Intel's Ronler Acres Plant

Silicon Forest

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Road Trip Notes

Our trip took us from Portland, Oregon to Sioux City, Iowa and back. We covered 3900 miles in ten days. We took the northern route (I-90) through Montana, Wyoming and South Dakota on the way there and the southern route (I-80) through Nebraska, Wyoming and Utah on the way back. We dropped the kids off at the airport in Omaha, Nebraska, on our way out of town which put us a hundred miles farther south, which was enough to decide us to take the southern route back to Oregon.

Pasco, Kennewick, and the Hanford Nuclear Disaster

Pasco and Kennewick are a pair of booming small towns in south central Washington state. All I can think of to explain the apparent prosperity of this area is the huge amount of money the Federal Government is pouring into the cleanup of the Hanford Nuclear Reservation.
    The Spokane - Coeur d'Alene corridor is jammed. Not sure what the deal is here. It's a little farther from Hanford, but Spokane is the big city in this neck of woods, so Hanford could still be having an impact. Coeur d'Alene is a popular resort area and is getting more popular every day.
    Driving across Montana and South Dakota were relatively peaceful affairs. Drivers mind their manners, no pushing of shoving. Start getting closer to populated areas and the number of fude ruckers starts going up.


Big rock crushes car
This is how tailgaters should be dealt with.

We have made 3 road trips back to Iowa in the last few years, and some of the places are starting to get familiar. The barrel racer waiting tables at the Rapid City Best Western motel was still there, which was a pleasant surprise.

Driving back Nebraska was expectedly empty, but had a high percentage of yahoo drivers. Wyoming was unexpectedly fine. Last time I went through here it was wall to wall trucks and the few cars I saw were all going a hundred, which was a little scary. So I-80 was a pleasant though long cruise until we got to Ogden, just north of Salt Lake. Then it was push and shove all the way to Boise. I think the Mormon population explosion is bursting the confines of their Salt Lake City domicile and they are heading out. West and south is all desert. East are the Rocky Mountains, so north is the only road open to them, and they are using it.

We encountered the worst traffic of the trip during the last little bit of driving home across Portland to Hillsboro. Not surprising I guess since Portland is the biggest city we drove through.

P.S. I think someone is plotting to deprive Americans of beef. All the way across Wyoming we see all this grass and hardly any cattle. Hamburger is still relatively cheap, but the price of steaks are getting astronomical. I think someone is conspiring to keep people from raising cattle. Probably some Democrats in the Department of Agriculture.

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