Thursday, March 24, 2011

from Birmingham to Washington State

In an effort to help my sister and her husband (she has an infant, and he's is deployed to Afghanistan with the Army), I agreed to help my dad drive their stuff up to Washington state from Dallas, where she was living while her husband was away. But I don't want to give the wrong impression and have someone prematurely nominate me for sainthood - my motives weren't entirely selfless. First, a road trip (even a really brief one) was going to provide some great photo opportunities. And second, I needed to add some more states to those that I've visited; it had been a couple years since any new states had been added (I'm now at thirty-three).

I flew out of Birmingham at 5:30pm on Wednesday; upon arriving in Dallas, I disembarked the plane headed straight to my dad's awaiting vehicle, and from there we grabbed a burger from Whataburger and hit the road by 8:15pm. Initially, there had been some discussion of spending the night in Kansas, but we decided to head straight on through the night.

Daybreak found us already in Colorado, where temperatures reached 15 degrees, which was sixty degrees colder than what I had left behind in Birmingham.

some Rest Stop on I-70 in Colorado
My favorite road on this venture (I have to qualify it by saying "so far," because we're currently still in Idaho), has been Hwy 287 in Colorado. Fortunately, from my photography perspective, we hit some road construction on Hwy 287 in a very opportune location.

on Hwy 287 in Colorado

on Hwy 287 in Colorado
We stopped for gas around lunchtime in Rawlins, Wyoming, so I asked the attendant for a suggestion (this after I commented to him that I hoped he had his store anchored down because the 30mph winds were about to push us off the road, to which he replied that it was "just a light breeze"). He recommended Penny's Diner, which was a 1950s style diner located in an aluminum trailer just up the road. It was the best BBQ burger I've had in a long time, maybe ever.

Penny's Diner :: Rawlins, Wyoming

So being filled up, we went onward and forward. More grandeur accompanied us on our route.

west of Rawlins, Wyoming
near Salt Lake City, Utah
near Ogden, Utah

So it's dark now, and we're about to wind it down for the evening in Ontario, Oregon. After more than 24 hours of being largely confined to either the captain or passenger chair of the Tahoe, I'll be able to unfold myself for a bit, before setting about on the final leg of this trip...actually, only the driving portion. I still have the flying back to do, which should be less taxing.

Update: This was taken Friday morning in Oregon, just before crossing over into Washington.

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