Travel Diary: Portland to Denver, Day 2


Yesterday: Portland to Denver, Day 1
From our Hotel at 9:00am, and drove around downtown Salt Lake City until we got a glimpse of the LDS temple. We decided that we are more impressed by the majesty of the Lake Oswego temple, but it was pretty.

Stopped: At a Starbucks at about 9:50am
Stopped: At In & Out for breakfast at 10:30am
Arrived: Our new home in Denver, 7:30pm


$3 at Starbucks
$54 on fuel (1 stop)
$68 on food (2 meals including a celebratory dinner, with drinks)
$125 total


It’s 9:50 and we are killing time in Provo. With two less-than-happy-cats in the car and 8 hours of driving ahead of us, you may ask, “Why on earth are you stalling in Provo??” I’ll tell you why…

Matthew has a bit of an In-N-Out Burger addiction.

When we spotted an In-N-Out from the freeway last night, Matthew almost had a conniption fit, and I thought he might try to drive across the freeway median to get there, but we still had a ways to go to get to our hotel and I wanted to get settled before getting dinner. But how about In-N-Out for breakfast? Which turned out to be the best alternative to the Gluten Fest 2014 that was the “hot complementary breakfast” at our hotel. (A feast of pastry, bagel, waffles, biscuits and gravy and cold cereal. There wasn’t even fruit or yogurt. There was literally nothing Matthew could eat.)

But not to worry! Because we had In-N-Out in our pocket! Except it doesn’t open until 10:30…

Option 1: Drive on to Denver, getting breakfast somewhere else, forsaking our last opportunity for In-N-Out until the return drive.

Option 2: Kill 50 minutes in Provo until Matthew’s crack shack opens.

Matthew pointed those big, begging, blue eyes at me, and Option 1 disappeared. I never regret eating In-N-Out. It is simply the best fast food, ever.


12 hours later, we have arrived in Denver and are fed, watered and settling in with our cats who seem not to trust that we are actually staying here. (This being their 4th home in as many days, I can’t say I blame them.) Our drive into Denver was stunning.


The gloriously ironic thing: one big reason Matthew and I picked Denver was for the sunshine. And our first approach into the city was grey, overcast and drizzling.

Go figure.

Travel Diary: Portland to Denver, Day 1


Left: From Catherine’s mother’s in West Linn, OR at 5:15 am (Pacific Time)
Stopped: At our vacated apartment in Portland to pick up two suitcases, at about 5:30 am.
Stopped: At a coworker’s house to drop off the PO box key at about 5:40 am.
Stopped: At Burgerville in The Dalles, OR for breakfast at about 8:00 am.
Arrived: At the Royal Garden Inn in Salt Lake City, UT at about 8:00 pm (Mountain Time)
The Next Day: Denver to Portland, Day 2



$361 on car maintenance (yesterday)
$103 on fuel (two stops)
$35 on food (two meals)
$70 on lodging (includes $20 pet fee)
$3 on incidentals (super glue, a Diet Dr. Pepper)

$572 total ($211 excluding maintenance)

Listened To

Catherine: A great many hours of Game of Thrones (audiobook)

Me: A great many podcasts

Together: Prince’s 1999 and Purple Rain, Simon & Garfunkle’s “America”.


We also made a handful of stops at rest areas and gas stations.
In lieu of stopping for lunch, we snacked on trail mix and dried fruit in the car. Dinner was takeout at a Thai place a block from our hotel.

It was my first time through Idaho on I-84 (previously been through the panhandle, on Hwy 12 and I-90).

It was also my first time in Utah (outside the boundaries of its airport, a Delta hub where I must’ve laidover at least a dozen times). I am dumbstruck at the beauty of Utah’s landscape. Since we crossed state lines, it’s been nothing but soaring, dramatic hills and mountains as far as the eye can see.

The cats did surprisingly well! They seemed to resign themselves to the journey sometime before 7:00 am. That is to say, Jaxon stopped walking everywhere and Miria stopped howling her pretty little head off. We put one of the back seats down and packed such that they could get to their litter, food, and water in the trunk. They mostly just slept back there all day. After seven months living together and not exactly getting along, they’ve seemed to bond as actual friends in just the last month. So seeing them snuggle, in this anxious adventure together, had us cooing over how adorable they were, all day, like typical cat owners.

Tweets and Things

Off topic, but neat: WordPress 4.0 was released today. I read the release announcement from the passenger seat in Idaho. We celebrated me being one of the 275 contributors with a high-five. 🙂