Liralen Li (liralen) wrote,
Liralen Li

The Run Home

There was very intermittent internet in Winnemucca, NV. So I'm catching up today.

It's funny sitting nearly halfway across the country, still thinking about the water from Crater Lake...

Sunday morning, we got back to Jan, Paul, and Marina's and had breakfast with them, Isabel, Emma, and Bernd. Paul made big Belgium style waffles, and we had syrup, yogurt, fresh cut berries, and sausages from the day before. Fresh coffee was really welcome, especially after staying up as late as we all had, and Marina had a full day of parties to look forward to doing that day. We gave everyone hugs, said our good-byes, and hit the road.

I had fun in Google Maps, and here is our whole two-day route, 902 miles plus a little wandering about...

We went right to Crater Lake, first thing, as John had never been there, and wanted to see it. There was plenty of snow up there, still. As you can see here, it had been pile up on either side of the Visitor's Center's parking lot. It was also colder up there than it had been down in Ashland.

The Center had maps, it had bathrooms, and a whole Gift Shop. By the bathrooms were both a drinking fountain and a bottle-filling fountain. I filled my bottle there, and then took a sip.

It was probably the sweetest, coldest water I've ever tasted. I drank, refilled the bottle, and then went back to the car to meet up with the boys.

Crater Lake
John learned that the loop road was closed still, as it had to be ploughed to be opened. So we went that way, to the end of the opened road, parked with all the other cars and got out to take a look at the beautiful lake. There were articles in the Visitor's Center that said that the reason why the lake is so blue is that the water is so pure and clear the light can reach deep into the water. It's why the water at the fountain tasted so amazing.

We walked around the snow packed parking area, and got some shots of the lake, and then went back around the loop road to the other end, which was also closed, and got a few shots out there, but only by walking onto the snow banks up on the cliffs around the lake.

There were lines up to protect us from going too far, and the weather was warm enough that the snow was melting fast. There were streams of water coming from all the snow banks, and it was running fast and cold. Climbing about on the snow also put snow into my Keens, and by the time we got back to the car, my feet were in a puddle of snow melt. *laughs*

We had lunch there in the parking lot, drinking the water, and eating the stuff we'd brought with us. Traveling lunches have never really appealed to me. Being able to just have crackers and cheese, meat and fruit was enough. The fast food that usually serves for travel lunches just doesn't appeal, and sit down meals for lunch just seem to be too slow when we could be driving.

And drive we did. As we got off the mountain, the scenery turned back into what we were used to for Oregon. Mostly just forest roads and mountains. There really isn't much use taking too many pictures in all that, as the trees block nearly everything. But it was pleasant to be in the forest again, and in the shade.

Hwy 62 through to Fort Kalamath, and then out along Hwy 422 to I 140 to Lakeview, where we stopped at a Safeway to find some food, use the restrooms, and get some gas, as it was the last real town until we got into Nevada.

Much of Eastern Oregon was like this, grassy, lush valleys surrounded by mountains.

Lakeview was at the beginning of the mountains, and it was cradled gently there. We got drinks at the Safeway, some cheese as we'd finished our cheddar a few lunches ago, and a bag of cherries that were locally grown. I love that. Much of the grassy areas were covered with cows with bounding babies, and there were dairies in all directions. I now know where the Oregon cheeses get their milks.

Jet as really happy working on his first pair of socks out of the yarn he'd bought at Webster's. He's doing a great job on the sock, too.

By 6pm we were out here in Nevada. We stopped at this rest area to eat our dinner out of our cooler. That's a cute little rest area pit toilet, which, like all the others, was beautifully clean and neat.

The shade was useful out there, as there was nothing but sage brush and scrub all around. Nevada.

The roads were empty, flat, and clear. So Jet took over for a good long time, and drove happily. I got to nap, knit, and John took the coaching duties.

At about 9pm, we reached Winnemucca, NV, and found a little Super 8. Jet showered, I got to practice my ukulele for a while. It's not as loud as a TV, so it was entirely okay for a hotel room entertainment, and the boys liked it enough.

Sleep was solid, but too short, and we were up at 8 am. John was up and showered before I even managed to wake up, and then I got my turn before we walked across the parking lot to Sid's Restaurant. It was filling up, which was really promising, and it turned out to be a really good diner. John and I both got the basic two-egg breakfasts, which came with hash browns, toast or a biscuit, and the two eggs. John added the house sausage, and I got the bacon, which was perfectly crisp. Jet got plain French Toast, and loved it.

It was the first diner breakfast we'd had all trip, and we really enjoyed it.

Further East
Most of today was just going further east on I-80. John took the early shift.

The Interstate was a new experience for Jet, and he got several hours on it today, which he'd never done before. And up here the Interstates have 80 mph speed limits, so everyone is going just about as fast as they want to, and passing people gets to be kind of interesting. John talked him through several passes, and getting passed.

Eventually, he got tired and I took over, and got us over the border into Utah.

The most prominent bit of that drive was the Bonneville Salt Flats. There was, of all things, water on the surface, and the white flats were amazing and stretched in all directions.

The raceway was really prominent as well on the side of the road.

But it really was the most boring stretch of the drive, as it was all just nearly an hour of completely flat and straight driving.

There were a whole lot of signs about pulling over if you got drowsy... and for good reason. The Great Salt Lake was on the east end of all of that, and then we got into the traffic around Salt Lake City. I took us through all of that, as I actually like freeway with traffic. It keeps me awake, and I enjoy the dodge and weave of it all. It's something I'm good at doing. But when we got clear of all of that, we stopped at a nice little gas station that actually had a wonderful bathroom, a nice selection of Arizona drinks, including a mango and lime Ricky that I'd never had before and really loved.

John took over for a while then, and got us into Wyoming, and through this gnarly rainstorm. It had lightening, sheeting rain so thick that it stopped some motorcyclists by the side of the road, and a pretty stiff wind.

Little America was somewhere around in all of that, and we saw all the signs leading up to it and leading away from it as well. It was an island of trees, buildings, and water, amid the emptiness all around it.

For most of the latter parts of it we listened to "Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me!" podcasts off of John's iPad. We tried not to play it while Jet was driving, but it was really useful to staying awake and going when I was driving. Laughter is a good thing.

Rock Springs, WY
We got to Rock Springs at about 7pm, and we went to the Santa Fe Southwest Grill, which had good New Mexican style food along with steaks, ribs, and other things. Both boys got stuffed sopapillas and I got the Navajo fry bread with ground beef, onions, and cheddar.

It was good food, and when we were done, we got back to the hotel to use the pool and the hot tub. The hot tub was just nice for soaking in, and relaxing, as the pool was obviously not heated. It provided a refreshing contrast to the hot; but not for very long.

Back at the room, we all showered, and Jet researched the parts for his own rig. He's going to work this summer and probably pay for it, but some of it was so that he could free my rig up again, so that I could play both Rainbow Six Siege and with my OTB folks even when he wanted to play with his friends. And it seems fair for him to get what he wants with the efforts of his own work. And paying for it up front means that it frees my rig up earlier, and after building one, it should be fairly straightforward to put together another. So we'll have a project for this summer, right up front.
Tags: computers, food, travel

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