The air is cooler, and the sunset of summer is daily fading. Before early darkness arrives with the time change, I want to take a few moments to share our summer road trip with you. For those that don’t know us, at least once a year we take off, point the car in a direction…maybe west, or east, or north, or northwest. Armed with iPhones, an iPad, a few pieces of clothes, five gallons of distilled water, and our trusted Trip Advisor app, we drive off. We make no advance hotel reservations, so we are free to roam. Around 5pm, when we know what town we are heading toward, we begin to check Trip Advisor for places to stay for the night. It’s always a liberating adventure! This year, we did have an end goal of Seattle to visit one of the smartest men on Earth right now, Dr. Jonathan Wright of the Tahoma Clinic. We chose him as our personal physician, and it was time for our first check-ups! (This will be a future blog post) The trip summed up with almost 7000 miles, 9 states, 20 days.
In some way, 9-11 changed everyone. Our wild road trips are an extension of that terrible time. For years, and years, I traveled for my toy business, not relaxing travel, crazy travel. Between mid-October till the week before Christmas, and a few weeks after Valentine, till the week before Easter, I would fly out on Wednesday night, work in a store (mainly Neiman Marcus stores) on Thursday, fly Thursday night, work in a different store Friday, fly Friday night, work in a store Saturday, then fly home Saturday night or Sunday morning…only to repeat the following Wednesday.
For twenty years, I was in the Atlanta, Georgia Neiman Marcus on Thanksgiving weekend. After 9-11, the news was all about holiday travel, the lines, waits, and terror of hijacked planes. Mac suggested we drive to Atlanta. A very novel idea, especially for someone whose biggest road trip was probably the 4-5 hour drive to San Antonio! Sure enough, looking at the map, it was a straight shot, followed by two right turns, one left turn, and we would arrive from our back door in Dallas, to the back door of the Atlanta Neiman Marcus! We did it, and to be honest we probably spoke a few hundred words to each other the whole drive. It was glorious, no ringing phones, no people, just wonderful, liberating, run away silence. I never flew to Atlanta again. It became a bi-annual drive we relished. When my business changed, we missed the road trips. Now once or twice a year, we get in the car, seldom having a defined destination, and drive like there is no tomorrow.
Here is the path for the Summer 2015 Road Trip: Dallas>Amarillo>Santa Fe>Gallup, NM>Monument Valley, Arizona>The Arches National Park, Utah>Salt Lake City and Park Cities, Utah>Ketchum and Sun Valley, Idaho>Pendleton, Oregon>Hood River, Oregon>To the Coastline:::Tillamook, Lincoln City, Canon Beach>Portland, Oregon>Seattle, WA >Spokane,WA>Coeur d’Alene, Idaho>Bozeman, Montana>Yellowstone National Park>The Grand Tetons>Jackson Hole, Wy>Grand Junction, CO>Telluride, Co>Santa Fe, NM>Home.
First, we start by saying goodbye to our Poodle-Boy, Henry (who has a scuff on his nose from playing ball)…then hand cream, moisturizing gloves and coffee. There’s a long road ahead….
We encounter summer storms, and rainy travels in New Mexico
Beautiful views of Window Rock in the Navajo Nation of Arizona, Monument Valley in Utah, and Arches National Park in Utah
Then through Salt Lake City, Park Cities and up to Ketchum-Sun Valley Idaho where we visited with my good friend and Huna Shaman, Sheryl. This photo taken early morning on a hiking trail in Sun Valley:::temperature 36º!
Off through Idaho into Pendleton, Oregon for an overnight stop before heading to Hood River, and the coast of Oregon. On Trip Advisor we found the vegetarian restaurant, Govinda’s Garden from the same Krishna.com lineage as our favorite restaurant in Dallas, Kalachandji’s. We were talking to the staff. I mentioned we were from Texas. The chef said he was from a small town in East Texas. He also said, “You won’t know where it is.” He was from Tyler, Texas…20 miles from where I grew up! Imagine that!!! So, we had to have a photo together.
Then on to Hood River for a hike along the Wahkeena Canyon Trail and Waterfall. We made new friends, now on our FaceBooks.
Off to the Oregon Coast before dark. Foggy, winding two-lane highways leading to the ocean, and one of our best meals in Lincoln City at Blackfish…another golden nugget recommended on Trip Advisor.
Beaches along the Oregon Coast, and my favorite, Canon Beach.
On the road again to Portland, where we had tickets to hear a lecture by Matt Kahn (wearing the tie and sweater vest). He alternates weekends between speaking in Portland, and speaking in Seattle. I listen to him on You Tube. He covers a lot of topics, and honestly, I have learned something from each one. Here’s a link to one of my favorites, titled Everything is Here to Help You. I randomly sat by Eric Marcus (in the striped shirt). I told him we were from Texas. He said, “I know the Mayor of Marshall, Texas and his wife.” I asked, “Amanda Smith, who runs Get Healthy Marshall?” (I follow her on FaceBook) Small world, the chef in Pendleton grew up 20 miles away from where I grew up, and Marshall is probably 30 miles away! I was sitting by Eric Marcus, who runs Vegan.com. We all loved Matt’s lecture that night, and the next day, Mac, Eric and I met for lunch at Homegrown Smoker Vegan BBQ in Portland. Yummy and fun!!!! Before we left, we also stopped by The National Sanctuary called The Grotto. I was more enthralled with spider webs than anything else.
Now off to Seattle…the reason for the road trip. I have had the books of Dr. Jonathan Wright in my bookcase, and on my night table for years. I listen to his live call in show most Saturdays at KVI570 (Noon-2:00 Seattle time / 2:00 to 4:00 CST). I stream it through my computer, or car. You may also listen to his archive shows by topic or date at www.greenmedicineonline.com. I wanted to explore Bio-Identical Hormone Replacement Therapy. He is the doctor that created it, and was the first to use it in the early 80s. I have checked with Dallas doctors, and found them to be very expensive and many didn’t test the whole panel. So, I phoned Dr. Wright’s office in May, for our August appointments. For his clients, he begins with how the person absorbs nutrients. Tests were done in Dallas for gluten-intollerance, and the Heidelberg Test Stomach Acid was done in his Seattle office. The Heidelberg test tracks acid levels in the stomach. Created in the 1930s, it one of the oldest most reliable tests. No matter how good someone’s diet is, if they are not absorbing nutrients, they may have a vitamin and mineral deficiency that could lead to degenerative diseases such as osteoporosis, macular, and many others. Good news! We both produce great stomach acid, and will not need the test again, for ten years. Yay!!! However, Mac scored very high for gluten intolerance, and his test showed mineral deficiency. Dr. Wright handles this with IV bags of minerals. Once the minerals are replaced, and gluten is removed from the diet, balanced nutrition returns and maintains healthy levels. Below are a few photos of us swallowing an orange radio capsule. It is attached to a string that is hanging out of our mouth. Weird!!! The capsule is pulled up, and out, after the test. We have transmitter packs on our stomachs. The readings are green lines on the computer screen transmitted from the packs on our stomach. I also included a photo of Mac receiving one of six IV bottles. What we learned from Dr. Wright should serve as it’s own blog post. If anyone wants to hear more, message me, and I will make it a separate post with more detail.
As you can see, it was a life changing trip that we believe was a wonderful choice for us. We will be back next year.
Of course, It is impossible to go to Seattle for the first time, and not take a trip out to Mount Rainier. Dr. Wright named his clinic The Tahoma Clinic, in honor of the Native American name for Mount Rainier, which is Mount Tahoma.
Off again through Spokane to Coeur d’Alene, Idaho where we found another golden nugget on Trip Advisor…an Alpaca Farm available for tours. We spent the afternoon with Alpaca, Llama, Sheep, Goats, Cats and Dogs. The farm cat, Peanut, fell in love with Mac. Apparently when the farm cat approves of you, all the other animals do too. Mac was surrounded.
Then into Bozeman, Montana before night. The sun had just set, and we found an adorable restaurant called South 9th Bistro. It has a cat theme. The owner, Hank Fargot, authored a cat book, A Nuisance of Cats, and we lucked out, because he gave us a copy. Of course, I had him autograph it. We had Ratatouille on a bed of Cheddar Polenta and a bottle of red wine. I forgot how much I love ratatouille. I have made in many times since getting home. If you are ever in Bozeman, you must go there!
The next morning we enter Yellowstone National Park from Montana’s North Entrance in Gardiner, Montana. An elk is casually grazing at the tourist center. When he raises his head, it’s as if he is momentarily posing for photos. I was surprised to see how much devastation from past forest fires is still evident. The geysers were fun to watch.
Although we saw beautiful parts of nature, one of the prettiest had to be the Grand Teton Range, especially looking across the lake. Dinner in Jackson Hole, then off to Telluride.
La Cocina De Luz was our favorite restaurant in Telluride. As we were leaving the restaurant, we ran into our Dallas friends, Jeremy and Lisa.
A stop in Santa Fe before heading home. I had to have my “fix” at The Shed. Blue Corn Burritos, #8 on the menu. Two blue corn tortillas filled with pinto beans, cheddar and onion, covered in red chile, vegetarian. Of course, Mac and I always debate each other on the delights of red chili vs. green chili. I’m red, he’s green!
So the next trip…not sure. I like the idea of staying out of the cold. Maybe head Southwest on lower Interstate 10, maybe up to the Painted Desert Petrified Forest, then down to Tucson, back to Patagonia for a brief visit, and lunch at my old hang-out, The Tree of Life…connect into Interstate 8 through Yuma and into La Jolla. I don’t eat seafood that often, but when I do…well, there happens to be a little place in La Jolla, called El Pescador that is one of my favs!