The Fell Clutch of Circumstance

A blog detailing a road trip by two brothers from Seattle to Albuquerque. There will be beer!

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Albuquerque can't get rid of me that easily

So, I am still in Albuquerque, taking up space in John's rental home because of "mechanical issues" with a Southwest Airline flight this morning. Let's just be nice and say I now know the ABQ airport really well, and I am the least ticked-off of their passengers for flight 2115. We'll leave it at that, and move on with the opportunity to provide some more random pictures from our trip. Let's take them in chronological order, shall we? (Type A personalities unite for 2015!)

So, remember how I started my trip: with my brave wife driving me through some very fresh snow in the Twin Cities. Luckily we gave ourselves plenty of time.
Not surprisingly, this would not be the first snow I would see on the trip. However, it was much less scenic than what I would see over the next few days.

Driving from Seattle to Oregon was very cool. The mountains in Washington were scenic, as were the billboards advising young Washing-stone-ians about driving under the influence. The last time I made the trip from Longview to Astoria, I was in a small bus that smelled of denture cream and stale farts. I think it goes without saying that the tipsy-turvy drive was a lot more fun this time around. We did get a bit lost in Cannon Beach, but that led to some really cool views in Ecola State Park. I thought this hipster in particular deserved a photograph:

I was glad that John and I drove Highway 26 back to Portland (a new route for me), but it wasn't very scenic, because by that time it was dark and still raining. However, random comments were still inspired, such as "That gas station sported a hand-painted sign", and we discovered the blessing of the comedy channels on satellite radio. Plus, given what scenery we could see, I think I understand a lot more Northwest-bred grunge band lyrics now.

We visited two breweries in Portland: Burnside and Basecamp. This included a surprising flight of 12 beers at Burnside. I was expecting 6, but I didn't complain:

The next morning included a stop at Voodoo Donuts. I love how this place really embraces their theme, right down to the seating. Yes, that's a coffin:

The drive south from Portland to Sacramento was long, but insanely beautiful. Really, I can't remember any interstate driving that is more scenic than that one. I tried to capture the majestic way the mist drifts through the mountains, but pictures through the car window just don't do it justice, particularly with my phone. So, you'll have to settle for this dorky attempt at forced-perspective at Mt. Shasta:
The next day's drive to South Lake Tahoe, then Las Vegas, was equal parts scenic and interesting from a "city folk don't git it" vibe in the very sparsely populated areas. And they're right, I really don't get it. But it's fun to try to speculate; I suppose at one time in my life I contemplated living someplace that isolated. Plus, there WAS an "Aliens" cafe near Area 51, so it's not like the region is completely devoid of entertainment. Anyway, here's a scenic overlook on the way to Lake Tahoe:

Between Tahoe and Vegas, you've already seen our really awesome video on Highway 120 (if not, see our earlier post), but there was also a lot of fun seeing the insane wind blow snow off the Mammoth (?) mountains:
We won't mention how many vehicles we passed on this particular leg of the journey.

That about wraps up the random pictures from the trip. John and I (mostly John) have stimulated several local economies, listened to a LOT of satellite radio, sampled many many beers (only AFTER driving!), and accomplished our goal. I'm not sure if my original Google Map had our precise route, but it was close, and it said: 1,981 mi, 1 Day, 7 Hours, 9 Minutes. Obviously we didn't drive straight so it took us longer than that, but it gives you an idea of how much time was spent in the car. Almost 2,000 miles through the western part of the country is definitely an experience I would recommend.

Thanks for following along, all four of you!

P.S. This is my third time in Albuquerque, and given my inability to make an escape, I have a feeling this might be a future retirement community for me. Maybe I can find a few Korean places...


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