The most obvious reason for traveling by car instead of plane is because we brought our dog along on this one. So, maybe a better question is, “Why bring the dog?” Honestly, our dog LOVES to ride. Loves it. Doesn’t matter if we’re going to the grocery store or three hours away to see his girlfriend. He wants to go with. We’ve traveled without him before. And left him at a kennel that is the best in the area. The dogs get outside playtime galore. Attention. But he hates it. Because he knows when he goes there, he’s getting left behind for a while. Breaks my heart. So, when we had to take a quick trip to Denver a couple years ago and had to drive, we decided to pack him up and bring him with us. Worst case scenario, I sleep in the car with a dog outside the hotel for three nights.
He did SO WELL. Exceeded expectations by a mile. So it made me REALLY desire to plan a trip where we could bring him along while he was still young enough to keep up with us (ahem, DRAG US along with him). While I’ve heard that you can travel with a dog on a plane, I’ve also heard horror stories about it and I really don’t think he would enjoy being stuck in a cargo compartment without us. (P.S. – Any airlines out there got dog friendly flights in the works where dogs can just ride in the cabin? You should. I’d have to give up my window seat but it’d totally be worth it.) ANYWAY, so, driving it was.
Honestly, driving suited me just fine because after years and years of horrible flying experiences, it’s not my favorite. Sure it’s fast and efficient, but sometimes the security line hassle, lost luggage and being trapped in a tin can recycling air with a bunch of people who have who knows what kind of contagious illnesses or communicable diseases doesn’t sound that appealing to me. Plus, airplane bathrooms terrify me. I’ve never used one and I’m not really sure what the game plan is if I ever get the chance to travel to Europe. Perhaps I’ll have to go by boat?
I also feel like you miss SO MUCH travelling by plane. You see the airport, some of the city as you fly overhead, then clouds. Upon clouds. Upon clouds. My adventurous spirit longs for the random roadside stops that you decide to check out because you happen to see them on a billboard you passed. Some of these places are the most unique hole-in-the-wall places out there. I love seeing the landscapes in each state is and how they all seem to do things a little differently or put their own little spin on the reality they live in. I crave SEEING things. And clouds? Just don’t do it for me.
So, why Oregon? Well, I have a dream to see all 50 states and I don’t mean fly to Chicago, never leave Chicago and fly back and cross “Illinois” off my list. I want to drive through them. Do some things. Maybe take some back roads. Oregon is a place that I had been to before, but I was five when I went with my family. It was before I had the itch to travel. Before my goal of seeing all 50 states. And before my recognition and love for the beauty that this world has to offer. I remember bits and pieces of that trip and most of my memories are from the train ride out there (we took the Amtrak). BUT, not of the things I saw out of the windows. The fear of having to traverse the gap between the cars and the cheerleader friend I made a few row back who made me a beaded necklace that I still have in my jewelry box. I have photo evidence of things I saw while in Oregon but all in all, I didn’t remember a whole lot about it. I’m guessing it’s partly because my biggest concern when we went was probably, “Are we there yet?” Or “When can we go back to Uncle Kerry’s house and play with our cousins and their pet rabbit(s)?”
I’ve always wanted to go back and walk the same grounds as I did when I was five to see if I could drum up some more memories of my first trip out there. It didn’t, really, but it was still the adventure a lifetime a place I’m glad I went back to and a place that I can’t seem to get enough of. We were in Oregon for 11 days and I feel like we packed a lot of activities into those days and probably could have easily spent another month or two out there and still not seen or done everything that I would have liked to. With so much beauty around every corner, I’m pretty sure I could spend every day of my entire life traveling to every corner of this planet and still not see everything or lose my desire to discover new things.