Where did we leave off yesterday? Oh, yes. A late evening storm rolled into Salt Lake City, and I watched from my hotel balcony, not knowing that danger lurked around every curve…
Day 4 involved driving to Baker City, OR—464 miles away from Salt Lake City, UT. A half hour out of Salt Lake City, my abscessed tooth, which had not bothered me up until this point, suddenly started throbbing like someone was gouging me in the gums with a very large, very obnoxious knife. We had to pull over so I could get my antibiotics and Ibuprofen out of my medicine bag. Which, by this point, every bag we brought was covered in Cash’s hair and dented in by his big feet from him anxiously pacing around the car. I mean, I felt for him, but I was in no mood for a dog’s nonsense—but you can’t really get mad at a dog, so you just internalize your rage and and wait for it to come out in unexpected ways. You know, like a normal, healthy adult human. Regardless of the situation, Katie and I finally took some pictures with the both of us.
On the way, we stopped at Craters of the Moon in Idaho. When we pulled up to the park, we were stopped at the gate to pay entrance fees and be given the question/answer session that all park rangers enjoy. I just wanted to get in the park and explore, so when the ranger asked if we needed any pamphlets, I said we had everything we needed. My sister turned her head like Regan from The Exorcist and said “No. We. Don’t.” Turning to look at her, I looked directly into the eyes of Satan, realizing that Aunt Flo had arrived and unpacked in the last couple of hours of our drive. Not gonna lie. I was a little afraid for my life. Quickly, I shut up and took the materials offered by the park ranger, at which time she made sure to inform us that animals were not allowed out of cars. There was a moment where I wanted to grab the ranger by the collar and hiss “Are you trying to get us killed, lady???” Fortunately, while Katie wasn’t happy that Cash would have to stay in the car, but we drove on into the park without further incident.
We ended up walking a half-mile trail called “Devil’s Orchard Trail” (appropriate considering all things) and took a lot of stunning pictures. However, since Cash was having to wait in the car (yes, we rolled windows down and left him water), we didn’t want to do too much. In the end, we ended up learning a lot about the park and got some cute pics of Katie and Cash once we were out of the park. Ultimately, we got to Baker City, OR—where we had more beer and dinner from the deli section of an Albertson’s.* Our hotel check-in clerk also was kind enough to let us know that regardless of what you may hear on T.V., no one pronounces it “Ore-Gone”. Good to know.
Day 5 included a 380-mile drive to Chehalis, WA where we drove along the Columbia River, saw Horsetail Falls and Mount St. Helen’s and the surrounding national park. It was a very nice day, meaning my tooth didn’t bother me and Aunt Flo hadn’t quite surfaced in Katie’s personality.** The calm before the shitstorm. However, the drive was amazingly beautiful, Katie bought me a new pair of sunglasses because I somehow lost mine, and we got some of my favorite pictures of Katie and I together.
On day 6, we drove 221 miles to Port Angeles, WA. Did I mention that in the planning stages of this trip, Katie said she wanted to see Forks, WA because she was (is?) a huge Twilight fan (Twi-hard)? Well, turns out that when we actually got to Forks, she was too embarrassed at visiting the Twilight Fan store that she wouldn’t get out of the car for any of the other sights to be seen.*** So, I had to be the weirdo taking all of the pictures and doing all of the Twilight related things—simply because I knew she’d regret not having pictures. Imagine being a 30+ year old man taking pictures of Forks High School in the middle of summer while your sister sits in the car acting like she doesn’t know you…
Luckily, we also went to Lake Quinault and explored quite a bit and had a great lunch. We also went to La Push beach on the Quillayute reservation. However, at La Push, I had had enough and let Katie and Cash explore the beach while I stayed behind, furiously smoking a cigarette and took pictures from afar. This is where I think things started to take an ugly turn…
*Some days you just grab something easy and try not to make things worse.
**I know it seems like I’m blaming a woman’s menstrual cycle for problems and acting like it’s a godawful bodily function—but what I mean is that my sister was having a bad one. She’ll back me up on this.
***In retrospect, she was probably in pain and feeling moody—but at the time I thought she was just being a poon. I mean, we were never going to see any of these people again, so who cares how dumb we looked??
Until next time…