full of tourists. Now that June is over, most schools are out, and parents are desperately trying to entertain and educate their children. We see lots of elk and bison and geysers, but no bears, which kind of bums me out. Seeing a bear (from the car, if you're concerned) would have been pretty awesome. All of the hot springs and mudflats and geysers and Old Faithful were surreal, so I'm not really complaining.

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We head out of Yellowstone to Driggs, Idaho. We pass through Montana again, briefly. The ride is lovely. Cows graze in highway side pastures and the air smells sweetly of hay. As the sun sets in the east, the moon rises, nearly full, in the west over the Grand Teton Mountains. Idaho is beautiful and I'm stupid in love with middle America.

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Posted by MiriG 21:51 Archived in USA Tagged road_trip geyser rocky_mountains montana wyoming idaho yellowstone_national_park grand_teton lower_48 old_fatihful Comments (0)

Hannah Montana and the Adventures in Montana

We were also in Idaho today

overcast 95 °F
View Road Trip!!!!!!!! on shari36's travel map.

Today we drove five hours. The view was pretty. Miriam took an obsessive amount of pictures. Bye.

Oh you want more details? Well, if you insist. We left Kennewick, Washington in the morning and drove two hours till Spokane, Washington where we stopped for lunch and to look at the pretty Spokane waterfalls. We then continued on East, passing Idaho and into Montana. I speculate whether Hannah Montana is from Montana. Miriam is useless in this field of intellect, so I turn to google (I was in the passengers seat while doing so, don't google and drive children. Also stay in school.) but my service is spotty because all of those damn Montana mountains covered in pine trees, stretching for miles, and looking beautiful. Calvin was right about carrying a map of Montana around in case of emergencies. The wi-Fi signal here is terrible. I get really upset. How have we been to the moon and have self driving cars but we can't have Internet when important questions like where Hannah Montana is from arise?!? It's an atrocity. When we finally get closer to Missoula, Montana, I have two bars on my phone and quickly research my important question while praying to the Gods of technology not to abandon me. Unfortunately, all the internet has got is that Miley Cyrus is from Tennessee, but no info on Hannah Montanna. There are some interesting articles on the evolution of Miley Cyrus, and an interview by her dad on how the Hannah Montana show ruined their family. Very interesting reads, but my question still remains.

I'm still very bothered by this. If anyone has any information as to where Hanna Montana is from and how her name came to be that of a state, it would be greatly appreciated and repayed for with a mug that has the pretty Montana mountains on it. (This offer can be switched out for a magnet for the vegetarians among us.)

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Posted by shari36 19:09 Archived in USA Tagged road_trip montana idaho lower_48 hannah_montana Comments (0)

We're Gone from Oregon

Well, that was fast.

semi-overcast 105 °F

We leave our host in Oregon around 10:30 and set out for the wilds of Portland. It is official: We are heading east in a very serious manner. Farewell, West Coast. You are arguably the best coast. Seriously, the weather here is so much more temperate than on the East Coast. Also, mountains right into the sea. Clearly, we have a winner.
The drive from Eugene to Portland went quickly, farms and distant mountains disrupting the horizon. Sunday morning car time passed easily, filled with conversation and plans for the future.
We arrive in Portland right on time for the Brunch Rush. I meant to capitalize that. In one of the quirky stores we found a book about Portland's obsession with late breakfast, more commonly termed brunch. We also found many hemp and bamboo products, handmade earrings, local arts and crafts. This city is crunchy. Just like the granola they like with their home-cultured yogurt for brunch.

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The afternoon is set aside for driving. We start out on I-84 but soon see signs for the Bridge of the Gods. We agree that this is a place we should be. So we cross over the Bridge of Gods. Holy cow. /the view over the Columbia River, though. Wow. The GPS freaks out tries to get us to turn around using this narrow, one lane mountain road. No dice. You won't get us that easy, GPS. We thoroughly situate ourselves on SR-14. Washington state is hilarious: Their state route numbers are placed in the center of a silhouette of George Washington. SR-14 turns out to be the high road, climbing the mountain sides flanking the Columbia. We often find ourselves looking down at I-84. Sr-14 is a lot of fun to drive, and is very beautiful. We stop in Kennewick for the night, where the locals eyes our New York plates with curiosity. Tomorrow, we take on Idaho and Montana.

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Posted by MiriG 23:27 Tagged road_trip oregon driving lower road trip washington pun lower_48 48 columbia_river sr-14 bridge_of_the_gods west_coast_is_best_coast Comments (0)

The Golden Gate to Eureka

We found it!

semi-overcast 65 °F
View Road Trip!!!!!!!! on shari36's travel map.

Yesterday morning started out with a tour of the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California. It's a beautiful campus that was historically a vacation spot for very rich people and celebrities from all over California but during the depression the government bought it from them and turned it into a university for the Navy. It has beautiful gardens and ballrooms and an overall early 1900's fancy-people vibe. We met a bunch of important people there such as admirals and assorted other rankings, and they were all really friendly and curious about our crazy road trip.

Our next stop was Mountain View, California. The city has a really nice view of the mountains. We wandered around Googleplex, Google's headquarters. (If you never heard of them, google it.)

Next we continued on North towards San Francisco. San Francisco is a very cool, colorful and mountainous city. People there are very creative with their transportation options. There were bikes and scooters and skateboards and rollerblades and those children's electric bikes but used by adults. There was even a guy on a bike with rollerblades on.

We left San Francisco through the Golden Gate, it was really beautiful. It looks a bit like the Brooklyn Bridge but longer, with a nicer view, and a more pleasant smell. After San Francisco we continued on North towards Eureka, California. The rest of the drive was long and uneventful. We past through wine country and other pretty landscapes.

We finally arrived in Eureka at about 11:30 PM and passed out in the comfortable beds of Motel 6 (after making many dorky jokes about how we finally found Eureka).

This morning we continued on North towards Oregon. It was a long drive but the views were really nice and the weather was beautiful -- it was like we never left Eureka (see what I did there? ;) ).

We arrived at Eugene, Oregon earlier this afternoon and are spending the weekend here. People here are really nice and friendly and we're looking forward to some rest before we continue on to the 26 states we still got to cover.

With a view like that it doesn't matter whether we're there yet or not.

With a view like that it doesn't matter whether we're there yet or not.

Posted by shari36 19:41 Archived in USA Tagged beaches road_trip california oregon san_francisco google eugene eureka lower_48 Comments (0)

Just Another Song About California

But seriously, there are a lot of songs about California. But now I understand why.

sunny 61 °F

This is gonna be a huge post, because California is a huge state. By this logic, when we finally get to Alaska for our 10 year anniversary, the post on Alaska should be a book. If you continue to follow our adventures, be sure to pre-order. It's gonna be epic.
We cross into California innocuously, missing the "Welcome to" sign. What is the California state motto? It's gotta be on the sign. Will I care enough to google it? (Yes, I probably will. Update: I did. The sign is either the classic green and white highway sign, sometimes eschewing the "welcome to," or a blue sign with yellow lettering and yellow flowers. So no state motto on the sign. State motto, a la google: Eureka! I have found it! Funny, we're staying in Eureka tomorrow night.)
So, anyway, we get into California early afternoon on Friday. The last 60 miles into LA are bumper to bumper, but we have time until Shabbat. The plan is: Get to Gabe's (my super awesome cousin), unwind, take care of important real-life things, head over to the Rabin's for Shabbat. This plan is perfect until we arrive at Gabe's ad realize we don't have a key. And Gabe is in Northern CA (therefore, no cell reception), catering a wedding. So we chill on the front porch and internet. Soon, neighbors come home and hey! they know Gabe. Think he is (rightly) one of the coolest people and they have his roommate's number who should be home. Viola! Connections made, keys acquired, cat pet. The cat's name is Mowgli. She is very friendly. I stay outside and continue to internet, because the weather is wonderful and I am tired of being inside buildings and cars for the day.
Shabbat by the Rabin's is really pleasant. Yael, whom we know from school, isn't home, but her family makes us feel super welcome. (She's at a wedding for two of my very close friends, David and Devora. Mazel tov!) Her dog, Bialik, also makes us feel super welcome. Shari, a self proclaimed "cat person," now wants a dog. Bialik makes our walk through Beverly Hills much more palatable. People are friendlier, it seems, when you have a dog. Which is good, because Bialik tries to make friends with everyone.
After Shabbat we head back to Gabe's place and make plans with Sarah (my super awesome cousin) to go to the Getty Villa tomorrow. In a surprise twist, my (super awesome) uncle, Ken, joins us for the day. The Getty Villa is an amazing collection of Roman art and culture. It's also a testament to what insanely wealthy people sometimes do with their money.
Monday is a rest day. Sarah, Shari, and I make lots of plans, and then realize that a body in motion needs to not be in motion for, like, a day. Shari gets her hair done, I get my laundry done, we go to the Santa Monica Pier in the late afternoon. Good stuff. I try on a kelp crown. We try using the selfie stick. We stop trying to use the selfie stick. Thing just ain't practical. The one problem is once the sun goes down, the pier gets super sketchy, super fast. I'm pretty sure I saw a con being run, but I'll never really be sure. And I'm okay with this uncertainty.
Tuesday is for touring. Shari heads to the Walk of Fame, while Sarah and I check out LACMA. I play in the spaghetti installation, because I am a child. Sarah and I check out the museum and after closing, check out the La Brea tar pits. The tar pits ooze and bubble, and are amazing treasure troves of fossils, and they smell. (See? Child.) We meet back up with Shari, and then go for drinks and dinner with Gabe. (A huge thanks to everyone who made Tuesday evening excellent.)
Wednesday begins our journey north. We had originally planned to stay in LA for a week and a half, but developed itchy feet (metaphorically) after a few days. We head up Highway 1, despite the GPS which desperately tries to put us on the 5. No dice. We use maps to stay the course. And are so glad we do. Driving the 1 is one of the most terrifying and beautiful places to drive. The ocean expands silver past the horizon, the mountain cliffs tower over head, and the hairpin turns alternate the view from eternal blueness to dense forest. Infinitely worth it. Go on crazy road trips. I dare you. It's agreed that we need need need to return here once were fit enough and experienced enough to hike the trails veining up and down from the road.
We end the day in Pebble Beach, staying by my (some order of magnitude removed) cousins. I love the way this trip helps me become closer to people, whether friends or family or both. Why not both?
See you in the morning! We're off to San Francisco.

Posted by MiriG 23:47 Archived in USA Tagged ocean california friends lower los_angeles family la road trip cousins highway_1 48 the_1 the_getty_villa lacma pebble_beach Comments (0)

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