We got up on Thursday morning to a beautiful sunny day and headed out to Jimmy Beans Wool after grabbing a quick coffee at Starbucks. I didn't find anything at Jimmy Beans, but it was neat to go into a store that has become very well known in the online world.
Our trip through northern Nevada, towards Bend, Oregon was amazing. Stu and I have never seen scenery like that. It was breathtaking. For the last bit of Nevada and the first part of Oregon we seemed to be the only people on the remote one-way highway. I don't think many people go to Oregon using highway 95 and then turning onto highway 78. It's definitely the scenic route!
After many many hours of straight road all of a sudden you get spit out into a curvy sharp downhill road with no guardrails or anything. It was so beautiful that we decided to stop part way down (there was a small area to pull over at the side of the road). Neither of us have ever experienced silence like this. There was literally no sound!
We even managed to enter a different time zone for an hour or so! We experienced Mountain Time briefly in eastern Oregon.
We arrived in Bend, Oregon for dinner at about 6:00. Originally, we were going to spend the night in Bend and then push onto Portland and then Vancouver the next day, but we were still up for driving, so we carried on with our travels after dinner in hopes we would reach Salem that night.
What we didn't realize was that we were embarking on a very bumpy and curvy one-lane highway that would take us through 100 miles of mountain pass. It was dark and had poor visibility, but when it started snowing heavily part way through the pass, it was downright scary! There we were alone in the dark, winding, and very snowy mountain pass in a car with all-season tires.
We pushed on and made it through to an awesome Best Western in Salem, which gave us free cookies and bottles of water when we arrived and a complementary breakfast at Denny's the next morning.
Friday morning in Salem was the first rain we had seen on the whole trip. Other than the brief mountain pass snow on Thursday night, we had blue sky the whole time.
Stu and I realized that we had driven at least one mountain pass every night after dark for our entire trip. In future trips, we are not going to be doing that!
After breakfast at Denny's we headed for a mall just outside of Portland. I scored an awesome pair of tax-free Silver jeans, before we got back on the road for Portland.
Originally, we were not going to double back over Portland (we were going to stay further east), but I was so taken with Twisted and we enjoyed Portland so much on the way through that I really wanted to go through it again.
I did stop in at Twisted and it really is the best yarn store ever. I have never seen such an awesome selection of sock yarn, and they could not be nicer in there. I have declared it my LYS away from home. If you knit socks and there is any way for you to get to Twisted, you should go. You will not be disappointed. Hey, I drove through a snowy mountain pass at night so I could go.
We arrived in Seattle at 4:15pm for an early dinner at possibly the best vegetarian restaurant in the world (I ate here a ton when I was growing up). It is so good that it makes you ask, "Meat who?". Even Stu likes the food there! It's called the Sunlight Cafe and is on Roosevelt.
At this point we were close enough to home that we were quite anxious to get there, but we had one last mission. We had to stock up on Lily Sugar n' Cream
dishcloth cotton. For some reason the dishcloth cotton that is stocked in Canada seems to be almost exclusively Bernat (which I don't like). We finally found a good selection at Jo Ann in Bellingham, so I am fully stocked again.
We only waited in the border line up for about 3 minutes on the way back, and the border guard was weird -- he didn't even take our ID and stuff out of Stu's hand. He just asked if we were both born in Canada, value of goods coming back, and how long we'd been gone. Not even where we had gone! We've never been ushered through the border so quickly and with so few questions.
We arrived home before 9:00pm to two very happy cats. I can tell that they missed us, and we missed them too. We've never been away from them for that long before. It sounds like they had fun visiting with Grandma and Grandad though.
All in all, we are glad to have gone, and are glad to be back. Don't tell Stu (this is what he gets for saying that he doesn't want to read my blog!), but I'm going to head over to my LYS today to partake in their belated boxing day sale. Ssshhhhh.....