Wednesday, July 03, 2013
Writers have to get out from behind their desks to be fresh. Stories are out there waiting to be collected, which I did.
I've just gotten back from a 5000 mile, 18 day trip from and back to Missouri. Traveling alone, I just let the stories roll onto me. I loved every minute. My thanks to Honda for my sweet running CR-V 2002 LX, a plain good driving car and no gas hog, either.
The Trip: From SW MO, I headed north to Sioux Falls, IA and then took a left on I-90. SD, WY, MT, ID and then North Central WA State to visit relatives. One of the highlights there was getting a tour of a relative's Boer goats. Very interesting. More stories brewing about those, and the one Nubian "weed-chewer."
Somewhere in the ID mountains, there was a fantastic elk with velvet on his rack. Huge, gorgeous beast munching beside the road. I really slowed down when passing him because of danger, and so wished I could have taken a photo. The problem with cameras and animals and that the animals move quickly. :)
June apparently is calving month and throughout the first leg, there were lots of calves. At a guess, more Angus than others.
A few days there, then I cut down WA State to Longview, WA just across the river from Oregon.
Longview has lots of logging, and the air smelled great. Across the river was even better driving with lots of greenery to the famous Hwy 101. If you haven't traveled on 101, you'll love it. Lots of gorgeous scenery, and I had a great fish and chips lunch at the Sea Hag in DePoe Bay.
I visited relatives in San Fran for a wkend or so and then drove a straight shot thru hot I-80 NV/UT/WY/NB. From Lincoln, NB, it was a jog around and then down to KC and south to SW MO. Did I say it was hot??!!
It is great to bum off relatives, which helps on motel etc. expenses. :) Thank you, everyone. Loved Panda Express in San Fran and wish we had one near.
These were waiting for me on my porch light. I tried to sell them to my neighbor and he wouldn't take the bargain. Relocated them in a tree for mama to tend.
I've driven parts of I-80 when researching Night Fire, set on the Oregon Trail. If you can, take that trip and you can almost feel the struggles of the pioneers. As a writer, one of the most difficult tasks is getting the time matrix correct, this because certain points had to be reached by certain dates. I read the diaries of Donner Pass, and when driving that area had the eerie sense of their terror.
I really wanted a good windmill photo, like the one I saw in KS. There were so many lives and stories caught in the few remaining paddles. Alas, all the windmills I saw on this trip were new and shiny, or without paddles.
A few humor points: 1.) I counted 18 road kill deer and no antelope, though they were visible. I came to the conclusion that antelope are smarter. Okay, they are probably faster and dodge better, but I like the smarter idea.
2.) On some NW pass, maybe just before swooping down into Coeur d'Alene (gorgeous walls of pines on either side of the road) there were signs directing people to call and report unsafe drivers. The numbers to call were full length, which would require the reporting driver to divert his attention. Not only that, but there was no cell phone reception for miles.
3.) Near Salt Lake City, on the miles of white flats, black stones formed graffiti along the road. And the 4-story tall metal tree with canoes was a true surprise. :)
These long drives are heaven and gifts for the storyteller. I never got that shot of the perfect aged wooden windmill, but did love WY's wind farms. The scenes were almost sci-fi, all those 3-paddled monsters lined up on the horizon. Congratulations, WY.
I'll be writing more about my trip. Loved every minute--5000 miles and no trouble.
!!Then after I was home decided to drive to the "Vegetable Lady". Picked up a spike and got a flat tire within miles from my house. :)