Well, since my wife isn't working right now, we decided to take a 2 week trip to visit her parents in Bend, OR, and her brother in Washington, just north of Portland. Took 3 days to drive out and had a very nice time. Also, nice weather, except for maybe 5 days where the temps were above 90 (but that's rare in PacNW, and we visited when those temps happen), but it was only 3 days during our trip in Bend, and 2 on the way home, which is normal in ID and WY. We decided to take advantage of our National Parks Pass (visited 3 NM's, plus RMNP the week before the trip, so we got our money's worth). Here are the highlights w/some pics:
Fossil Butte NM in SE WY (we got there just after it closed, but got some great views at sunset). Fossil Butte was mined at the turn of the century for it's vast collection of fossils before it was turned into a NM.Fossil Butte at sunset
Stayed in Pocatello, ID, and travelled to Crater's of the Moon NM, but along the way, we drove by the Atomic City (the first atomic power plant), and INL (Idaho National Laboratory, which is devoted to nuclear research). Here are a few pics there:FamilyFamilyIIAnd a landmark for the Oregon Trail
Then drove across a very rural area of Idaho and stayed in Ontario, OR (home of OreIda french fries). Drove to my wife's parents the next day. Had a good time there, with a trip to the Cascade Pass, and a lava castle built during the 1930s. The pass is winding and tractor trailers and long vehicles can't get through. If there's too much snow, the state doesn't even bother opening the highway in summer (I think that happened last year or the last).
Visited my BIL in Battle Ground, OR and spent a day on Yale Reservoir, which has an awesome view of Mt. St. Helens (I didn't have the camera, but if I can find an old pic, I'll post it).
Next day, spent the day at Mount Saint Helens NM, which was our 4th trip since 1999. It's really changed over the years, and in about 20-30 years, it might look like several other very old blown volcanos (Broken Top in Bend, OR, for instance).Here
No trip to Mount Saint Helens is complete w/o a trip to the Big Foot Museum and a picture with Big Foot. We stopped here in 1999 just about when the statue was finished. I cracked up because we saw a similar museum at Loch Ness in 1998.Big Foot (with a pic of me this time)
Next day, we drove home through the Columbia River Gorge and visited Cascade Locks, and drove through NE Oregon through Pendelton and Baker City. Looked just like Utah. I wanted to stop in Twin Falls, ID to take a pic of the ramp used for Evil Knievel's failed attempt over the Snake River, but it was too dark. Maybe next trip.