Showing posts with label Pacific Northwest road trips. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Pacific Northwest road trips. Show all posts

Monday, July 2, 2012

Travel: A Sweet, ‘Suite’ Life

WARoadTrip2012 205Traveling Pacific Northwest back roads last week was the anniversary gift we gave ourselves. A tradition that began with a road trip three years ago, it is a perfect present for a couple of travelers.
We love following a new route into another year. 

WARoadTrip2012 010Our favorite road trips are over those roads less traveled.  When I think about it, such trips are a reflection of the direction our life together has taken. . . on a road less traveled.

During the six-month courtship of this attorney and journalist in the early months of 1980, we agreed we’d work hard until the time was right and then we would leave that life behind to pursue our passion: travel.

It's been more than a dozen years ago, we did just that  - out with the old, in with the new - without a backward glance in the rear view mirror. 

It can be done. We’re living proof that the sweet,‘suite’ life can be lived. It is an adventure. It was a risk.

WARoadTrip2012 172While we were winding our way through Washington and Oregon, my friend, Ann Oxrieder, author of StillaLife blog, wrote about an article in AARP Magazine by Ken Budd, titled, “New Adventures, New Risks, New You.”

His article, as the title indicates, encourages stretching your comfort zone just a wee bit to discover new things out in the world and within yourself. It's what we advocate in this blog about travel.

Ann noted,

“(Budd) says we’ll all be happier if we invest in experiences, and cites a study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, which showed that ‘57 percent of participants were happier after spending money on experience instead of on stuff, compared with 34 percent who chose material goods…As experiences turn into memories, we tend to appreciate them more, even the lousy ones.’ ”

I suspect he would like the message I saw on sign on one of our road trip stops:

WARoadTrip2012 162

Tales of our road trip continue this week on TravelnWrite when we’ll head out through Washington’s Inland Empire and follow the Nez Perce Indian trail into Northern Oregon, with a stop at one of the most beautiful locations on earth (to our way of thinking).  If this is your first time visiting, thanks for stopping by! We hope you’ll click the link to our homepage and become a regular follower of our travel tales and tips.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

On the Road Again – With a map in my lap

We will soon be on the road again.  The Sun-Seeking Smiths are heading east and south across Washington State, looping down into northeastern Oregon and back again. Joel's the driver and I read the maps.

VashonIsland 2012 036We’ve been studying our trusty maps -- those wonderful paper fold-up types that allow the voices in our heads -- and not a mechanical one -- to determine our routes. We don't leave home without them.

Yes, before you tell us. . . we realize a GPS could do the thinking for us and get us there by the quickest and most direct route (and we know many of you love them). But on our road trips the journey is as important as the destination. So determining the route is half the fun of the trip for us.

We’ll head east and spend a night or two in the state’s second largest city, Spokane, the metropolitan hub of an area long known as ‘The Inland Empire’. We’ll head south on a portion of the old Inland Empire Highway as it meanders through agricultural land and the small towns like Spangle and Rosalia scattered among the fields. 

Our Oregon destination is the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest.

We will stay at one of our favorite Northwest places: Wallowa Lake Lodge. We celebrated our anniversary there three years ago. We’ll do the same this year.

Map picture

Our return trip may include a stop in Pendleton, Oregon, where we will go underground on a history tour or to its famed woolen factory. . .or maybe to Walla Walla for a night in the heart of Central Washington’s wine country. 

We’ve got little structure to this trip –  we are leaving ourselves open to some new discoveries along the way.  I’m sure those old paper maps have some in store for us.


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