Ross and Amy’s Western States Tour, 2006

Thursday (July 27)
Left from Portland at 6:30pm, heading south on I-5; arrived at Grants Pass around 11pm. On the way down we stopped at Cottage Grove for a bite to eat and a fill up of gasoline. "Would you like a drink?" - Dad.
Friday (July 28)
Left Mom and Dad’s house at about 11:30. Visited Bob and Jan at their new Mac store for a bit. Left Grants Pass at about noon. Drove south on I-5 until Mt. Shasta City, then headed east on State Highway 88. Stopped at a view point just south of Mt. Shasta for a photo. Continued on onto State Highway 44 to Susanville where we fed ourselves and our car. Took US Route 395 south through Reno to Carson City, and arrived at Sally and Steve’s at about 8:00pm. Late dinner at a mexican restaurant.
Saturday (July 29)
Got up and toodled around. Late lunch with Sally and Steve at Subway and Starbucks. Learned about fran-spew. Amy and I went to coffee and to a grocery store later on. Back to the house and watched The Incredibles. Made the reservations for the Red Lion hotel in Salt Lake City. (Mon/Tue/Wed nights)
Sunday (July 30)
Some breakfast and putting away dishes. When Baylee got back from the pool we geared up and headed out to Lake Tahoe. Arrived at Emerald Bay around 4pm after lunch at the Burger Lounge. Hiked down to VIkingsholm (visitor center was closed) and splashed around in the Lake for a bit. The hike back up was pretty steep but we made it back pretty well. “Like a Special Ed Marching Band.” - My description of exagerated marching down the trail. Stopped at Harvey’s casino on the way home. Lost Ryan’s 5 bucks straight out. Jan’s $5 got up to $17, was going to cash out at $20, but lost it all. Got back to the house and watched Jack Black’s School of Rock.
Monday (July 31)
Got out of town after grabbing some lunch at Jack In the Box. Headed east on US 50 towards Fallon. Got to Fallon around 2 and headed north on US 95 until hitting the I-80. Headed east, stopping at a horrible rest stop near Valmy, Nv. Got some gas outside of Elko and then stopped at the Starbucks in Elko for a quick refresh. Back on the road all the way to Salt Lake City. Got into town around 9pm and checked into the Red Lion. Took a quick night tour of SLC with a dinner at Dee’s. Amy got potato soup and chicken strips; I had steak and eggs. Back to the hotel to settle in for the night. (Read my review of the Red Lion hotel.)
Tuesday (August 1)
Late start, with lunch at Arctic Circle with the world’s grumpiest cashier followed by Starbucks (The first one we tried was in a blackout (no electric power in a 4 block area!), so we found a second one on the TRAX tracks.) Sight seeing the Mormon sites: the Temple, the Tabernacle, the visitor’s center. Then a visit to the ghost mall: Crossroads. ZCMI wasn’t much better. Back to the car and then drove up past the State Capitol and then up to Ensign Peak and a short hike to the look out area. Back downtown and went to Smiths for some supplies and then to The Pie Pizzeria because that’s where all the students from ‘The U’ go to eat their pull-a-parts and pepperoni pizzas.
Wednesday (August 2)
Westminster, Starbucks at 2100 South, shopping for CDs and Videos (Monty Python collection, Good Night and Good Luck, The Yes Men.) Then off to The Gateway Mall. Checked out a number of stores and picked up a t-shirt for Steve at a Utah gift shoppe. Then across town to the University of Utah campus to see some more of Amy’s stomping grounds. Drove by the Olympic cauldron and it seemed like a Real Salt Lake game was going on at Rice-Eckels stadium. (We would have gone, if we’d known an MLS match was afoot.) Then we drove up to “This Is The Place” monument. Braving the gnats, we read the plaques. I was impressed by the statues for the fur trappers and the Spanish monks that explored the Great Basin ahead of the Mormon pioneers.
Thursday (August 3)
SLC to PDX. We drove north out of SLC and off to Idaho. After my inital hundred miles Amy drove most of the rest of the way. We stopped in Idaho for gas and at a rest stop to stretch our legs. Crossing over into Oregon we stopped in Ontario to gas up our own selves. Then it was the home stretch... Amy drove and I stretched out in the back of the Prius. We got home just as Ryan was leaving the apartment having taken care of the cats for us. After dragging all of our stuff into the apartment, we were out before we landed in bed.


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