Say Hello To the Acid Ball Eco Earth

✍️ 🕑 supply chainepic questspublic artautomotive foiblesflat tirechocolate • Places: Cloudforest Chocolate, Portland, OR “The Acid Ball Eco Earth”, Salem, OR

People sometimes go to extraordinary ends for the people they love.

Case in point, my sister had asked for some chocolate for Christmas, from a chocolatier that she thought was located in Seattle, when it was in fact located in Portland.

Their website indicated that all of their chocolate was sold out, though I had my suspicions that they had to have some available in person. I figured it would be sensible to call and ask first.

Meanwhile, late on a Friday I was once again checking on the status of a photo printer, which I had ordered when I moved to Seattle. It seemed to be on indefinite backorder. (Months later, the particular model still appears to be out of stock everywhere online.) However, to my surprise, the website of a certain office goods chain indicated that they had one available in a certain state to the south of Seattle, known for its lack of sales tax.

My parking spot and Salem, OR's historic Grand Theatre
My parking spot and Salem, OR's historic Grand Theatre

I had the chance to delight two people that I love: my sister, and myself. A serendipity that I had to take advantage of.

I would have driven to Portland for the chocolate, but I wouldn't have driven even further to Salem for the printer without that other impetus. And armed with a drive to delight, I set off on a journey of discovery, awe, and disaster, but mostly just dull driving.


Lunar Landscapes and Lava Caves of Idaho

✍️ 🕑 • Series: Go West, Young Lad • Tags: lava flowsnational monuments • Places: Craters of the Moon National Monument

After a not-so-enjoyable evening in my motel, I was excited to get back on track with my road trip.

My next destination: Craters of the Moon.

Image On Where-Is-Steve

A place so named because it served as a training ground for Apollo astronauts. A gigantic area of lava flows and basalt features. The most ancient of these flows dates back to some 15,000 years ago, whilst the newest are a mere 2,000 years old. This place is home to dormant fissures, which may erupt again in the next thousand years...

Text Messages from Motel 6 (😭)

✍️ 🕑 September 23, 2021 (Evening) • Series: Go West, Young Lad • Tags: unpleasant encountersmotels • Places: Motel 6 - Rigby, ID

This post contains real, barely edited text message conversations for all the verisimilitude readers demand when you promise the tale of an awful night in a motel.

Friend: How long has it taken you to go all that way?

Me: I've been on the road since the day before labor day, but I've been taking my sweet time in many locations: Milwaukee, Pittsburgh, Yellowstone... and also taking a bunch of detours.

Me: My tripometer is ~3.5k miles

Friend: Sounds real nice

Friend: Where have you stayed the night?

The answer was mostly at campsites, but after my tire excursion, I decided to finally grab a shower and sleep indoors for a change.

I'm a cheapskate, (actually, let's be polite and say I'm "frugal"), so my hotel of choice was the Motel 6 in Rigby, Idaho. I soon found myself wishing I slept outside instead.

An Idaho Welcome

✍️ 🕑 • Series: Go West, Young Lad • Tags: bird photographyflat tiremuseumsgood eats • Places: Clark Hill Rest Area Teton Volkswagen Farnsworth TV & Pioneer Museum

It was as if the Tetons were taunting me.

Image On Where-Is-Steve

How dare they look so beautiful, so enticing, so inviting, bathed in the soft glow of an early morning's light. When I could explore them no longer. When my skinny spare tire demanded that I get it replaced as early as I could.

My only course of action was to drive some 220 miles, sticking below 50 MPH on my skinny spare.

My only course of action was to cross into Idaho.

Grand Teton; Poor Tires

✍️ 🕑 • Series: Go West, Young Lad • Tags: national parkslakesrocky mountainsautomotive foiblesflat tirebuffalochipmunks • Places: Colter Bay Village Campground Two Ocean Trailhead, Grand Teton National Park Jackson, WY

In today's post, I briefly visit (and very briefly manage to enjoy) one of the most beautiful sections of the Rocky Mountains, before tragedy (partially self-inflicted) strikes and I have no choice but to change my plans.

Image On Where-Is-Steve

The setting is Grand Teton National Park, and in the morning when I set out, them Tetons were indeed grand and spectacular...