Sunday May 11, 2014
Happy Mother’s Day!
We finished up our packing last night and Rich has arranged all of my many bags. I usually refrain from overpacking, but not this trip. Since we will be in so many different climates and situations I have basically packed my entire closet. I carefully separated items according to temperature and use. However, now I don’t remember where anything is. I have a feeling this is not going to turn out so great.
Today we are beginning a six-week or so journey covering a lot of land and sea. A bit of background is necessary. This whole thing got started when my sister (Janet) and her husband (Eric) invited us to join them on an Alaskan cruise to celebrate their 30th anniversary. We quickly jumped on board and the planning began in earnest. Janet and I dug up what looks to be an amazing cruise. We will be traveling from Ketchikan to Juneau aboard the Safari Endeavor – part of the UnCruise company of ships. It is a small luxury vessel (32 passengers) and looks like just our style.
After the cruise was set Rich and I contemplated how to get to Ketchikan. Could we drive?? Well, we decided the next best thing would be to at least drive to Seattle and then fly to Alaska. After consulting our map we determined that Yellowstone National Park could be “on the way” from Mesa to Seattle. Ok, that looks good. Hmmm, Grand Teton National Park in Jackson, Wyoming is between Mesa and Yellowstone. We’ve never been there. Put it in the itinerary.
If we are going to drive all the way up there, we might as well make a stop in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho and play the gof course there that has the famous floating green. Check. Hey – let’s spend a few days there. We’ll mess around a bit in Seattle before heading to Alaska. After the cruise we might as well drive north to Vancouver. And, I have always wanted to visit Victora, BC on Vancouver Island. That turned into a plan to stay on Vancouver Island for a week. When we are finally reading to turn south we will drive down the coast making stops at Half Moon Bay, CA for golf and then San Martin, CA at the Calle Verde Golf resort. We might come home after that…
Today is a long driving day, but we choose to mainly stay off the interstates and take in the beautiful scenery. A breakfast stop in Payson at the 260 cafe is a fantastic choice for Mother’s Day brunch. Fortunately we arrive before the crowd and enjoy a lovely meal.
As we travel north towards Utah the strange haze that has been around since Mesa has not lifted and it is cloudy with threatening rain. Rich has planned to take a detour through Zion National Park in Utah, but we are not sure it will be worth it in these conditions. When we reach Page and the beginnings of Lake Powell, we can see why so many people love to vacation there. The surroundings are simply breathtaking. Yes – let’s go through Zion.
Turns out to be a great decision. It costs $25 to enter the park even to drive through like we are going to do. It isn’t longe before We can see why the cost is so high. How could they even consider making roads through this terrain? Everywhere you look is jaw-dropping surroundings. We especially enjoy going through the long tunnel that must have taken years to build. Rich imagines riding his bike around here. With all the switchbacks and hairpin turns I wouldn’t even dare to do it.
Zion was a great diversion even though we didn’t really take the time it deserves. We still have 250 miles to go and it is already 5pm. A jump on the interstate is necessary. Fortunately this one has an 80 mph speed limit.
Our goal tonight is Provo, UT. There is a concern that by the time we will arrive we won’t be able to find a restaurant that is open (it is Sunday and it is Provo…) I am driving so Rich Yelp’s for a restaurant. I am craving chicken and Rich finds a Mexican dive that has “the best roasted chicken.” They are open until 9:00 on Sundays. Hammer down – I am determined we are going make it. We arrive at 8:15 only to find out they close at 8:00! Great. We drive up and down the street and realize our choices are slim and none. We can go to Sizzler (not) or Subway. (Actually there was “Chuck-A-Rama buffet”). Subway take out seems to be our only viable choice. However, when we pull up out front we see that it is closed.
A Village Inn was just down the road so we cross our fingers and pull in. Yes! Open until midnight. A couple of salads later (Chicken Caesar and Cobb) we are ready to call it a night. We purchase a piece of French Silk Pie for the hotel and take off for the Sleep Inn (we are staying high style tonight). A couple of bites of pie later and we are ready to zonk.
Tomorrow’s drive to Jackson Hole is much shorter. Our vacation actually starts tomorrow. We will be staying in Jackson Hole for 3 nights and can stretch out and really relax. We are looking forward to what Wyoming will bring.