Quick but fun!
On Tuesday, 6/17, I left the coast to meet a friend in Yakima, WA. We spent the night there and started our odyssey the next day.
Wednesday: First stop was just south of Yakima in Zillah to see the Teapot Dome gas station highlighted at www.roadsideamerica.com This is the longest working gas station in the US, since 1923, and looks just like a teapot built that way in protest of the Teapot Dome Scandal. Next stop, Granger, for the unique dinosaur park. (I like wierd photo opps, BTW). We continued onto Kennewick, WA; Pendleton, OR; and through Oregon into Idaho stopping at a friend's house in Declo, ID, for the night.
Thursday: Bright and early left going south through Salt Lake City, heading east on Hwy 6 through the a beautiful pass area going through Price and onto Green River. From there we took I-70 into Colorado stopping in Fruita, CO, for photos of Mike the Headless Chicken. Heading east, we went through a pass where we encountered a rain storm like no other I have ever seen. Traffic slowed to about 10mph on the highway and the lightening crackled and the thunder roared. I'm from the PNW where it rains all the time but never this hard. You could barely see the cars around you and it was still afternoon. Amazing! Once we finally got through this we continued on past Glenwood Springs and turned south to go to Leadville, CO, where we had a free night's stay at a relatives ski home.
Leadville, CO, is worth a whole report by itself. It is a tremendous 1800's town with about 5 blocks of historic brick and stone buildings downtown that have been marvelously maintained. The architecture was beautiful. The homes near the core downtown "old town" area are mostly Victorian in style with lots of gingerbread. Some nice "painted ladies." Most were small, not the huge "ladies" you see in San Francisco, for example, but it was amazing to see streets with row after row of these homes, most still with their original siding, etc.
Leadville is also the highest elevation town in the country, higher than Denver.
In Leadville, we had dinner at the amazing restaurant called Quincy's in a wonderful vintage building with original bar. They serve 2 entrees only: filet mignon in various sizes and a pasta dish. We all drooled over one of the best filet mignons we've ever had. (BTW, the margueritas were to die for. Good thing we walked! LOL)
Friday: From Leadville we continued south with amazing views of the Rockies the entire way south until we dipped into New Mexico. We had no time for Taos but enjoyed seeing some of the architecture in Sante Fe. We were all anxious to get to the car show in Roswell, NM, so we didn't stop much and arrived in Roswell late in the afternoon. Just north of Roswell we encountered a hail storm unlike any I've ever seen before. Two of us ended up with some hail damage to our cars. It felt and sounded like it was going to come through the roof!! Again, we slowed to about 10-15mph and could barely see each other even though we all had our lights on.
Roswell/Friday: Well, we were finally in Roswell for R2K, the New Beetle car show that we came for. It was fun to see New Beetles driving everywhere. We enjoyed the Skywatch Party on Friday night followed by the Bug-Glow Cruise back into town where we all put glow items, lights, etc., on our cars and were escorted back to town via a New Beetle police car.
Roswell/Saturday: Car show (I got 3rd place in my class!!) and then the evening ball were a lot of fun and met some good folks.
Sunday: My travel-mate had to be back to work on Wednesday in Bellingham, WA, area so we hit the road by 6am and drove north. We did spend about 2 hours in Gallup, NM, enjoying some of historic Route 66, a great Mexican meal, and photo opps at various locations including the Route 66 Diner. Also explored the famous El Rancho Hotel where the stars used to stay while filming in this area. Inside the magnificently decorated lobby with wonderful SW architecture, there are numerous autographed photos of various stars from the 30's through the 50's who stayed at this hotel.
We enjoyed the amazing scenery throughout SE Utah, Moab, etc., and spend the night in Green River, UT.
Monday: Up again and out the door by 6am, we drove straight through to Boise where we parted company with my friend continuing west back to Bellingham area. I went north in order to meet my husband at a conference he was attending in Spokane, WA. North of Boise I encountered some amazing scenery in the Payette National Forest with a beautiful, twisty mountain road edged by the Payette River and then the Salmon River the whole way. It was very impressive and the towns were very pretty. Lots of outdoor activities (rafting, fishing, etc.) there and I hope to return someday.
Well, rested up and enjoyed the hotel's pool and hot-tub on Tuesday-Thursday. Drove from Spokane to Washington's coast on Friday.
It's always kinda nice to be home but I'm already planning my next roadtrip!
(Anyway, the Editor asked me to make a report and here it is. We were on such a whirlwind drive, we really didn't have time to stop and explore very much but it was still worth it. The scenery in this country is so tremendous, so diverse, so riveting. Just to see it all is worth the quick drive but, hopefully, I can do this again in the future with more time to stop.)
PS: There was a thread earlier on electric coolers. Mine performed flawlessly the whole trip. It was nice not to have to bother with ice to have readily available cold drinks the whole trip through this hot country.
Wanna job? Seriously, great road trip report!
Seriously, I've always dreamed of being a travel writer. I wrote that in about 5 minutes. I'm a fast typist. You think with some effort I could be a travel writer for real? I would be in heaven if I could make a living doing something like that. :-)