Monday, August 12, 2013

The 2013 Summer Driveabout Recap

The problem with road-tripping out of Portland, Oregon, City of Roses, is that you are kind of boxed in by geography.   You can't drive very far west without stalling out in the surf; and north, there are two large cities and then the end of the world.  South is OK, but you still end up kind of pinched against the Pacific Coast.

You'd expect the best direction for expansive road travel to be east, right?  But there's trouble that way, too.  After about 200 miles driving east, the terrain suddenly gets very bumpy indeed.  Much past Pendleton, Oregon, and it turns into what is basically an impenetrable wilderness.  There's Hell's Canyon, which is both the deepest and the most badass canyon in the world -- look it up! -- and then ridge after ridge after ridge of crazy jagged mountains.  If you look at a road map of Idaho sometime,  you'll see that there is the panhandle bit where people live, and the Snake River plain bit where people live, and then  the area I marked in blue, below, which has a couple of twisty, tenuous roads driven through it at great expense so that they can pretend that the state has some sort of logical unity.  Basically what I did on this trip is drive a great big circle around the wild lands.

Not that I knew that when I started out.  I didn't even really decide on "East" until a couple hours before I left.  Once I was on the road, I let myself be guided by things like potentially doable geohashing expeditions (the circles on the map -- green indicates success, red indicates failure); counties that needed collecting; whim; offhand suggestions from friends; and of course a general sense that I would need to eventually get home again.  Oh, and the little feet symbols are places I went running -- I got one new state (Montana) and a new Oregon County (Umatilla) for my respective running-in-place collections.

The geohashing expeditions are #128 - #136, indexed here.

The new counties were 14 in number, five in Idaho and nine in Montana.  That makes 21 for the year, with the possibility of several more coming down the pike, so that's good.  Montana, let me add, was right purty.

And you'll never believe who I ran into in southeast Washington!  The Avatar!

Yeah, I found him on U.S. 12, just east of its intersection with State Road 261!  He seems like he's really enjoying the scenery, and getting lots of exercise.  I didn't run with him, but when I ran that night in Milton-Freewater, Oregon, he continued along towards Washington 127 and points east.

I'd tell you about the museums and the fine dining and the must-see attractions, but it really wasn't that kind of vacation.


Dug said...

Just wasted 10 minutes at work finding the location of that last picture on google street view. Now I can say I got something done today.

Missed opportunity to complete Idaho?

Michael5000 said...

Idaho is a fiend. I don't know if anybody has EVER been to that one county.

Were you going to try to claim I'd photoshopped myself into a streetview picture? Because that is a totally legit photograph of me and the Avatar.

gl. said...

the avatar! what a surprise! did you two have plans to meet up, or was it just a coincidence?

Michael5000 said...

It was a spontaneous decision. There were a lot of those.