Tossing aside the traditional holiday falderal, we set out – for the first time ever - on a winter road trip. We headed for America’s Southwest on a 1,628 mile route that would take us from Washington State, across Oregon and a tip of Idaho, into Nevada, Utah and to our destination, Arizona.
Winter road trips through this area of the country require bi-polar packing: flip-flops, shorts, and suntan lotion in the suitcases that sit next to tire chains, snow boots, gloves and window scrapers in the car’s trunk.
We were prepared for winter’s potentially worst driving conditions and were pleasantly surprised to find the only ‘snowy conditions’ were on the trees and roadside on Washington’s Snoqualmie Pass (top photo).
It was sunshine and blue skies as we crossed the Columbia River and entered Oregon country.
Crossing Oregon’s Blue Mountains (this photo at the summit) was a snap. Traveling on Thanksgiving Day made for virtually no traffic. . .we did pass a group of wild turkeys standing along the roadside, showing off, we think, for having avoided the platter for another year.
Our route through central Oregon was flanked with the Wallowa Mountain range in the distance to our left and the Blue Mountains (pictured) to our right.
Day 1: Was a bottom-buster: 11 hours and 693 miles. Subsequent days we allowed ourselves a bit more sightseeing, fewer miles and less hours in the car.
We reached our destination: Jackpot, Nevada – a wide spot in the road just south of the Idaho border, with four casinos, three hotels and a service station at 6:45 p.m. our time; 7:45 p.m. by the Mountain Time they follow here.The casino/hotel we’d hoped to stay in was sold out – luckily the place across the street, Barton’s Club 93 had rooms ($57 a night)and food.
We could have had the traditional turkey either as a plated meal or from the buffet. But we’d already thrown tradition aside. . .
. . . so we opted to hit the Thanksgiving Jackpot with chicken fried steak platters!
Hope you’ll come back for Day II of the winter road trip – we’ll be leaving early tomorrow so pack your bag and join us!