Posted by: chptr37 | 04/02/2009

Pg. 1: Oregon to Utah


Somewhere in Idaho. Note: It’s dangerous taking photos in the car.



  • Miles Today: 469
  • Miles Total: 716
  • From/To: La Grande, Ore. to Ogden Utah
  • Soundtrack: Lilly Allen, “Fuck You Very Much.”
  • Slept: The Super 8
  • Best Thing: Driving through Idaho in one day
  • Worst Thing: Driving through Idaho on my birthday
  • Quote of the Day: “Idaho is why people fly.”


If some soothsayer or palm reader had held my hand anytime in the last 37 years, looked into my life lines or travel lines and said, “You will spend a birthday in Utah,” I would have laughed my ass off and then asked about my love life. Just to hear her predict which gorgeous and rich actor I would end up marrying.

However, as fate always has such a delightful way of kicking us in the teeth (and then stealing our wallets, just for good measure), here I am. In Utah. On my birthday. I’d like to say that I didn’t plan that, but oddly enough, I did. Well, not to be in Utah, necessarily, but to be … somewhere else. The last birthday I spent in a place other than Portland was a few years ago (okay, maybe four or five), when I happened to be in Costa Rica, drinking shots of something that burned my throat so much I couldn’t speak for days and dancing my butt off at some dark dark dive, all while hanging out with the likes of crazy coffee people (yes, you know who you are. I’m looking at you, Shawn.).

I’d write more about the landscape and the people, but these first two days have been mostly filled with laying down miles, with settling into this tiny life (two suitcases and a backpack — yes, I’ll take pictures for proof). For remembering what it’s like not to have Internet 24/7. For mentally saying goodbye to the place I called home, and the people I called friends. For looking forward — not just at the literal road, but also at the figurative one. Trying to decide where I’m headed, if that’s truly where I want to be, and most of all, trying not to worry. About what’s ahead or behind. Go where the wind takes me, as a wise man I know said.

Tomorrow, the trip will slow up a little and the true fun will begin. Despite my joking about Utah, it’s a beautiful state. There’s Bryce Canyon and Zion national park. Then there’s Arizona and New Mexico. Texas. New Orleans. That’s as specific as the plan is at the moment. Picking and choosing each day on the map as it comes. Which, very possibly, could get me in some kind of trouble. At least I’m hoping it will.

Of course, if I get lost, I suppose I’ll go find that soothsayer I mentioned. Ask her if she has any idea which road I should be taking, whether I’m going to get to spend a future birthday in some fantastic place like, say, Greece. And, of course, if there might be a dark-haired, George Clooney-esque man in my future.

Far and fast, s.


Me, road-weary and bedraggled on my birthday. Somewhere in Utah.


“A good traveler has no fixed plans, and is not intent on arriving.” ~ Lao Tzu



  1. I’m up past my bedtime and my eyes are fatigued … and, well, I thought the caption said “dangerous talking potatoes in the car.” Which even almost kind of made sense in the Idaho context. : )

  2. -had to go back and make sure she spelled everything correctly-

    Nope, not a single potato. I did follow an onion truck through much of Idaho though. Does that count as dangerous?

  3. Man, those shots are incredibly beautiful. I hope you know, the more I read this blog, the more it is making me want to just pick up and travel. Meet new faces, see new places, get lost and not care one bit…

    I hope you had as good of a birthday as one can on the road. If you haven’t done so already, you should totally go to a restaurant and have them give you something with lots of chocolate in it, maybe with like a sparkler sticking out of the top. Gotta love it when those guys come out all clapping and singing!

  4. “I did follow an onion truck through much of Idaho though. Does that count as dangerous?”

    Only to mascara.

  5. Thanks, Shawn. I fully give all credit to the camera. I’m actually a rather poor photographer. And, no, no singing and clapping! My little sunflower face would just hide right away!

    And, Jeremy, it’s a good thing I don’t wear mascara then! But I’m sure it wasn’t good for my Tammy Baker falsies. By which I mean eyelashes, not boobs, of course.

  6. Be sure to check out Capital Reef… a wonderful oasis in the desert. There’s a fantastic restaurant in the little town outside the main gate – lovely garden seating and fantastic local food. A must stop for foodies like y’all!

    be sure to stop along all the Anasazi sites as you go. They really got under our skin as we passed through the region.

  7. I’m so sorry I’m late! I was out buying a t-shirt!


  8. (In case my link doesn’t work. Here’s my shirt!

  9. L: Planning to hit those for sure! Today or tomorrow. Can’t wait. Let me know if there’s one in particular that’s worth the stop.

    Alison: I don’t know why the link doesn’t work (dumb interwebs), but I scrounged around and found the shirt. -wants- You always find the best shirts to say what’s on my mind.

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