Thursday, July 12, 2012

The long way home, part 1

[Backdated post]

As you may already be aware from previous posts, with optimal road conditions it's possible to drive from Provo, Utah to Seattle, Washington in 16 hours or less.  Captain Midnight and I have accomplished this all-day road trip on several occasions.

This time the trip took us four days.

No, our car didn't have a nervous breakdown.  We just decided ahead of time that we wanted to make this a leisurely adventure, driving the longer route on I-15 through Montana and from thence to I-90 west across the Idaho panhandle, and stopping anywhere we came across an interesting geocache or waymark on the way.

This morning we woke up when we felt like it, puttered around Mom's house gathering up our stuff, bade Miss V goodbye for the summer, packed the car and finally headed north on the far side of noon.  Somewhere around American Fork we pulled over to indulge in the grand Western American tradition of an In-N-Out Burger (nom), then motored on with full tummies.

In a housing development in Sandy, a suburb of Salt Lake City, we came across this heroically-posed car parts sculpture entitled "Iron American."

One heroic pose deserves another, ne?

Anyway, after many hours of driving across northern Utah...

...we finally arrived at the Idaho state line.  And there was much rejoicing.  (hooray)

For some reason I was quite insistent.  "No!  I da ho!"

Ehem.  So after finding a geocache and generally jumping about with glee at having entered another state...

... we got back in the conveyance of pleasure and continued on our merry way.

Southern Idaho, perhaps unsurprisingly, looks a lot like northern Utah.

The next time we pulled off the freeway to find another cache, I noticed there were a few enticing waymarks in a little town only a few miles away.  So it was that we found ourselves in Downey, Idaho, population 650.

Downey is about a square mile in size, and as far as we could tell from our wandering around, the town doesn't have a single stop light.  There's one modest grocery store, a movie theater...

... a postage-stamp-sized post office...

 ... and a tiny library, all on the same city block.

One of the city parks boasts an historic pioneer cabin (apparently doing time for a crime it didn't commit)...

... and an old school bell, which I promptly rang, mostly because I could.  It had a great tone but was, um, quite loud.  I didn't choose to ring it again.  Meanwhile, Captain Midnight was busy combing the area for geocaches.

We found a memorial to the people of Downey who went to war and never came home.  It's sobering to think of the many people from this very small town -- a town that probably can't afford to lose many residents -- who gave up their own lives and futures so that others could maintain their freedom.

Oh, one last delightful tidbit about Downey: despite its small size, it's one of two cities that play host to the Bannock County Fair each year.  The fairgrounds are at the western edge of town, just north of the park with the pioneer cabin, with rows of livestock barns to show off prize cows and pigs and a small fenced-in rodeo arena.

It's hard to tell from this picture, but there are a couple of riders practicing in the arena.

Goodbye, Downey, it's been nice. Next stop: Idaho Falls.

Yes, there are actual falls in Idaho Falls, though they're really just a step away from being rapids on the Snake River.  Though they're not very tall, they're quite wide, running diagonally across the Snake.  The falls generate a lot of hydropower for Idaho Falls and the surrounding area.

Also, they're quite picturesque.

We found a locally owned motel -- simple but comfortable -- and settled our things in for the night.

After enjoying an Idaho sunset...

... and its enchanting aftereffects, we ventured forth to find some barbecue for dinner.  And then, naturally, Captain Midnight went scouting for geocaches.  (He is a caching machine!)

Good night, Idaho Falls.  We'll see more of you in the morning.  *zzzzzz*


MarieC said...

The scenery is lovely in these shots, but I must say that it is YOU, dear Sooz, who looks MAHVELOUS!!

Soozcat said...

Aww, Marie, you are very kind. I still have a long way to go.

Ruthie Redden said...

i looove leisurely adventures like that, looks like u guys had great fun!

Soozcat said...

We did! It was really lovely just to take our time and poke around looking for local places of interest.