Basically, today was a day of “from there to here.” We left Twin Falls, Idaho (or Jerome, they’re very close together) early because we were confused by the difference of time zones. That comes from being too lazy to change our watches for just two days! At any rate, it got us up and on the road.
Interestingly, after over 5,000 miles and 12 hotels, yesterday we discovered the luggage gondola. Because it was raining so heavily when we arrived last night, we took the easy way out and piled the luggage cart while the car was still under the front awning of the hotel entrance. It was so amazingly easy! And it held all manner of things: our many little bags, computers, ice chest, and books, etc. What were we thinking before? Why had we never discovered one of these handy contraptions before now? Well, I guess the advantage of lugging our luggage around is at least we got the benefit of the exercise. After sitting so long in the car on most days, it was the least we could do. But tonight, you guessed it, we grabbed one of those handy gizmos and used that thing called a luggage cart again. It must be time to be home.
The first half of the day was dark and rainy with the remnants of the tail end of a hurricane from the day before. As we drove north we drove out of some of it, but the winds picked up and they were strong and gusting up to 60 mph (per weather reports.) Our little Prius, Dixie, had a hard time with the headwinds. She struggled to get about 35 mpg during that stretch of bad weather. Later in the afternoon, the sky turned into thin clouds and finally, sun. As we crossed into Oregon we felt like we were in familiar territory.
A little lunch at the same Mexican restaurant in Baker City, OR that we had stopped at on the first day out and it was worth the second stop. (Yes, it really was that good! And lunch was excellent as well.) If you are ever in Baker City, be sure and stop at “El Erradero.”
More scenes of familiar rolling hills of Oregon while we listened to “The Irregulars” and the miles flew by. My driver made and impromptu stop at Pendelton and took me to the woolen mills outlet store where he bought me an authentic Pendelton wool blanket. He said after wanting to buy a Navajo blanket in Arizona and seeing the prices, he decided a Pendelton blanket was cheap at twice the price. Both are beautiful works of art and certainly worth every penny . . . but, the Pendleton one will come home with me. He picked out a lovely teal and tan design that matches our front room. I’ll be snuggle-y warm this winter while watching TV.
Our stop for the evening is Hermiston, OR and dinner took us to a local establishment that had four and a half starts on the internet food search for the area. But, once we arrived, we learned that all the tables were reserved and we couldn’t get a seat until after 8:30. So, we just went to another place. It had four stars. How much better can a half a star be?
Well, “Hales” was a down home, family-style pub with single plates that could feed the whole family. Since we set out so early this morning, this was one of the first days we actually stopped for a second meal, and we couldn’t hardly eat more than a taste of things. The portions were gargantuan. They were served on 12 inch plates. Who eats off a 12 plate? That’s the size of a whole pizza! We did savor the flavors and extolled the goodness of each item, but we will be finishing our meals for breakfast and maybe even lunch as well!
One last night away from home. And, we are eager to get there. One of the graces of leaving home is that one always tends to look forward to BEING home before one actually gets there. If we never left we would never know how much we appreciated it . . . or, how much we missed it. We have seen marvelous sights and our country is a treasure trove of beauty, but there is nothing like the beauty and the comfort of home. One more day!