Cheaper Than Therapy.

So about 1.5 weeks ago, I was sitting in my house on a Friday afternoon after having a fairly light week at work for the first time since, oh, last MAY, when I thought to myself, “Self, wouldn’t it be awesome to just toss Ellie and some clothes in the car and drive back to Portland…say, tomorrow?”

The prior weekend, I had flown to Portland for my friend Joni’s 30th birthday.  I left Ellie with some friends and hopped on a plane for a 3.5 day break from L.A.  I was cheated a bit by work emergencies, so it felt a little too short.  So when I found myself at the end of a slow week, with some filings in one of my main cases delayed a little longer, I decided to jump in the car and drive to Portland for some more family time while I had the chance!

Let me tell you, gas right now is expensive.  Especially given that my car only gets 18-20MPG, and that the distance from my loft in L.A. to my mom’s place in Clackamas, Oregon is approximately 970 miles.  Oh, and especially when you get a speeding ticket for $225 for going 10 miles over the speed limit in the middle of nowhere because you are trying to make up time for GETTING CAUGHT IN A BLIZZARD IN THE MIDDLE OF MARCH.

But there is something so therapeutic about driving for hours on open roads in the middle of nowhere, and I knew it was just what I needed.  Don’t get me wrong, I had moments when I doubted my decision… Like when I was sitting in bumper to bumper traffic for miles at a chain check point, and when the “nice” officer who pulled me over was trying to chit chat with me about how cute my dog was.  But in the end, it was just what I needed.  Some time to be away from the computer and phone and work and friends and family and just let my mind clear up a bit 🙂

Then, right around the last 60 miles or so, I made another last minute decision.  Instead of driving straight to my mom’s house as planned, I decided to take a left and head out to the Oregon Coast for a few days.   Note to self (and blog readers): don’t take routes to the Oregon Coast at night which you’ve never driven during the day.  I was all “oh it’s just two easy turns no big deal at night.”  No, friends.  It was not two easy turns.   I was driving on a very dark, very windy, very ditchy, very no-cell-phone-servicy road.  WITH ONE WAY BRIDGES.  How do you have a 2-way traffic curvy dark road keep turning into one way bridges?!  Add to that the fact that I had been up since 4am on 3.5 hours of sleep, and had already been driving for 15 hours that day, and lets just say I definitely grew some additional gray hairs and may or may not have peed myself a little.   Luckily I caught up to two cars that seemed to know what they were doing and followed them.  Each time we zoomed across a one-way bridge, I would imagine that I was Charlise Theron in the Italian Job, and that my massive Ford Edge was actual a mini cooper.  Somehow it minimized some of the terror 😉

In the end, all my visions of ending up in a ditch on the dark road and having someone in a Jason mask come attack me did not come true.  (I’m dramatic anyway, but especially dramatic after driving so long on so little sleep).  But it was all worth it, because I got to spend three days relaxing here:

It was just what this overworked girl needed.  So even with the cost of gas, the speeding ticket, and the years I’m sure I shed off my life in that last hour of driving, totally cheaper than therapy, and totally worth it.

Roadtrip: Oregon, Idaho, Utah, Wyoming, and Colorado…

I just got back Wednesday night from my roadtrip to Denver to see my friend Juliana, her husband and their new baby.  It was such a wonderful trip!

The drive was fantastic, although I’ll admit it’s really only something I’d like to do once.  We also had planned to come back a different way to mix it up (go down through the mountain area near salt lake and then cut back up to Wyoming), but the day before we left it suddenly went from upper 70s, sunny, and gorgeous to cold, dark, and snowy/rainy!  So we figured for safety sake we should go back the way we came.    Also, we had contemplated going up on a more northern route through Wyoming and stopping by Yosemite but we ran out of time.   We probably should have left Denver a day sooner so we could do the Yosemite thing, but I just didn’t want to leave!

Anyway, so the point is that we drove the exact same way there and back.  But all was not lost (in terms of any possibility of being bored just seeing the same things again) because on the way back it was light in areas that had been dark on the way there, and in Wyoming there was snow which was BEAUTIFUL! Becky (my roadtrip partner) and I were both taking pictures the whole time, even whichever one of us was driving 😉  So, almost all of my shots were taken while in motion, and most of the time through the windshield or side window glass.  I’m amazed some of them turned out as well as they did given the circumstances!

On the way there, we drove Portland to Nampa, Idaho (about 6 hours) and then stayed the night there before continuing on to Denver (about 13 hours) the next day.   On the way back, we did the same thing (stopped in Nampa).  We also stopped in Hood River where Becky is from (about an hour before getting back to Portland) for a late lunch and a little shopping 🙂

All in all, the road trip part of the experience was awesome!  People had told me Wyoming would be boring (scenery-wise) but we LOVED Wyoming!  I have a huge album up on facebook for those of you that are my facebook friends, but for those who are just happening upon my blog, here are a few of the pics from the roadtrip:

Driving in Northern Utah

Driving in Northern Utah

One of many types of varied terrain in Wyoming

One of many types of varied terrain in Wyoming

More Wyoming :)

More Wyoming 🙂

A little Colorado on the way back...

A little Colorado on the way back...

(Admittedly, I didn’t get a lot of Colorado scenery because it was dark on our way there, and then it was just getting light on our way out.. but it looked a lot like the pics from my last trip to Colorado with rolling hills and mountains off in the distance :))

Colorado has some red rocks too :)  (w/ Becky's hand)

Colorado has some red rocks too 🙂 (w/ Becky's hand)

Snow in Wyoming :)

Snow in Wyoming 🙂

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Me using my Giant-Skills to touch the Utah sign :-)

Me using my Giant-Skills to touch the Utah sign 🙂

More Utah... I was a big fan :-)

More Utah... I was a big fan 🙂

Southern Idaho was mostly brown, flatness.. but also some very lush green crops

Southern Idaho was mostly brown, flatness.. but also some very lush green crops

The Columbia Gorge (back in Oregon)

The Columbia Gorge (back in Oregon)

I’ll update more later on our time actually in Denver, but for now, I hope you enjoyed the pics I posted from my pictures while flying by at 80MPH skills 😉