Friday, July 13, 2007

One "Hell" of a Road Trip

Got up this morning and headed back to the Alamo in Boise to pick up our rental car (a Toyota Sienna, actually), and after yesterday's fiasco we were hoping to be placated and on our way. My brother and I show up at 8:45 and find out that the car still hadn't been cleaned.


Anyway, at 9:15, I finally get the stupid thing and we head back to my brother's house. Now we can begin our day, albeit a few hours later than we'd hoped, since it was going to be a long one.

We drove up I-84 into Oregon to Baker City, then headed on the scenic route 86 driving east towards Hells Canyon. We stopped for lunch in Halfway, Oregon at a place called Mimi's Cafe ... very nice little place to eat if you ever find yourself in Halfway.

From there, we continued on to Hells Canyon. Very nice drive the whole way, and the weather was beautiful if not a bit hot. Once you get toward the Oregon entrance to the canyon near Oxbow, you can take a 23-mile long, single lane road down to the damn and visitors center, which we did. Pretty drive and very impressive to visit. Once we got to the center, it was 105 degrees in the canyon ... felt like standing in front of a hair dryer.

On the way back out, we stopped a couple of times to pick some ripe blackberries and, of all things, apricots. Apparently back in the day, there were a couple of brothers who owned orchards in the valley before it was dammed up, and you can still find plenty to eat near the road.

From Oxbow, we continued on Rt 71 to the Oxboy Reservoir on the Snake River, where it reached the high temp of the day ... 109. Ouch. We continued on 71 to Cambridge, then took 95 to New Meadows, hooking up with 55 that took us into McCall. By this time, we got a good afternoon storm and between the rain and passing over some big hills, the temp by dinner time was 65 degrees. Quite a differential from a few hours before!

By the time we hit McCall, we were all tired of driving, and needed dinner. Didn't realized before I drove past it that there was a brewery in town. So, dinner was at the McCall Brewing Company. While there, I tried the Mountain Light, the Hefeweizen, and the IPA. I opted for fish and chips, which were absolutely horrid ... just sopped with grease and squirted when cut into. Everyone else got a roast beef sandwich, and there were pretty good. I ended up eating half of one because I couldn't stomach any more fish.

After dinner, we drove down 55 for two more hours until we reached Boise and Meridian. All tolled, we put in 430 miles in 12 hours.

I finished up the day with a Big Sky Scape Goat Pale Ale and a Kona Brewing Fire Rock Pale Ale. And we played more blackjack.

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