Where have I been?!

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Well… I flew from Ohio to Washington then drove through Oregon, Idaho, Utah, Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico, and ended up in Texas.

I have this very cool brother that relocates every couple of years for his work as a video game designer.  He usually drags us along on wild road trips to his new state.  This year I volunteered my mom and I for the route.  I guess I was feeling restless and desperate to see some mountains.  I’ve always dreamed of living in the mountains, as you can see by my Pinterest boards.

I so wish that I could take you into my memories and show you all that I saw; I would even play a majestic song to go along with it.  But instead here’s some photos from my iPhone!


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I forced a couple detours on the trip and I’m so glad that I did.  If you’re ever in Washington you must see Mt. Rainier State Park and the other parks in the area.  It is untouched majesty.  Really.  Crystal clear streams, baby deer, and a crisp pine scent better than any candle.  Then you’ll stumble upon winding, foggy, uphill roads with no guard rails that offer a view that will take your breath away.  And if you’re anything like my mom, you can be in the back seat tightly gripping the “oh sh**” bar praying that your son doesn’t run the car off a cliff.

Then we ate at Between the Buns Hot Dogs.  They make hand dipped corn dogs with whatever type of dog you want, including veggie dawgs!  They also have a massive menu with all the dog concoctions that are usually only available to meat eaters!  Like my southern slaw dog -which was met with sheer excitement after a morning in the car.  They had a massive U.S. map hanging on the wall with a bowl of tacks to mark where you came from.  We happily added an Ohio tack, and then one for my brothers new home in Texas.


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Since I have been to Seattle before, I knew that the Pacific Northwest and Mount Rainier would be spectacular {and I was right!}, but I didn’t expect to be in awe of so many other places.  Idaho really took me by surprise with it’s majestic plains and waterfalls.  I marveled at the vast openness of Oregon, Utah, and Wyoming.  We would drive for hours seeing only wild horses, peacefully grazing cattle, and massive wind farms – no billboards, no power lines, no litter, houses, or streetlights. 

The skies were so crystal clear out there.  They felt bigger.  And you felt smaller.


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Thanks to another one of my “detours” we landed in Twin Falls, ID.  This is where I will go on my next vacation.  Amazing! There is no picture in the world that could capture the beauty of this place.  Twin Falls is a nice little town that has a mammoth gorge running right through it.  Down in the gorge are these incredible waterfalls and a golf course!

My mom thought southern Wyoming looked like the moon.  A more accurate description would be rolling salt mines.  A bear ran across the road right in front of us and we saw herd after herd of pronghorn.  Being that Wyoming is the least populated state in the U.S., towns were hours and hours apart.  And by “town” I mean a gas station and a couple of houses.  While we were driving through this vast nothingness we started to see signs for “75 cent ice cream cones” and “spotless bathrooms!”  Make sure you hit up Little America if you’re ever in Wyoming.  Adorable place.  Food, hotel, gas, gifts – everything a weary traveler could ever want.  The owners must be the wealthiest people in Wyoming for putting such a genius business in the middle of nowhere.  I bought a moose shaped cutting board, of course.  I asked the friendly lady behind the counter where the employees work since there are no towns for miles and miles, she smiled and said “honey, this IS a town!”  I just googled it and the population is 68!! haha How cute is that?


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Much of the rest of the trip was a blur of plains and prairies.  However, we stumbled across another unexpected business in the middle of nowhere, The Pecan Shed in Wichita Falls, Texas.  O.M.G. their honey roasted pecans might be the best thing I’ve ever eaten.  You can order them online!  Which I plan to do since we killed the bag in a day or two.  I also bought a little birdhouse with a Texas flag painted on it and a big jar of Maple Pumpkin Pecan Butter.  However, I’m too distraught to even talk about the butter since airport security took it from me 🙁  🙁  🙁   🙁   🙁

I also discovered my new favorite restaurant- Sweet Tomatoes– which is a huge salad and soup bar!  When our flight got delayed and forced us to stay an extra day in Texas, we made a second trip to Sweet Tomatoes to boost our spirits!  And it did.  Powerful stuff there.

 

These cool people have officially left the pacific northwest!

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