Sunday, August 13, 2006 


Our final day is spent traveling the rest of the way home through Idaho. I know this state has a lot to offer, but you will not find any of this on Highway 84. This is a good stretch of land to relax and read a book while driving through.

The closer and closer we get to Utah, the more I miss home and the more I miss my kitties. As we finally pass over the border I smile because I know we will be home soon.

Finally I catch that first glimpse of those mountains in the Salt Lake Valley that I love and adore. Finally we step in through the door of the loft and we are greeted by cute, furry lovable faces. Finally, we are laying in our own bed again and enjoying what we see as familiar.

It is wonderful to go out and see new places and things that will forever shape who I am. But it is also wonderful to be drawn back to that one place that I will always call my home. We will cuddle up and sleep well tonight and remember all that we have done and seen this past week. We will look into the future with eyes that have seen a little more and our minds will always be enriched with all that has happened before today. All that is will become a past and all that we did will become a memory. Wherever you go, there you are.

There are a lot more photos from this journey and they can be seen here:



We awaken from the only motel with a vacany after miles and hours of looking. They in fact had several vacancies with our choice of beds, and smoking or nonsmoking. It seems there is a reason for its unpopularity and it probably had something to do with its uncomfortable sleeping quarters and its particle board flea market furniture. Still, any bed after a day of travel is a welcomed one.

The day is spent travelling back towards home without the luxury of stopping to see sights. Lucky for us, there are no sights to see on this stretch of highway. The most amusement I get out of the day is when we stopped in Pendleton, Oregon at a gas station to fill up.

I walked inside and laughed to myself as I stared at a wall full of "fantasy weapons". Axes, swords, daggers and more all put on display fo rme with their amazingly low price tags in clear view. It took all the will power I had to not purchase the numchucks I was holding and walk outside with them, twirling them around in a sort of predatory dance to give Joe a laugh or two. It was probably best that I didn't, because the amused trucker who saw me with them in my hands told me that they shouldn't be used on my boyfriend.

We find a bit of nourishment in Boise, Idaho, or as I like to call it "The Unfriendliest Town in the U.S." We head up inot the Boise Mountains for a night of "fun" camping with a real fire and even some veggie dogs. They were the first cooked food I had eaten in 8 days and I began to regret it soon after.

I wonder if this meal had something to do with the strange dreams I had through the scattered sleep patterns I had in that freezing tent that night. Dreams of baby owl-parrots in my hair, dreams of ridiculous parties, and dreams of dancing upside down in closets. I think I'll refrain from the veggie dogs and high fructose sugar buns in the future and stick to the raw basics.



A perfect way to start the day, we hunted down Seattle's only cafe that has an organic raw menu. I ordered my first raw pizza and Joe had a vegan pesto melt. We rummaged through some pictures as we sipped our coffee and the many different options left me salivating! I wish there was a place like this in downtown SLC!

After many unsuccessful attempts at catching a whale watching boat, we finally opted for a kayak tour in Anacortes. This turned out to be a high point on the trip and I'm very glad we chose this option.

We barely squoze into the last tour of the day with another family of 7. Our tour guide was named Jesse and he was very friendly and helpful. We paddled all around the coast and even ventured into the bay a bit. I was surprised at how easy and enjoyable the motions of the my first kayak trip came to me.

Joe and I made an excellent team on the water. He steered the rudder in the back, and I set the pace in the front. Once were were back on shore again, I found myself aching to go back out on the waves. This will surely turn into an enjoyable pastime for me.



Crossing over to Washington was something I looked forward to, but it ended up depressing me. The logging industry seemed so much more apparent of this side. Every few miles was a clearcut space of land, empty and vacant like a gaping sore torn across the skin of the earth. Piles of debris scattered across the naked surface, I could almost hear and feel the silent screams of her destruction from the past.

A stop into my frist rain forest brightened my day. It was a forest of life and constant renewal. It was a forest of rich green lush ferns and moss, and she lifted my spirits as I played in the soft earth, climbing giant roots and laying myself down into hollowed out tree trunks.

The cross over from Kingston to Edmund on the ferry was amazing! It was a first experience for me and we caught the sunset as we slowly coasted over the bay. Seattle was easier to navigate, but I found Portland much more charming.



We camped overnight in a campground near Bagby Hot Springs. In the morning, we packed up and hiked 1 1/2 miles to the springs. Such a beautiful area! Moss and ferns covered the ground and huge trees surrounded us. A lovely river ran along side the trail and where it pooled up, you could see fish swimming.

There is one major spring area and then there are 5 separate enclosed handmade baths. A simple rounded stick stops the hot water from flowing into the tub. There is a hole in the bottom of the tub and a handmade wooden plug keeps the water in.

There is such an assortment of people that come to these springs! We saw a few hippie families complete with their dogs, and several older couples which included two lesbians and a polygamist triad! A very interesting place indeed!

Portland and Astoria are both cities that I found charming in their own ways. With its historical downtown district, Portland reminded me a lot of downtown SLC, but more bicycle friendly and clean. Nicknamed the "Little San Fransisco of the Northwest", Astoria is a beautiful town with a high bridge and an old neighborhood twisting and winding its way up a lush green hill. Both of these lovely cities will be forever imprinted in my mind.



Jagged cliffs and white capped waves stretch for miles in front of me. We get sucked into tourist traps like Sea Lion Caves and Aquariums, both of which we throuroughly enjoy. We take in the local color at a funny seafood restaurant in Lincoln City, Oregon.

The lush green berry-filled forests makes my heart skip a beat with each bend we go around. But with each empty patch of cut down land I see my heart breaks a little. I am reminded of how delicate these forests are. I mourn for the loss of the ecosystems that took so many years to develop and that will take so much longer to regrow.



We finally made it to the magnificent Redwood Forest in the middle of the night looking for a camping spot. There was one spot left in Richardson Grove on account of a reggae festival going on nearby. I finished Tom's square as we drove through the Avenue of Giants, and then we hiked through the breathtaking Fern Canyon.

We decided to keep going and we made it to Oregon where we saw a few lighthouses. On one of our first Oregon stops, we filled an entire Nalgene bottle full of fresh, wild blackberries. These bushes grew everywhere!



Made it to San Fransisco where we ate lunch at an overpriced touristy restaurant. We found the beautiful Sonoma Valley to be much more quiet and pleasant. I had my first wine tasting as well as my first chocolate tasting. We indulged ourselves and bought a few cappacino truffles and chocolate bars.

In the backyard of these adorable shops we shared a delicious fruit salad on a patio overlooking a little stream. Blackberries, rosemary and lavender were growing everywhere!



We went through Tahoe today. When we stopped for dinner we came across a cute little yarn store. This is where I got the cool yarn to make Tom's square.