Cindy and I slept in the next morning. As much as I like to travel, not starting the day in the car or even with the motel industry’s normal “complimentary continental breakfast” was a bit of a treat. I pulled out our laptop to connect to the free WiFi that was promised in a packet of materials in our condo. I couldn’t connect. The information we had been supplied suggested that we call the office for help. “Just dial 0” said the relevant page. That’s when I realized that there was no telephone in our unit.
Oh, well. I decided to take a trip to the office later. In the meantime, Cindy decided that it was time to go buy some groceries so that we wouldn’t eat all of our meals in restaurants. We got back in the car and headed out searching for a grocery store. Cindy also thought that rather than go into the store hungry, we should eat something to drive out any hunger pangs. That was wise.
We headed north. We were surprised that we had to leave the main highway in order to find a restaurant that wasn’t fast food. It took some searching, but we eventually found a small cafe that served breakfasts and lunches. It was packed. We each chose breakfast. Then we headed towards a supermarket that we had seen during our quest for a meal.
We shopped and started back to the condo. During our driving we had made note of signs for Fort Stevens State Park, where there was a military museum, and for a maritime museum up the road in Astoria, Oregon.
We unloaded our groceries and stored them away. Then we started to once more relax. I picked up the book I was currently reading, Steinbeck’s East of Eden, and was soon lost to the real world.
Cindy got a call from Lee. He said that there were elk just outside their condo unit. I looked out of our patio door window and saw the elk between us and the ocean. It was the highlight of my day, and he highlight of our entire week at the condo.
Here is a problem. My notes on the trip fail to mention where we stopped to stay for the night after we left Yellowstone National Park the previous day. And my memory is such that I don’t recall if we stayed in Montana or Idaho. I believe it was Idaho, but…
Anyway, we started out the next morning with the goal of getting into Oregon because we needed to be on the northwest coast the following afternoon. For some reason I made absolutely no notes during our trip that day. I don’t even know where I took the above photo. I just know that I was in the passenger seat and took the picture because of the black wall. That day we drove to Bend, Oregon, where we spent the night.
I got on the laptop that night and tried to pick a route that would keep us away from the wildfires. I found a very useful website that indicated the fires and the relative size of the fires on a map.
From Bend, we drove northwest on US 20 until we found the junction of OR 22. We were driving through beautiful country, but there was a lot of smoke in the air. A few times we were warned by signs that we were entering firs activity areas, but the roads were open.
We stopped at the Detroit Dam and lake. There was so much smoke that the visibility was terrible. I adjusted the 2 photos above to bring more clarity to the pictures.
We arrived at our destination, Gearhart, Oregon, in the mid-afternoon. We stayed in a condominium that was rented while the owner was out of town. I saw a notice in the office where we checked in that said to be on the watch for elk. It was rutting season and that they didn’t like to be disturbed. Interesting. Lee, Michelle and Wyatt were in another condo about a three minute walk or a five minute drive from the one we were in. Both condos were on the ocean and we only had to walk up a slight rise to see it. It was time to relax.
I never thought that I would write a sentence, let alone a paragraph, in praise of a highway rest area. And yet, here I am writing about the Lusk Rest Area in Wyoming. Cindy and I agree that this was the prettiest and the cleanest rest area we have ever visited. Due to our travels, we have seen many over the years. If awards are ever given to rest areas, the Lusk Rest Area deserves to win. Well done, Wyoming!
We continued on in Wyoming. The haze from the western wildfires became more noticeable the further we traveled. We stopped to spend the night in Dubois, Wyoming. This statue was one of many in the town. I failed to get the name of the sculpture and sculptor. We had a good dinner at the Nostalgia Bistro, where we celebrated my entrance into the ranks of septegenarianhood (it may not be a recognized word, but it should be…write your Congressman).
The next morning we headed out for the Grand Teton National Park. While we occasionally had clear skies, more often the views were partially obstructed by smoke and haze. The following picture is one that I took in the park. I played around with the contrast and saturation in order to get a clearer view of the mountains.
From Grand Teton Park we drove few miles north and entered Yellowstone National Park. There were so many delays for road construction within the park boundaries, I started to fear that we would run out of gas. Finally we came to the Yellowstone Inn where we filled the gas tank and then our bellies in the restaurant. We decided that you can never see Old Faithful, the geyser, too often, but we almost missed it. I took this picture from a distance while it was winding down from its most recent eruption.