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Phil and Greg’s Excellent Adventure

June 9, 2012

Phil and I are on a road trip to visit friends in Idaho.

The first day, we left Seattle in rush-hour traffic and got off “like a herd of turtles,” as my family likes to say. We finally stopped for dinner in Snoqualmie, where I had won a gift card to a local restaurant at a 5K three-plus years ago. Sadly, Mike’s Cascade Grill is now Mabel’s On The Ridge, and Mabel is not honoring Mike’s long-forgotten commitments to former road-race victors.


[Phil enjoying a full-price beverage at Mabel’s On The Ridge.]

Phil did well during the 9 or so hours of driving to Boise, only complaining of boredom a couple of times. One of our monotony-combating activities was to make up stories about a police dog named Lucky. (One or more of those will be posted separately.) He also had some fun making pictures with a set of magnetized shapes called Imaginets.

Phil playing with Imaginets

Motel 6
[Motel beds are extra-fun to jump on.]

After a reasonably restful night at the Motel 6 in Ellensburg, we continued on to Interstate 84 in Oregon. Its smooth surface, lack of traffic, and pleasantly undulating hills were wonderful; never in my life have I felt so fond of a highway. Below are a couple of photos taken by Phil along the way.

eastern Oregon countryside photo by Phil

the view from the carseat

Oregon must have seemed like a foreign country to Phil. Even before we had crossed the state line, he asked, “What language do they speak there?” The state’s prohibition on self-serve gas pumps also inspired numerous questions, most asked from the perspective of someone convinced that such a strange law must have loopholes. “What if all the gas station workers were at lunch when you came?” “What if they all were sick?” And so forth.

After transferring to I-82, we stopped for lunch at Sumpter Junction, a locomotive-themed restaurant featuring a working electric train that circles the perimeter of the dining area. The restaurant seems to attract an improbable mix of (A) families with small boys and (B) Hell’s Angels (who may be partial to the “Hell Yeah” breakfast special).

sitting here watching the wheels go round and round

After lunch, I felt unacceptably sleepy at the wheel until I blasted Matthew Morrison’s self-titled debut album, which got us to Boise safe and sound.

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