Winding Roads: Taking in the sights

Thursday, September 13, 2007

I'm sure many of you must have missed the Hohbachs' presence last month as we finally took off for my dream trip of seeing most of the west -- the northern portion of it. The scenery was breathtaking and I most certainly want to go back. I believe Oregon and Washington to be the most beautiful states. We had never been there and I wanted to see what I could possibly see in three weeks time but it took a little longer than that.

The secret of traveling for any length of time is to get out and stretch every 90 minutes or so. sometimes it gets to be 2 1/2 hours but it's just good to do so.

Out first stop was Minden, Neb. as my better half wanted to check all the antique cars and tractors. It is quite a collection and one can't walk through it in one day. We started in the afternoon, stayed over and finished it by early afternoon the next day. Your feet just wear out. Campers go in there and stay several days to take in all the information available.

We headed west through Wyoming and stopped in a small scenic community of Dubois for the night. We met some kind young men who gave input on what their citizens did to make a living. It is a busy hub in warm months and drops down some through winter with some hunters using their facilities. It gave you a hint of the west.

We traveled down to Jackson Hole the next day. What a tourist town it has become. I was delighted to find a bar that looked like a western bar and enjoyed some lemonade there while a couple of couples were receiving dancing lessons.

Going south we noticed that many were taking float boat trips and I wish we had done that. It didn't seem to be as rough as white watering in Colorado. We had stopped to do the boat trip but wouldn't you know, Dick Cheney was to show up at noon and they were scoping the area out. I was hurt to think they chose Cheney over me.

We crossed over to Idaho where the wheat fields were a bright golden yellow with blue skies, lovely mountains dotted with many evergreen trees and an occasional lake or river to add interest. It was a beautiful sight. They grow tons of potatoes there too.

We turned south to Utah, which was OK, I guess. The Mormon Square was something to see and the organ in the tabernacle was fantastic. The Mormons bought a block of Main Street and had erected a couple more large spectacular buildings. Money is not in short supply there.

We tackled the Utah salt flats the next day as well as most of Nevada. It was not as worrisome as I thought it would be. We stayed in Reno at Circus Circus, which was a learning experience. Me and heights don't get along and we had to ride an outdoor rail to where our room was. We had a great time there.

The next day we got to Lake Tahoe where we spent a day and a half. The water was very cold, The sights were beautiful. It was sad to see where fire had taken the mountains. It will take years for evergreens to grow back.

The next day we got to my brother's home in Santa Rosa. My husband probably got sick of hearing how beautiful everything was --especially the flowers. We can't begin to grow roses like they do there. I saw beautiful flowering trees, which no doubt wouldn't survive in Iowa. We spent five days there seeing the sights. It is also wine country with more wineries than you can shake a stick at. Samples are basically $1 a sample while back in Ohio, samples went for 25 cents.

We headed up to California's coast. We didn't actually drive the coast until we crossed closer at Willis to Fort Bragg. We stayed next to the coast from there. The redwoods grabbed my attention and thought it to be the most serene place. It was divine and I hope they will be well kept as they are hundreds of years old.

Oregon's coast was lovely. The sights are at every corner. Bikers are everywhere carrying their belongings with them. Talk about needing body strength to do that. I could bum around that state all summer. Washington is just as good. We visited with a former Marcus acquaintance (Teresa Kauffman) at Long Beach, Wash. where she manages a 55 and over trailer court. They are right close to the ocean. It was fairly cool during our stay but we had a good time and carried away a quart of the largest oysters you could want.

That's all I have time for now. Next week, I'll share the rest of our trip along with some observations that may influence your political view.