Today you get to see a few photos from our recent road trip to Las Vegas! I loved seeing the looks on people’s faces when I said we were going to Vegas — folks who know Jim and me were rightfully quite shocked as it doesn’t seem like ‘our thing.’ Well, you’re all right. It’s not ‘our thing.’ But there was a great writing/marketing conference there November 12-14, and it worked out great for us to take a road trip and catch the conference. We had four days to drive each direction, which was enough to swing far enough west to catch the California/Oregon coast for a day. It doesn’t take much excuse for us to visit the Pacific…
So, with no further ado, the above photo is of Sam’s Town in Vegas, where the 20Books conference was held. Jim and I stayed nearby at the Eastside Cannery Hotel and Casino.
The next photo is of Dufur, Oregon. Jim’s great-grandparents arrived in Dufur on the Oregon Trail in about 1888 and homesteaded there for about 15 years before making their way to Alberta, Canada. We spent about an hour poking around this lovely little town, trying to see it through ancestral eyes.
At a rest stop in Nevada, we watched a group of white-breasted nuthatches enjoying a bird bath on top of this post. Lots of flitting and even a bird fight or two… I’d have had to be on video to catch that, and it was over in a dizzying instant. So cool!
We’d driven Nevada from east to west in 2016. This time we came in at Reno and drove south. There’s an astonishing amount of sand and sage in Nevada.
Then Joshua trees started showing up and a while later, the Mojave yucca palm. Fascinating!
Then I shifted into conference mode while Jim took a well deserved relaxing break. I hear he watched a lot of TV, read a lot of books, and took a lot of naps while I was conferring! Here I am with my writing friend Elizabeth Maddrey. It was great meeting for the first time and hanging out in person.
In a conference of around 1000 attendees, about a dozen Christian authors got together one evening. I knew about half of these from online and had previously met Carolyne Aarsen (white top) and Carol Moncado (navy T-shirt) before. We all had fun sharing notes and swapping stories!
On Wednesday evening, Elizabeth, Jim, and I took in part of the (in)famous Vegas Strip and had dinner at Senor Frog’s.
After dinner… the Cirque du Soleil show Mystere! Now that was (almost) worth a trip to Vegas on its own.
It’s nearly impossible to take decent photos inside the darkened venue, but the show started with the lowering of four drummers from the ceiling. This one came down right in front of our second tier seats. The whole show was amazing, and if we get another chance to see a Cirque show, we’ll take it.
After the conference ended, Jim and I headed southwest through the Mojave Dessert then up California’s central valley.
The desert is real, y’all. It made Nevada look lush. Almost.
North of Sacramento, we veered toward the coast. All along we’d been awed by the size of the orchards and fields, but interstates are not made for easy photography, so I don’t have many decent photos of the central valley. But here are some rice fields near Williams!
Soon we were back in the mountains and then in the trees. And then — ahhhh — the redwoods.
We paid our ten bucks to view the “drive-through tree” near Leggett. We could have attempted an actual drive-through and would have with the car. However, the truck is a little wider/taller and we didn’t think it was worth scraping paint or knocking off mirrors!
We arrived in Eureka after dark in a misty rain, and the next morning the whole coast was fogged right in. Such a change from Nevada and southern California! It was hard to complain because… ocean.
When we were here in 2016, Jim was due for knee surgery, and I was struggling with both breathing and energy (a year before the heart attack). This time, we both really wanted to hike around Cape Perpetua and get a good look at all the waves shooting through cracks in the rocks. We weren’t able to pick our date or time, but we arrived shortly after high tide and in the midst of massive rolling waves. I can’t even begin to tell you how impressive the spouts were! We stayed until nearly dark before heading for dinner then a 90-minute drive to the hotel, since we still had a very long drive home the next day.
On our final day of the road trip, we took time to hike up to both Wahkeena and Multnomah Falls near Portland. After that… solid hours of driving to get home. Being stopped for an hour or so behind a very bad accident on I-84 made us triply thankful to pull into our own driveway that night.
Wow, that is the condensed version of an 11-day trip covering over 5000 kilometers and well over 50 hours of driving. As you can tell, we both love that kind of trip, even when the muscles begin to seize up from sitting too long! We love seeing new country and choose new routes when we can. And we have some of our best talks (and silences) while driving.
How about you? When you have time, do you enjoy road tripping, or is it all about the destination?