The Route

How to get to Portland, Oregon from Lafayette, Louisiana:

Well, the shortest way is up through north Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, Utah, Idaho and into Oregon. But that’s not how I’m going. I want to go west. I want to drive up the California coast.

So, I bought an atlas, taped together the appropriate pages and had 2 large copies made of the compilation; one for the western portion and one for the California portion.

I started exploring and asking friends for recommendations of places to see.

I wanted to go back to Dallas, to the grassy knoll. I went there for the first time last year with Mr. Houston, but we didn’t have time to go to the museum. Then Lisa suggested the Kimball Museum in Fort Worth, designed by Louis Kahn.

Looking at the map, I realized that Roswell would not be out of the way, exactly. At first I wanted to go for the novelty of the alien stuff but then I remembered that Robert Goddard did his rocket experiments there. They have one of them in a museum. I’ve got to see that.

Just southwest of Roswell is the White Sands Proving Grounds. They have an actual V-2! And I would love to photograph the beach-like white dunes, so I’m going there.

Then, of course it’s back northwest to the Grand Canyon. I’m going to take a day there and drive around to the North Rim as well.

From there, I’ll drive back down southwest to the Joshua Tree National Park. I didn’t even think of that until a friend suggested it. After a half or full day there, it’s back up, northwest to the Hoover Dam. I think I’m more excited about the art deco, giant golden angels than about the damn itself.

From there I can drive through Death Valley and dip back down a little until I hit the California Coast and Big Sur. If I can get to Big Sur. I heard the bridge is damaged. We’ll see.

Then up the California Coast I go, stopping to see the redwoods and something called the Hobbit Trail and who knows what else along the way.

I’ve estimated that all this should take me about 10-11 days and 9 or 10 nights and cost a little over a grand. You may now take bets on how far over budget I will go.

I’ve never driven more than 7 hours by myself. I’ve never done anything like this before. It’s going to be awesome or horrible or probably both and lots of other things. I hope my Honda Element doesn’t fail me. I think this might be the reason I bought that thing 12 years ago.

And ooooh…..the photographs I will take. I will take more photos than I will know what to do with. I’ll take more photos than I can go through and process in a year. It’s going to be magnificent.

Follow along on my journey of misadventures if you like.

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