From Idaho to Oregon

Relocation Road Trip: Day 5


Our fifth and final day of driving was perhaps the most surreal. By then, we were tired and ready to stay in one place for a little while. Neither Kate or I had ever been to Idaho before and on the previous night, we didn’t even cross the Idaho state line until long after dark. When we woke the next day in Burley, we realized that we had been surrounded by monstrous mountains for the entire tail end of the drive and didn’t even know it. We started our fifth day of driving with the Rockies in our rearview, and headed west once again. But this time, there was the promise of a new city to call home. 

The last day of our drive was perhaps the most magical because there was such a vast difference in topography between Burley and Portland. We started in the flat plains of Idaho, and slowly ascended into the mountains. We passed through Boise, a busy little city surrounded by rocky peaks, and descended back into the plains before crossing the Oregon state line. Almost instantly, the terrain became mountainous once more, but this time it was unlike anything I'd ever seen. The mountains surrounding us were a muted orange-yellow and their silhouettes went on for miles and miles, softly fading into the horizon. The highway led us up and down these mountains and we eventually descended into a valley where we could see the sun shining on a wall of rain in the distance.

And then there was a river. The last few hours of our cross-country drive took us along the Columbia River. We were right on the water and on the other side of the highway, there were rocky cliffs towering above us. As we continued west, the terrain changed once again and we became enveloped by a forest of deep green pine trees and it finally felt like the Pacific Northwest. The sun descended toward the horizon right before our eyes as we wound our way along this riverside highway. The mountains in the distance appeared hazy from the autumn sun reflecting off the river. I still can't fathom the fact that any of it was even real.

We arrived in Portland at around 7pm, and we were so hungry and so exhausted and in complete disbelief that we had just completed a cross country road trip. For years and years I've dreamed of one day driving across the United States and I finally did it. It was one of the most rewarding things I've ever done (well, so far) and I am so proud of myself for having the courage to do it. Being on the road, I laughed and I cried and I ate more sour cream and onion potato chips than is probably healthy. I listened countless albums and saw things I never thought I'd ever get the chance to see. I fell in love with America and I can't wait to get the chance to explore the places I passed by.

Now, before I wrap this post up, I'd like to talk about the music that served as the soundtrack to this life changing trip. Sleeping Operator by The Barr Brothers was the album I listened to most, especially as we meandered through Colorado, Wyoming, Idaho, and Oregon. Utah, with its divergent landscape, got a soundtrack of its own. The album Ad Infinitum by Telekinesis served as the perfect desertesque soundtrack (specifically the track titled Sleep In). You can listen to both albums, as well as my road tunes playlist here.

I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to embark on this adventure and it wouldn't feel right not to express my thanks to everyone who has supported me through this process. To Kate: I am so glad we decided to do this together and I'm so excited for all of the adventures that lie ahead for us. To my parents, thank you for believing in me and for fostering an adventurous spirit within me. More importantly, thank you for all countless ways you've made this journey possible for me. To my La Cocina family, I love and miss each and every one of you more than you can probably imagine. All of you were always there for me and I couldn't have asked for a better group of misfits to work with. To a particular cousin of mine, thank you for letting me vent all of my frustrations to you and for being the confidant I needed through such a stressful period of time. I'm sorry we couldn't get one last hug in before I left. To my family, thank you for encouraging me to follow my dreams. And to the countless friends and customers and others who have touched my life even in the smallest of ways, thank you for helping me become the girl who was brave enough to do this. Home isn't home without any of you and I am truly blessed to have shared my life with you.

Now, I'm in Portland trying to lock down an apartment and anticipating the life I'm about to start here. I'm excited for all of the new things I'll have the opportunity to try and I'm excited for the new people I'll get to share my life with. Sure, the thought of stepping outside of my comfort zone and opening myself up to these things is mildly terrifying, but I am living proof that the best things happen when you conquer your fears and step out into the unknown. I know it's only been a short while since I left my home, but I can already feel myself becoming the person I'm meant to be. I can't wait to meet her.

TravelHannah ZelaznyComment