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Sunday, January 27th, 2013

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20130103 Trip to Oregon and Back: Down the mountains to Boise
Continued from 20121231pm-0102 Trip to Oregon and Back: High Desert Environs.. More images at 20130103-06 Road Trip 5: OR, ID, UT, WY, SD, MN

We left Bend early Thursday. We headed East, which means that we were going to lose the two hours gained on the way here, but the sun would be behind us in the evening. Basic plan was to do touristy stuff in the morning and daylight, then drive in the afternoon and into the dark. This worked splendidly.

Starting off: Getting down from the mountains. More than 300 miles from Bend, OR to Boise, ID, almost all of it on US 20.

Riley, OR 1/3/13
The mountains and lone gas station within miles, Riley, OR 1/3/13

A word about our return route. My basic wunderlust on long trips is generally to go back a different way. The fastest way home was to go the way we came, North through Spokane/Coeur D'Alene/Butte/Fargo, and the second fastest way was to diverge at Butte to visit Mount Rushmore in South Dakota. But we had an extra day, and we demonstrated that being in the car, even driving, wasn't too bad on Carole's knee as long as we took it easy. The longer way wasn't that much longer and wouldn't take that much more time overall.

So taking US 20 scratched several itches: First, we would be driving in the mountains during the day. We'd already seen the northern route on our side trip to Portland. Hence, south. Second, we could see several cities neither of us had been to.

Third, we got to drive on a western part of US Rt. 20. I went to college in Albany, NY, and lived on or near US 20, which starts in Boston and goes almost all the way to the Pacific Ocean. Ever since then, I've wanted to drive US 20, or at least see other parts of it. Forty years later, another itch was scratched.

And I must say: A brilliant move. The drive down the mountains was spectacular. Most of the trip was on a two-way road with a speed limit of 65 or 70, iirc. At night in bad weather the trip would have been a nightmare. For us, the roads were clear and the weather fine. Terrific. No sceneic overlooks or any one place I could say was more exhilarating than another, but I'm so very glad we did this.
more narrative and photos under the cutCollapse )
Dave in front of Basque mural, Boise ID 1/3/13
Dave in front of Basque mural, Boise ID 1/3/13

ETA: Oh, I almost forgot. We managed to accomplish something great on the trip: We (probably) found a game that Richard Tatge doesn't have! We'll get it to him.

Plan A went off without a hitch. Okay, we got lost in Salt Lake City at night, but eventually found our hotel and crashed. A long day, but a good one.

Continued in 20130104 Trip to Oregon and Back: Salt Lake City and Antelope Island

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