Ok, we didn’t make it to Denver. We stopped short in Loveland, Colorado, since it was getting late. We had spent some time knocking around Laramie, Wyoming after being menaced by a few snow flurries at the pass.
The rocks and cliffs were spectacular leaving Salt Lake City and we climbed steadily with snowy peaks around us. There were ghostly old mining operations by the highway left to rust, and towns like Evanston and Rock Springs with fresh development. We fueled up at Little America in Wyoming, which at one point billed itself as the world’s largest truck stop.
Day Two started with a visit to Goldy’s Breakfast Bistro on South Capitol Blvd., which is located in the increasingly hip downtown area of Boise.
Goldy’s delivers the solid hipster breakfast experience, which includes long lines and no reservations. Food-wise it pretty good, but personally I’m a little hipstered-out right now. Gretchen’s meal included Hollandaise sauce, and it was really well done – very light and fluffy. However, it did lack flavor and needed some lemon juice and salt.
With ourselves and the car fueled, we enjoyed the drive past snow-covered mountains to Boise, Idaho.
Boise is the state capital, with big domed building in its downtown area. We arrived on a Sunday around 7:30 pm and I was surprised that the joint was jumping. Boise’s downtown has several streets (not just a strip) of restaurants, clubs and interesting stores that were packed with people.
It had been a while since we’d been to a nice restaurant, so we found a highly-rated one a few blocks from the downtown, Richard’s Café Vicino. It was really excellent, with an innovative take on Italian food without getting cutesy or overdone. Café Vicino seems very comfortable with what it’s doing, and it’s doing it very well. We thought our meal ranked among the best we’ve had in the last two or three years. Highly recommended for a special night out.
Day One of our road trip was a nice Oregon spring day, meaning that it was dry though overcast. We headed out a little late, just after 10am, Eastward on I-84 through the Columbia River Gorge.
The Gorge is one of the most beautiful spots on earth, and it’s no wonder it has been designated a National Scenic Area. It seems the Gorge always shows up in car advertisements, showing the vehicle perched majestically above a huge river flowing far below.
This Sunday the Gorge was utterly calm, which is really rare. Even the numerous wind turbines were completely still. This phenomenon allowed wisps of low-lying clouds to cling to the valleys lining the gorge, which was a unexpected treat to see.
We wanted to cross the country as quickly as reasonably possible, so there was no time for side trips. We had lunch in Pendleton, Oregon at Dickey’s Barbecue. This is a Texas-based chain of stores, and as much as I try to steer clear of chains, I’ve got to say Dickey’s is pretty darn good. When you’re hungry for ‘cue, it’s a solid alternative for a grab-and-go meal.