Posts Tagged 'Oregon'

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TotalAdventure Covered Over 10K Miles , Last Year 15K

In the dark early morning hours of June 28, TotalAdventure once again set out across North America. TotalAdventure was on his way to Portland,Oregon to see his 3 month old Grandson, and also see parts of the 48 States not seen in the Summer of 2020. The continued worldwide COVID crackdowns had eased a bitt, bit still made seamless travel impossible. Even the Canadian border remained closed, and it was hoped it would open in July in time for TotalAdventure’s return to the East.

Florida Sate Capitol Tallahassee

The first 600 miles were high speed and effortless and I arrived in the sleepy Southern town of Tallahassee, which happens to be our capitol. Florida is a large and diverse state . Sophisticated city dwellers of the large International Latin & New Yorker Metropolis 600 miles away do not appreciate being legislated by Bible Belt moralizers. As the joke goes, “Why is the capital of Florida in Alabama ? “

Confederate Graves Selma Alabama

Alabama is a State of the Old South being pulled in seperate ways – those who want to be part of the New South and those who wish to remain in the past.

TotalAdventure spent the night in Montgomery and traveled though Selma the next morning.

Everything From the Pig But Its’Squeal.

TotalAdventure explored the Civil Rights Battlefield city of Selma. Now peaceful, the genteel old buildings are a bit run down. One of the only restaurants in town has some great BBQ !

Pigtails For Lunch.
Birthplace of The King

The next stop of the day was Tupelo, Mississippi, at the Birthplace of Elvis Presley. Not only is it a shrine, but also a National Landmark.

Elvis’ Neighborhood Outhouse

The family was so poor ,the house had no s electricity or running water. The outhouse was shared with 8 other families.

Beale Street,Memphis,Tennessee.

The second day finished up in Memphis ,Tennessee, just across the Mississippi River from Arkansas.

Beale Street Blues

Beale Street, not quite as lively as the French Quarter, was in recovery mode from COVID and music was back on the menu, along with fine BBQ.

I 40 Bridge From Memphis To Arkansas. It was closed due to cracks in the steel.

Most of the the time crossing the Mississippi is on a high steel bridge ,hundreds of feet over the water. TotalAdventure decided to do it Mark Twain style – on a car ferry across the 1.5 mile wide River from Hickman KY to a cornfield 20 miles north of New Madrid MO.

Crossing The Mississippi

One drives off the ramp of the ferry onto a road through miles o Missouri cornfields, , some of which go in circles. Even the map gets confused. Finally we come upon roadsigns. Missouri has lettered routes as well as numbers. The signs are frequently used for high-calibre target practice. New Madrid was the site of one of the most powerful earthquakes in US History. In 1812 and earthquake of 8.2 reversed the flow of the Mississippi, destroyed the town and was felt as far away as New York. It can and will happen again.

Porterhouse -Antoine’s Kansas City

FromNew Madrid it was Westward bound through the hills of the Ozarks. The Ozarks are higher mountains in Arkansas. Watch the video to see the ferry ride and the Ozarks ! At mid day on July 1 I dined on Porterhouse at Antoine’s in downtown Kansas City.

Antoine’s chef took me on a tour of the meat locker. All of it is fresh from Missouri and Kansas organic farms. He actually threw away some very expensive cut that had aged too long.!
Grain Elevator,Kansas

In Kansas City it rained for about 10 minutes. After that, I did not see rain again for the entire trip. After lunch the X 2 did a high speed crossing of the Kansas cornfields.

Many Kansas Towns Have Emptied Out
Flyover Land. Most people only see this from a plane.

Considering the human eye can see 7 miles distant at flat ground level – that’s a lot of corn !

By mid day on Friday July 2, TotalAdventure reached the Rockies at Boulder Colorado. Spnt the night at a lodge at 10,000 feet in Nederland ,where the temperature dropped to 40 at night.

The TotalAdventure X-2 Crosses The Continental Divide For The Third Time. TotalAdventure spent 4th of July Weekend in Aspen. I had also worked there in the Winter of 1979 -giving me the taste for Adventure Travel as I hitchiked around the West.

Last Season’s Snow.
Gas Was Very Expensive In Aspen
The Jerome. Once A Wild West Flophouse, Now A $1200 Per Night Jet Set Hangout.

Only A Week Into The Trip – And Already Crossing Into Utah. From Aspen it was on to Dinosaur National Monument, which is in both Colorado and Utah.

Utah About 100 Million Years Ago.

In Salt Lake City ,stayed at the very nice Little America Hotel and went around the Mormon Temple which was under reconstruction, for the first time since being built by Prophet Joesph Smith.

I then swam in Great Salt Lake, which you can experience in the video. It was amazing to float on top of the water,whcih has ten times the salt volume of an ocean. It is not a pleasurable undertaking, but more of a bucket list thing. Bugs swarm, the water smells and you have to walk half a mile each way in 110 degree heat to actually get to the water. See above.

Bonneville Salt Flats

By late day , almost to the Nevada border, I crossed the Bonneville Salt Flats on 1-80. The world’s fastest car has driven there, breaking the sound barrier at 1,220 km/h (760 mph) set October 15, 1997.

Good Morning Elko.

Spent the night in Elko, Nevada, a poor mans Vegas. TotalAdventure hit a $50 jackpot, which paid for a steak dinner and cocktails.

In the morning the X-2 drove north through the Black Rock Desert, not far from where Burning Man is held. Crossed the line into Oregon at Denio Junction.

After spending the night in the High Desert town of Burns, TotalAdventure passed snow covered Mt.Hood. Still quite a bit of snow considering Portland had been the hottest place on Earth a couple of weeks earlier at 117 degrees.
Willamette River Portland

11 Days and over 4000 miles after leaving Miami, TotalAdventure was in Portland !

Pacific Ocean Oregon

We reached the Westernmost Point of the journey at Tillamook ,Oregon. After 3 trips across the USA in the last 12 months, it was hoped the X2 would journey North through Washington State and on the British Columbia, as a Northern Route home through the Great White North.

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Good Eating In Missoula !

Prime Minister Trudeau still refused to open the Canadian border to travelers, so my hopes of driving from Washington State though British Columbia, Alberta,Saskatchewan , Manitoba and Western Ontario, before crossing back into the States at Sault Ste. Marie were shelved for a future date. The border finally opened in August. I was trying not to retrace last year’s voyage and crossed in only two spots – Billings MT and Sheridan WY.

From Portland I drove East to the Snake River.

The Snake River

The Snake River runs from the Continental Divide in Wyoming to the Columbia River. Salmon swim all the way from the Pacific Ocean to Wyoming – against a strong current and many dam ladders along the way. Ate lunch in an old Quonset Hut turned restaurant in Joseph,Oregon. The river is the border between Oregon and Idaho in these parts.

See the video in the opening Cross Country 2021 story.

RJR Ranch Stanley Idaho

After the Snake River I spent the night int he capital city of Boise. Hotels were surprisingly expensive and I ended up in a Holiday Inn Express for about $ 190. But the next night, in Stanley , I stayed with old family friends at their RJR Ranch . We cooked steaks over an open fire, while watching the sun set over the Sawtooth Mountains. RJR is a working ranch with horses and cattle. One can also fish salmon from streams that run through the the property.

Missoula Friday Night

Missoula is a rocking college town and just coming back after Covid. I socialized amongst the maskless crowds and it was fun to be out again. Last years journey was quite solitary – often eating in my hotel room, or off the hood of the car.

Entering Montana.

Montana is a wide state, spanning an entire time zone. From Missoula, I stopped in Butte for lunch , swam in the Yellowstone River and made it to Billings for the night My hotel there cost 3 times what it did last year. Not only is tourism up, but firefighters from all over the country were there to fight fires all over the West.

TotalAdventure Won $ 90 Playing Video Poker.

The next day TotalAdventure left the Rockies for the High Plains, through Sheridan,Wyoming ( and a huge steak lunch) In late day drove through Sturgis, South Dakota – where the Biker rally was about to start.

Spent the night in Pine Bluff, home of the world’s only casono that doesn’t serve drinks. Alcohol is a serious problem on the reservation and possession is outlawed.

A Tragic Place In Our History . Sioux Nation.

By late morning crossed into Nebraska and spent two nights in Omaha to get caught up on work.

The Oracle of Omaha !
Des Moines,Iowa

From Omaha it was about 7 hours to Chicago, including lunch in Des Moines. It was hard to stay awake in the repetitive scenery of rolling hill cornfields.

Chicago River

It was great to be back in Chicago after a couple of years. My last time there was in February,2018 when it was 7 below zero !

Panoramic Chicago

As a New Yorker, Chicago seems to be the only other “Real City” in the USA. Washington, Boston and SanFrancisco are runner ups.

Old Family Homestead IN Massillon Ohio

From Chicago , and a brief stop in Indiana to visit an old friend, I returned Massillon Ohio to finish research from last year. Massillon is ancestral hometown of TotalAdventure.

Enterprise Aluminum Company Exhibit At Massillon City Museum

My Grandfather , Blaine Zuver founded Enterprise Aluminum Company. Manufactured coffee makers, pots ,pans and in wartime – mess kits ,canteens and bullet casings on fighter planes.

A Beautiful Cleveland Day On The Lake Erie Waterfront.

Mount Street Beach ,Bay Head NJ

TotalAdventure then spent a week in his childhood home town – Bay Head NJ.

Malson’s BBQ -Kingsland Georgia !
Hottest Wings In The Southland !

From Bay Head , it’s a 19 hour trip back down I 95 to MiamiSpent the night in Lumberton NC. The highlight of the trip, which I have done hundreds of times, is BBQ at Malson’s in Kingsland GA, just 3 miles from the Florida line. And then – it was home to Miami ! The last 2 summers have been perfect to get to know our country from East to West and North to South. Now, we return to the World at Large !