Friday, October 16, 2009

Autumn In The NorthWest Trip - Day One

Now Playing -
Mulder and Scully by Catatonia

Life - 
Thursday morning, I picked Lindsay up from work and we took off for our promised land, the Northwest. Specifically the roughly rectangular area between Long Beach, WA, Portland, OR, Salem, OR and Lincoln City, OR. Our plan is to check out the area, looking specifically with an eye towards living there full time. Previously, all we've done is head out here with the intention of hitting the beach and enjoying ourselves, but this trip is different. We want to know if we can happily live out here full time.

Day one, like any first day of vacation when you live in Idaho and can't afford to fly, was spent driving ridiculous distances. I picked Linz up from work at 7am, we grabbed some unremarkable and over priced breakfast at Taco Johns and left town by 7:30. Apart from a couple of gas breaks and an enjoyable if mean-spirited game of "Don't let him pass" with a pissy speeder in a pickup, we didn't stop until Durkee, OR - Home of one of our favorite stops, The Redneck Cafe. Love this place. Huge portions, a good sense of humor, sassy waitresses, decent prices and some of the best pie I've ever had.

This time around, we went with Bo's Sandwich. Bo is the proprieter, cook, repairman, and barstool warmer there, and is exactly how you would picture a dude that owns a diner and is surrounded by coffee and excellent pie all day.  His sandwich is swiss, corned beef, sauteed onions on grilled rye bread, served with a side of fries. So awesome.

After sharing that (The above photo, taken with my new phone, a habit I'll likely create on this trip) we had to have some pie, and after a bit of debate between it and the Sour Cream Butterscotch, we decided on the Creamy LemonCake Pie, which was a heavenly concoction of lemon filling, some sort of creamy, yet cakey layers, candied lemons and real whipped cream. Wow.

After that, with a very full stomach, we drove again... for a really long time. The drive from Pocatello, ID to the Portland area is a very pretty one, but even the most attractive thing can get boring after staring at it for so long. We stopped just outside of Portland, where one of Lindsay's friends lives, freshly returned from a stint in the UK cutting up bodies. She was meeting with some other friends for dinner so we fended for ourselves for food, unwisely choosing a Shari's, due exclusively to the fact that Troutdale is deceptively small-looking and closed up to the uninitiated in the dark, and because the only other restaurant, another "Family Dining" place had some very shady looking characters lurking outside of it.

Yeah... Shari's, a 24-hour chain diner blows. They have shabby coffee, reluctant waitresses that have cultivated an air of hostile indifference due to loitering high school kids in the middle of the night, really generic food in small portions and pretty filthy bathrooms. Also, they seemed ludicrously obsessed with pie. The waitress mentioned it at least four times and in addition to the flip chart of glossy photos, they had a display of them and had notices about remembering it on six or seven places. It was like Pie had gotten killed overseas and they were running a tribute P.O.W. special.  (Pies of War)

After dinner, we met Jen at the outlet mall nearby and followed her lead foot to her mother's house, on the outskirts of Boring, Oregon. (I REALLY want to own and run the Boring Motel there. I have some great ideas for that.)

We chatted for a bit, I took a shower, in which I was reminded that not everyone has a firehose-like pressure in their showers, sadly, and retired to our car. We were both asleep within minutes, breathing easily in the cool, moist, Oregon air.

Writing - 
I drove for something like 16 hours... no time to write!


FrecklesandDeb said...

I know that Shari's in Troutdale. You're right about the coffee, but the Chocolate-Peanut Butter pie is to die for! Can't wait to hear about the rest of your trip...your in my territory!

Steve at Random said...

I spent a lot of time in the areas you've described as well. I covered everything from Stockton, CA, to Portland, OR. My favorite was Medford and the Rogue River. I told you about the white water boating in flatbottomed speed boats in Grants Pass. Lovely memories. My boat drive was a macho American male by the name of Conroy. He loved to spin the speedboat around in the middle of the river and drown the people floating in rafts. Neither his actions nor his comments were politically correct...that's why I enjoyed the trips.

Kristopher and Crew said...

Deb, we actually commented on that pie, said it looked like the best!

Steve, I remembered you talking about that when we were driving and thought about how odd it would be to have grown up somewhere that wasn't a desert.

Wonky said...

Looks awesome. I will be visiting the NW US in a couple of months myself.

randymeiss said...

What's the pinkish-white stuff next to your french fries? Some sort of secret recipe dipping sauce?