Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Tales from the Road Trip: The day we peed in a town called Ritzville

Bright and early Monday morning we staggered resentfully jumped energetically out of bed, packed my car with all it could hold (including two pet water frogs who were seatbelted in the backseat) (in their tank, wiseass) and set out on Day 1 of our Road Trip from Seattle to Chicago.

We started in Renton, a suburb just south of Seattle, at about 8 am. We pretty much had the road to ourselves, which is very strange and whattheheckish for Renton at that time of the day. Eerie, in fact. Spooky. Disturbing even. *shuddering* But whatever. We certainly weren’t complaining.

We got on I-90 and off we went, winding our way through misty Western Washington.

We made a pit stop on Snoqualmie Pass in the Cascade Mountains because we hadn’t started the trip on a full tank of gas (whoopsie!) and I always (ALWAYS) fill up at half a tank so I never (NEVER) have to risk running out of fuel on the freeway—or worse!—in the middle of nowhere.


I’m not usually anal, thankyouverymuch. Just ask the weirded-out people who were setting things up at my wedding last year when I was all in anti-Bridezilla mode, saying, “eh, whatever, it’s all good,” anytime they asked my opinion on anything. They’ll tell you. However, when it comes to filling up my car at half a tank, the. Car. Will. Be. Filled. Up. At. Half. A. Tank.

Got it?


So, we stopped at Snoqualmie.

$27.03 later we were back on the road. Soon the lush green mountainous landscape of Western Washington was behind us and we were cruising through Eastern Washington, which looks a wee bit different.

We stopped off for a few minutes or so at the Wild Horses Monument which overlooks I-90 and the Columbia River.

The view was incredible….

….but, holy heck, it was WINDY!

I was fascinated with all the little albino grasshoppers that were leaping around all over the place up there.

Scope updated his Facebook status.

And Wednesday was doing a super duper job of freaking her poor mother out!

(Girlie, if you fall, you’re buying your own Bandaids, ‘kay?!)


Back in the car, we passed by George.

Uh-huh. That’s right. We have a city called George, Washington.

(But I’m not sure if there’s really a Hannah, Montana.)


(Or a Raising, Arizona.)

(Or a Baked, Alaska.)

(Okay, I’ll stop now.)

(You’re welcome.)

Along the way we passed this oddity….

Yep. It’s a carnival funhouse!

And then it was lunchtime, we all needed to pee, and we saw a sign for Ritzville and pulled over.


I’m not sure what I expected Ritzville to look like. Maybe…. oh, I dunno…. kinda ritzy or fancy or snazzy or something like that. Or—ooh, I know!—home to the world’s biggest box of Ritz Crackers!!!! YEAH!!!! Wouldn’t that have been great? But no. Nope. Ritzville looked like this….

Total false advertising. Wow. But, still, we found a McDonalds for lunch in Ritzville and Wednesday took the opportunity to check on the perplexed frogs strapped in the backseat….

The frogs were just fine. Freaked out beyond all reason, but just fine. No little froggie heart attacks, so yay! We filled up the car again and were quickly back on the road.

Washington State bid us farewell by buzzing us with an Horizon plane.

And then we crossed over the border into Idaho.

Idaho pretty much looked like this the whole way....

And, as the Idaho panhandle we were travelling through is only about 70 miles wide, we didn’t even need to make a stop in Idaho before we found ourselves crossing into Montana.

(Eww. Please excuse the ghost of the dead bug on the windshield in that picture. Unfortunately, it won’t be the last.)

Montana was hilly. (Understatement.) And wooded. (Anti-hyperbole.) And COVERED with signs for Clark Fork. (Complete and utter truth.)

Seriously. Every half-mile or so we passed a sign for Clark Fork. We were practically tripping over them. After being on the road for ten hours or so, it started to get increasingly hilarious every time we saw another Clark Fork sign.

(Sad, I know.)

We filled up the car again in Missoula and got back on I-90 where we soon passed the West Riverside Forest Fire by the freeway.

There was a helicopter making water drops with a woefully inadequate-looking bucket, trying to douse the flames. It was like watching someone trying to put out a campfire with a thimble.

(As far as I know, the fire is still ongoing and is only 35% contained. If you are interested, you can read the news updates on the fire HERE.)

We drove on….

….and on….

….and on some more. Soon the sun was setting beautifully beside us.

From that point on we kinda stopped taking pictures of our drive because they were all coming out like this….


We stopped in Butte for dinner (insert rump roast joke here) and then drove to Bozeman for the night. There was a college shindig going on in Bozeman and it was not easy finding a motel with an available room. But we eventually stumbled upon the Bozeman Inn.

The fact that the Bozeman Inn seemed to be the only motel with available rooms should have been a sign that it—uhh—might not be the best place in town to stay.

(Oh, hindsight, you little minx, you!)

But we were so exhausted by that point that we didn’t really care that the Bozeman Inn was obviously a little sketchy. In fact, I was so sleepy that I honestly didn’t care that our room smelled like old rancid mushroom soup, and—worse!—I didn’t even notice the disturbing stain (vomit?!?!) (diarrhea?!?!) (BLOOD?!?!) that was on the bed Scope and I slept on until Scope pointed it out to me the next morning.

Ugh. Oh dear God. Nasty. I feel the urge to go have a two hour long shower every time I think about it! Gah! Makes Ritzville look perfectly ritzy indeed! My advice? If the only room available is at the Bozeman Inn, do yourself a favor and go all Mary and Joseph and find yourself a barn instead.



MONEY SPENT ON GAS: $42.30 or $69.33, depending on whether or not you believe the first fill up counts.
LICENSE PLATES SEEN ON THE ROAD IN WA: 15 (Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Oregon, South Dakota, Washington, and Alberta)
LICENSE PLATES SEEN ON THE ROAD IN ID: 3 (Nevada, West Virginia, and Quebec)

Up next: Day 2 of our Road Trip, where I swear I was kidnapped by Looney Tunes and held captive in a twisted, unending Wile E Coyote cartoon. No joke, there was even a real honest to God ACME sign along the roadway, okay?!?! I wish I were kidding.

Stay tuned....

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Scope said...

Aren't you glad that stain was on my side of the bed? And I'm going to go with "coffee/cola" for the source of the stain.

We all know it's dead hooker.

But I'm going with "coffee/cola".

Anonymous said...

Did you ever see the movie "Four Rooms?" You should have checked to see if there actually was a dead hooker in the box spring. Might have been.

Great shots, as always.

Shana said...

My first thought was a coke stain!!
Fun photos!!

SkylersDad said...

I am voting dead hooker, and I don't know what made the mess on the bed.

Dead hooker hit your window, right?

Did I get this story all confused???

The Vegetable Assassin said...

Dude, I love this post, it is just brimming with awesome. I'm already looking forward to part two. I love road trips. I am living vicariously through you. I am pining for the open road. Goddamn. You guys are having the best time and I am envious!

Also? I have stayed in motels like that too. One, in Rochester, NY, had footprints ON THE CEILING. HOW DOES THAT EVEN HAPPEN? Is that a thing now, footprints on the ceiling. As for your stain? EW.

So. Cal. Gal said...

I love road trips!

1. Maybe Clark Fork is the only thing going for the state and they need the revenue.

2. That sunset is INCREDIBLE!

3. I'm voting for vomit just to freak Scope out. But it was sweet of him to take one for the team and sleep on that side.

4. I also vote for $69.33 since you have to start somewhere to end up with a full tank. Shut up. It makes sense in my head.

5. Remind me to tell you about the time a brother and I drove to CO with a lawn mower and a wing chair.

words...words...words... said...

I've always wanted to go to Idaho. It seems so pretty.

You get +1 for referencing Raising Arizona, my favorite comedy ever.

And I'm going with Coke stain, but spilled by a hooker (live).