Tuesday, August 21, 2012

DAY 1: SLC to Yakima!

The night before I had spent a great deal of time packing and repacking to fit everything in the car and still make it accessible; not really sure if that’s possible and I may yet end up downsizing as I go along.  Why do we always want to hold on to things?

I started driving out early.  I was out on the road and driving north by 5:40am.  It was dark for a while and I didn’t see the smoky outline of the mountains until about an hour later as I went by the exit for Logan City.  In fact, most of the day there was a haze of smoke that clung over the landscape as I drove along until I got into the state of Washington by about 10 miles.  Then it was clear blue skies and fluffy white clouds.  From the news reports of the last week there were quite a few wild fires in Utah, Idaho, and Oregon.  When I drove through Boise, about 11am there were warnings about the air quality and requesting that people limit their driving.

The “Hi- Lights” of today’s drive of about 730 miles…
--An old sign along the interstate in Northern Utah/Southern Idaho for a budget Motel that states… “Better than the Donner Party!”  WHAT?!?  I’m unsure as to what they were playing at here but I could VERY much see how it could be taken out of context.

--There were tons of signs about reporting wild fires on your cell phone in Idaho and Oregon.  Just call #FIRE if you see a Wild Fire.  Another sign that were common along areas in dry areas in southern Idaho were “Dust Storm Warning: No Stopping Along the Road”.  That’s good to know!

--BUT the strangest site I saw all day was a vested guy walking a vested goat along the interstate just before Boise, ID.  I think they were out there picking up trash off the side of the road.  I guess I could see it as a win-win situation and possibly an inexpensive way to feed a goat and also helping the community along the interstate.  BUT it was just weird to see a guy walking a goat along the interstate!  Just when you think you may have seen it all; nope not yet!
Photo from car- Vineyards off in the distance near Yakima, WA.

As I neared Yakima and I thought it just sounded like a cool place to stay for the night.  It just had a nice ring to it—YAK-kema!  Just prior to the city of Yakima there is a whole region of wineries.  Some were really new and others looked like they had been there for years.  There were tons of different exits that advertised Vineyards with tasting.  I wish I would have had more time but I want to be at the Bed & Breakfast on Whigby Island on time for tomorrow afternoon.  Then I still need to figure out directions to where my friend Jean’s wedding and reception was on Friday.

I checked in at the Fairfield Inn Marriott, which I LOVE their waffles that you can make at their continental breakfast.  I asked for information about local nearby wineries that I could go visit.  Well, the short story is that not much is open after 6pm on a week day.  If you want to really try some wine tasting be there before 6PM. 
I ended up visiting a wine bar –tasting room in historic downtown Yakima called Gilbert Cellars.  The Gilbert family has been in the area of Yakima for over 120 years and you’ll see a great deal of things with the Gilbert name on it—like the HUGE photo behind the bar of the mountain top that’s called Gilberts Peak.   Out of necessity, I ended up having to sit at the actual bar to get a sample tasting.  I tried 6 different wines and as the guys behind the counter started to explain the complexities and flavors of the wines, I felt totally in over my head.  All I knew was what I had watched on the movie- “Sideways” and that about summed up my wine knowledge.  I swirled and smelled and asked about type of grapes used. BUT I’m sure the guys knew I was a fake!  I will say they were nice enough that they didn’t let on to me.

Well, after trying 6 wines and not partaking much in the way of food today except for twizzler’s and diet Dr. Pepper.  I went around the corner to the Barrel House- Wine Bar, Coffee, and Restaurant.  I had some delicious BBQ spare ribs with curry rice, a Yakima Pale Al beer and for dessert a fancy coffee with a homemade cheesecake with fresh raspberries on top.  Yummy and all in a casual dining experience that made me feel at home.  Definitely, a place to swing by if you are ever in the area.


  1. Sounds like fun! Your "vested guy" reminds me of the strange character we saw when visiting the spiral jetty a couple of years ago. He was dressed in goth style and carried a large black umbrella as he walked all over the art. He was there when we arrived and still there when we left an hour later. Passed right by us at one point and said nothing.
    I was so sorry to read of the loss of your nephew. I lost two cousins (1 to leukemia, the other to malpractice in a hospital, I think) before I was 10; they were about 6 and 2 when they died. So I have an idea how sad you might be.

  2. Hi Bill,
    Thanks for your comments. Yes, it sounds as though you have had a similiar experience with relatives dying young.
    The whole adventure has been fun so far and I'm learning as I go along about all matters of things, people, and even myself. I hope it continues along well too.
    Thanks again!