As some of you know and the rest of you probably assume, we are home. We got home a week ago. The last few days were tiring, and we came home to many obligations that kept us tired.
We left Andrea’s brother in eastern Idaho and drove over Teton Pass to Jackson, Wyoming.
We didn’t stay there but came back over the pass and drove up to West Yellowstone, Montana. That’s a beautiful drive along a broad, flat valley with the Teton Mountains to the east. This day, however, the mountains weren’t visible. It rained and drizzled and was overcast and rained some more.
West Yellowstone exists for tourists, and the tourists were obliging. We were there almost a week before the devastating rains in the Park, but we got plenty of rain while we were there. With the west entrance to Yellowstone closed, the town is probably close to a ghost town. Or it may be full of people waiting in hope the entrance will open.
Then it was north on mostly two-lane roads through beautiful country to Helena. We had sun and clouds and hard, hard rain, but it was a beautiful drive and the countryside was lush.
I love those wide-open spaces – broad grassy prairie with low population, mountains in the distance. We spent the night in Great Falls. We drove along the river, stopping to look at some of the falls.
And there is a wonderful Lewis and Clark Museum there. I’d seen it about 15 years ago and wanted to show it to Andrea. Unfortunately, we arrived just before it closed, so we had only a taste of it.
From Great Falls we headed west on a two-lane road across the Continental Divide to Missoula and the interstate.
We zipped through Coeur d’Alene without stopping and spent a little time at the Tesla service center near Spokane, to see if they could retrieve the Visa card I dropped into the center console. (No luck.)
Then it was a circuitous route around northern Washington, passing by Coulee City and Wenatchee. Somehow I had calculated the distances wrong, and the day took much longer than I had planned. We stayed in Yakima and just walked around a little. They were celebrating Pride Month, though.
Then it was home – south to Oregon, crossing the river at Biggs Junction, and west through the Gorge.
At home, besides the usual laundry and held mail, we had a flurry of doctor appointments and other obligations. It was a fun trip, and it was great to get away. We loved meeting Mayor Middleton in Palm Springs and spending time with Andrea’s brother and his partner in Idaho. But each trip seems to be more difficult.
I had planned another trip east to Wyoming and Iowa and Minnesota for more visiting, but as the obligations here at home keep cropping up, we don’t know when we’ll be able to go again.
Yesterday I took the car to the body shop that had worked to fix it after a semi-truck nudged us out of our lane on the interstate late last year. The fellow at the shop took part of the center console apart but still couldn’t get at the Visa card. It’s time to call the bank.
My daughter and grandson came to visit last weekend. She asked me what it is that I like about roadtrips. I gave her my usual answer about seeing new places and encountering new people, and about having fewer obligations. We don’t have to cook or clean up or make our beds; we don’t have to respond to the mail; we can’t do the simple things that fill our days while we’re home. But thinking about it, there’s more to it. For one thing, there’s the adventure. And it’s a simplified life. We get up, eat breakfast, throw our gear in the car, and take off. At the end of the day, we check into a motel, unpack, eat, read or play cards, and go to bed. Roadtrips are also almost meditative. Cruising along, we watch the landscape go by, pay attention to the road and traffic, and otherwise let our minds wander. And I like the time with Andrea. At home, we each tend to do our own things. On the road, we are together, one driving, the other dozing or watching the landscape or talking. Sometimes if there is no traffic we listen to audiobooks. But it is an easy, quiet time spent together. I love that.