Monday, December 20, 2010

Westward ho!

In late July/early August, Melanie and I took a road trip that largely followed the Oregon Trail. In fact, Mel was on the road all the way from the east coast, so she started the OT in Missouri and saw the whole thing. She picked me up in Laramie, and we had a great adventure.

Wyoming landscapes are gorgeous, but I've posted so many pictures of it I'll try to restrain myself this time. Please enjoy the Sinclair refinery interrupting the scenery.
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I love roadside oddities. Mel is nearly indistinguishable from these stoic westerners in either Kemmerer or Diamondville, WY. I can't remember exactly.
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It is seriously so pretty out here.
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Straddling Wydaho.
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On the trail!
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We stopped at the Oregon Trail interpretive center for just a minute, and met a trail celebrity (although we didn't know that until later).
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On the way to a wedding near Sun Valley, we took a big detour to go to Craters of the Moon National Park. It was very odd, but cool to see all that black lava rock.
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Of course we had to make another stop out of the way to visit Ketchum, the last home of Hemingway. Finding his grave was super easy.
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It cracked me up to watch Mel post to Facebook from the gravesite.
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The Sun Valley Lodge has a really pretty monument to Papa.
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We drove back down to Twin Falls for the night. Can you believe we're finally at Day 2? In the morning, we visited Shoshone Falls before hitting the road again.
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From Twin Falls, we drove to McCall for Elizabeth and Jasper's wedding. I took a little break from photos for a day and just enjoyed hanging out with friends. The wedding was gorgeous and small, and the ceremony took place at a cute little inn on a patio that overlooked the lake. It was so fun to be at the wedding of two awesome people who've been together for 17 years!
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This one is probably in Idaho, but could be in Oregon.
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Of course we stopped in Baker City, OR at the end of the trail. The interpretive center there is really neat, and the wagon ruts are quite impressive.
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The rest of the day was spent hauling ass to Portland (Lewis & Clark trail, now!). We followed the Columbia (gorgeous) and stopped for the night at the White Eagle. Bunk rooms are cute and cheap, if you need a fun place to stay.
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We had breakfast at Tiny's, a cute coffee shop in the neighborhood, and made plans to meet up with our friend Shel for lunch.

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For a true Portland experience, we ate at some food carts. It was Monday, so lots of neighborhood pods were closed and we had to go downtown. That was okay with me! It was hard to choose what to eat, but Mel ended up with Thai, and I had a beet and apple juice smoothie.
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Then it was time to haul ass toward Seattle. After a brief stop in Seaside at the end of the Lewis & Clark trail (we're all about the detours), we took the bridge in Astoria over to Ilwaco, Wa.
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We made a stop again to see the North Head and Cape Disappointment lighthouses and to see the Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center. We had to hike up a short trail, but the views were so amazing. This is North Head.
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The Pacific Ocean.
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Cape Disappointment.
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We wanted to get to I-5 before dark, so we only stopped in Long Beach for a quick dinner and drove up the Coast Highway for a while but then had to cut over after Willapa Bay to start making good time.
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It was an amazing trip, and we got to see a lot of the west we love so much in just a few days.

Monday, December 13, 2010


You know what? I have gone several places in the past few months. I'm not going in order here. In August, I went to Sweden! This time it was Gothenburg, on the west coast, so now I've been to both sides of the country. The visit was for a library conference, but it was a lot of fun, too. I saw so many cool things.

An ABBA cover band opened the conference. You have not lived until you've seen 5000 librarians get up and dance with glee.

On our first night, we met up with some fun Danish and Finish librarians and stayed out all night barhopping. I think this photo was taken at about 3am in the "shittiest bar in Gothenburg!"

I ate a lot of good food and drank a lot of free wine. This table represents maybe 1/3 of the wine consumed by two people at one reception. Oops.

We visited several libraries. I won't bore you with the dozens of photos I took, but at one, I found a printer named for me.

We saw Jose Gonzales with the Gothenburg String Theory for free in the street because the city cultural festival was happening.

Cass and I rode hotel bicycles around town one day (yes, I was in a dress).

With two friends, I ate at a Michelin rated restaurant. My lamb was AMAZING.

Cass and I went to a two-day music festival and it kicked ass. Let's just say I've never been to a better festival in all my years. The lineup was fantastic and there were club shows for three nights. Crazy.


LCD Soundsystem was great, and we were way up front.

On our last day, we went to the archipelago for a rainy ferry ride. It was gorgeous.
tiny harbor in the archipelago
peaceful times