The playlist for today’s drive:
-We put the iPod on shuffle and enjoyed hits from the Backstreet Boys, Nsync, John Mayer, Sheryl Crow, and Hanson, among others. Clearly, I have wonderful, mature taste in music.
Today marked the last leg of our journey across the country.
To start the day, our host family in Nampa (some of the nicest folks we’ve ever met) treated us to breakfast at LeBaron’s Honker Cafe, where all of the portions are enormous, including a cinnamon roll the size of a child’s head. Insane. It’s possible that we’re still on a sugar buzz.
After a morning round of Ticket to Ride (a.k.a. the train game), we got on the road for the last time! Nampa is not too far from the Oregon border, so it wasn’t long before we got to get out of the car and celebrate with the Oregon state welcome sign. I wish I could tell you that it only took one take to get this mediocre photo, but this was really the best of 5. Apparently we are dorkier and squintier in Oregon. And although hugging the Oregon sign seems like a great idea in theory, it makes for a really ridiculous photo. For your sake, I eliminated that one from the running.
After the victory of crossing the state line, we still had 7 1/2 hours to go to get to Eugene. I tell you what, if there’s anything I’ve learned during this cross-country trip, it’s how enormous America is. The fact that we can drive in one state for 7 1/2 hours and not make it to the other end tells me that this is a big ol’ country in a big ol’ world.
It turns out that eastern Oregon is a desert, much like Idaho. But this desert eventually gives way to a creek and some bushes. And then a stream and some trees. And then a river and a forest. I still can’t comprehend how quickly the landscape can change from desert to forest.
We stopped in Bend, Oregon for a late afternoon snack. We may be the only people who enjoy an afternoon road trip snack of salad, eaten while standing behind the car in the Whole Foods parking lot. But after our morning sugar rush, we needed something a bit healthier.
Soon after Bend, we entered the Three Sisters Wilderness (yes, the place where Donald Miller lived and worked in “Through Painted Deserts!”), which was tree after tree, mountain after mountain. Just awesome. And so, so green. We are so thankful for trees.
And after a long day of driving through the trees, we made it to Eugene, our home for the next two years. We don’t have a place to live yet, as we were afraid of renting something without seeing it first, but we’re staying with a friend’s family, who have taken excellent care of us so far. I’ve said it before, but we have been so blessed on this trip to have so many people willing to open their homes and take care of us on this new adventure. We’re really trusting in God’s provision in this whole situation, and He surely has provided!
I should also mention that we failed to complete our roadtrip scavenger hunt. While we did eventually find a surfboard on a car rack (strangely enough, in the Grand Tetons), a dog with its head out the window (at a rest stop in Oregon), and a biker gang (in Idaho), we came up short on a few. As hard as we tried, we never saw an RV towing a Toyota. Apparently Jeep is the vehicle of choice for RV owners. And we never saw a car pulled over by more than one police officer. Or the second “my child is an honor student at ________ school” bumper sticker. In fact, we never even saw one of those. We did see a “my dog is an honor student” sticker, but I don’t think that counts.
Tomorrow begins the search for an apartment in Eugene! Any prayers would be appreciated!