We actually started the drive the night before, at around 8:30 or so. We both find the Washington State I-5 part of the drive to be boring AF, so we decided it would be better to do it at night. But first, we had to hit 7-11 for a much needed Slurpee!
OMG, the Washington part of the I-5 is even boring at night. Not even the car cassette player or CD adapter could help us! I vaguely remember listening to audio cassettes of Boy Meets World, dubbed from the TV, as we drove through Seattle. Beyond that, nothing!
Eventually, we passed over the Columbia River into Oregon, which is pretty much our favorite place on the planet. I had high hopes of greasy, high calorie truck stop food at a truck stop just south of Portland. When I road tripped with my parents as a kid, this was a staple food stop! But alas, as a young adult, I have no idea where the hell this place actually was (or even what it was called), so we kept cruising south on an empty stomach. Both getting hangry, we found ourselves at some Denny’s in Salem. We all about that high life, ya know.
With our bellies full of greasy bacon and pancake syrup, we were back on the road! Our next stop was the Three Sisters area in Central Oregon, and DAMN was I ever excited. My Dad took me there for the first time when I was 12, and I was hooked ever since. Actually, hooked is was too weak of a word – I’ve been ENAMOURED with Oregon Scenic Highway 242 ever since that day, and I still am. Mark hadn’t seen that area of Oregon before, so I was stoked to get him introduced to the area.
Highway 242 is amazing. Once you get to the neverending fields of lava, you’ll soon get to the Dee Wright Observatory. It sounds like something nerdy, but it’s anything but. It’s f’n dope. It’s basically a castle made out of lava. Up top, you’re treated to a 360 degree panorama of the Oregon cascades. North and Middle Sisters to the South, and then to the north you see Mt. Washington, Mt. Jefferson, and on a clear day, Mt. Hood.
Our next stop was Summer Lake. Neither of us had ever been before, but it sounded like a nice spot to get out of the car, cool off, relax, etc. We’re cruising down Highway 31 and wouldn’t you know, it’s a f’n DRY lake bed! See kids, this is why it’s important to do your travel research beforehand!
After that fail, there was nothing left to do but shoot straight south to the California border, and then drive on to Reno. Checked in at the Eldorado Hotel late in the afternoon, and God DAMN that was a long day - that’s why we called it the Hell Drive!
Grubbed down on pizza at Tivoli Garden for dinner, and that was it for the day. I was f’n exhausted! I do, however, remember being awoken in the middle of the night by an elephant………….