I might split this up into two or three separate posts but I mostly want to get all of this down before I completely forget little things.
Left at the crack of dawn (aka 4:30am) from Vancouver, WA. My mom and brother were both up to see me go. I had packed everything the day before and loaded the last few items in that morning. It was gorgeous out. The sunrise was absolutely stunning with pinks, oranges, and purples filling the sky as I made my way out to the Columbia Gorge. I decided to go the scenic route as the Columbia Gorge is one of the oldest scenic drives in the country and I had never seen Multnomah Falls. Yes, as an Oregonian it took me moving 3,000 miles away to actually see one of the biggest attractions the state has to offer.
The Vista House at Columbia Gorge
Horsetail Falls, among the many beautiful falls seen on the drive. It took me quite a while to get through this area because of the stopping to take pictures.
The drive itself
My entire drive through Oregon was beautiful. I marveled at the sights; the two dams, the rolling hills, windmills, and the river itself. It didn't hit me that I was actually "doing this" until I hit the Idaho border. By this time it was noon, the sun was getting hotter and the traffic was getting more intense. I have never fancied Boise as a very happenin' place but once I checked into the hotel, cooled down a bit and went out to meet friends for dinner, I really enjoyed myself. The downtown Boise area has a Thursday night market with food, music, and things to buy. It was great to get a sense of the people and walk around a bit. I was not used to the heat but getting out of the car was something pretty great at this point. The Capitol building is something pretty great itself. The gardens and statues were beautiful and I liked how close it was to the downtown area. I met my friend and her family at Old Chicago, which I had not been to since high school. Great pizza, good catching up, and I had a cookie to enjoy when I got back to my hotel. I would have loved to had stayed another day or two in Boise and explore more. Yes, I am shocked too.
Thursday Night Market
The Capitol Building & Abraham Lincoln
Doubletree Club Boise, my hotel. Fantastic beds and cookies.
My Idaho Sign since I missed the one coming into the state
The next morning, bright and early, I left to continue my journey. It was dark when I left but as the morning moved along the sun came out and I was able to see the hills and sights of Boise. I made two unplanned stops along the way because when you see signs for "Niagra Falls of the West" you make a point to stop. It was only a small detour out to Shoshone Falls and I had no idea what to expect.
Here are the falls from the viewing point. The sign says that there are wonders to behold further down and the admission is only $3. Thank goodness I carried cash that day!
And little did I know that I would be in for such a gorgeous display of nature.
My other side trip was actually a bridge that led me to Shoshone Falls. Obviously, as I was driving I saw a lot of "view points" and I couldn't always pull over to them fast enough which made me cranky sometimes. Since I saw this one on the way there, I planned to make the stop on the way back. I was not disappointed.
That was just a hint of what was in store for me on this road trip. I saw so many beautiful things that it was overwhelming at times. Apparently, I am a road trip person!
Here are some more of my favorite pictures from Oregon & Idaho: