16 September, 2016

EPIC Road Trip-- Wrap Up!

There were quilt shop stops that I couldn't fit in to the previous five installments; we can't forget those. I will attempt to place this wrap-up post in a timeline that is logical and makes sense without appearing too disjointed. The stop at this shop, The Quilter's Corner in Sacramento, CA was on Saturday, the 13th of August. I found this shop to be well-stocked, bright and organized. The owner was highly energetic and friendly, she recommended  a wonderful local restaurant for a pizza lunch that lived up to the billing. Later on this day we learned that our daughter-in-law had been admitted to the hospital for an emergency appendectomy! I don't know that I had ever felt so far from home. We were worried about my mother-in-law before we took off, but never had even considered that one of our children would be hospitalized and in need while we were gone. She did just fine, although the appendix did rupture upon removal which, sadly, added to her recovery time. The troops were called in to help from near and far to help with the children. Certainly, for me, this was the low spot in our adventure.
This is "Grass Lake" somewhere in the Wilamette National Forest, one of the most scenic rest areas I have ever visited. There were benches situated beneath large shade trees where one could sit and gaze out on this peaceful scene. If we hadn't been on our way to another stop (Crater Lake) this day it would have been the perfect picnic location.
This is Quiltmania in Richland, WA. This small shop was literally crammed full of fabric bolts, filling every square inch of space. I helped them clear out a bit by taking some with me! A longarm machine was located right up front near the cash register, occupying the remaining floor space. This shop stays busy with their quilting service. Something that I had not seen before: Quiltmania had an alcove filled with precut extra-wide backing fabrics of every shade and hue, customers for the quilting service can choose backings right on the spot when dropping off their quilt tops. 
Also on this day, we drove for a long time between Oregon and Washington alongside these trees: planted in perfectly straight rows, perpendicular to the highway and identified as Pacific Albus. I found the sight noteworthy and looked it up after returning home as I was curious as to the purpose of this intentional forest. You can read more about it here. (Photo credit to the indicated website.)
This is Quilting Bee in Spokane we were here on the 18th of August. This was not my first visit here, it is an absolutely beautiful shop in every aspect. I was impressed to find both the Bernina longarm and the Bernina 16-needle embroidery machines being demonstrated while I was there, that was fun. This shop is a destination in and of itself. 
On the 23rd of August we traveled through Theodore Roosevelt National Park very early in the morning, we were traveling between Glendive, MT and Minneapolis, MN that day and were already homeward bound at this point. This National Park is one of our favorites for the rugged landscape, abundant wildlife and peaceful serenity (especially just after dawn).  

Passing through some areas called "Prairie Dog Towns" these energetic critters are everywhere! When we stopped to view them they alert each other with a chirping cry and scatter as they dive and disappear into their burrows. I know this is a rodent, a kin to my nemesis squirrel; I shouldn't love them but I do. Who can resist that face?
We had visited this park two years ago and one of my most vivid memories from that time were the Pronghorn and the large herds of feral horses. This time we saw only a lone horse and no Pronghorn at all, they must have been hiding. 
The Bison were not in short supply however! 

The drive home was direct and without a lot of stops from this point forward. Two overnights: Minneapolis and Indianapolis along the way before we rested our weary heads on our own pillows again. Dorothy was right: "there's no place like home".
The wrap-up stats and the low-down on traveling with a pup-- 
Miles traveled: 9, 221. Quilt shops visited: 9. Days gone: 23. National Parks explored: 8. State Parks/Memorials/Monuments visited: 9.  States traveled through: 22, countries: 2.  Pies consumed: 2. State Forests traversed: countless. 
I kept track of each days' details through a journal. Constructed years ago, this journal cover holds a composition notebook making it the perfect size for travel. There are two large "pockets" front and back where the cover slips in which accommodate the maps, brochures and literature accumulated along the way; it secures with an attached tie keeping everything contained, neat and easily accessible.  We stayed exclusively at La Quinta Inns and Suites; they are pet friendly. No, we did not camp along the way! The corporate policy of LQ is two domestic pets per room, unless prohibited by law. We never found that to be a problem and all of our room reservations were made prior to travel, we only needed to adjust on one occasion because we drove farther than anticipated and rebooked that nights stay in a different location. Sadly, dogs aren't allowed on the trails in National Parks, he was carried on occasion. However, leashed pets were welcomed in every State Park we visited. We normally managed dinner by picking up carry-out and bringing it back to our room after we checked in for the evening, that way Hannes wasn't left behind; likewise we alternated getting our breakfasts and bringing it back to the room each morning. While in the car he rode in style, securely harnessed, on his elevated platform in the back seat. 
This was the last road trip for this car. Our 2000 model Mercury Marquis has served us well over the past sixteen years. We traded it in on Tuesday this week with this staggeringly high number on the odometer: we like to drive!
Yes, that is 342, 166 actual miles. All good things must come to an end. We are grateful for the service. 
Here's the odometer reading on our new car: 7.4 miles! Time for new adventures and more memories!
Thanks for riding along~
Life is Good!


LizA. said...

Wish I had known -- you were so close, I would have gladly driven to Richland or Spokane to meet up with you. I've been to both of those quilt shops and love them. The Spokane long arm group meets at Quilting Bee.

Janet O. said...

What a wonderful journey (other then the helpless feeling when your DIL had surgery). You two really DO like to drive. We just traded in our model 2000 vehicle this summer with under 200,000 miles on it.
Thank you for explaining the tree farm. We drove past it this summer and were sure the trees were for harvesting, but I didn't have the smarts to come home and look it up. It was a rather fascinating sight.
Loved seeing the familiar sights and learning about new places to visit.
It looks like Hannes had the best seat in the house!

Quiltdivajulie said...

Your epic journey was exactly that and much, much more. Thank you for sharing with us!!

rondiquilts said...

Thank you for sharing this trip. I am hoping my husband and I are as fortunate as you two (3) to do something similar. I have taken notes along the way. I have told him about your trip but was waiting to show him all the posts so we could sit and read them all at the same time. Just curious, how long did it take you to plan all this? And also, do you two split the driving or does one or the other do the majority of it?
Many thanks, hope you DIL is continuing to improve.


Lindah said...

Thank you, thank you for the travel log. The photos were wonderful. Had to get DH in on these posts. He enjoyed, also.

Didn't you just love your Marquis? We had one that just held up for ever so long. I enjoyed driving it and was crushed when I learned that they had been discontinued. I must say that the replacement is a pain, but then as long as it works, I should not complain.

Hoping your DIL and MIL are well now.


jude's page said...

Thanks for a wonderful trip through your country, enjoyed it all. Just wondering what Pronghorns are???

cityquilter grace said...

looks like a memory filled trip indeed...but where's the quilty loot? inquiring minds....

45th Parallel Quilter said...

Have so enjoyed your journey and thank you for taking me along with you. Hannes certainly travels well .. if I show my girl those pictures she'll be difficult to live with! LOL Amazing the miles on your old car ... what kind of car did you replace it with? Hubby researches our vehicle purchases for quite awhile before we make a change and we've never had a car last with so many miles ;-) I agree with you about there being "no place like home" but sometimes you need to leave just to appreciate that. Now it is time for a vacation to rest FROM the vacation! Linda

Carol said...

Thanks for the great travelogue! Enjoyed it all. We head out in the morning for Glacier Natl Park and all the states between here and there!

Summer said...

Thanks for taking us on your wonderful trip ♥


Sue said...

Thanks for sharing the tips about traveling with a dog. Ours is about his size (and perhaps age, no spring chicken) and we do love to take her with us when we can. Happily there is a lovely woman in our area who will take a single dog in and spoil her rotten when we cannot take our baby with us. Loved reading about your trip.