BestThings: Late Thursday Edition

Another short and sweet one.  Today I am camped out at Old Sawmill Station in Clayton, ID.  Tomorrow I will be hitting the road for Missoula.  We drove over from Boise yesterday and there were definitely some cool things that happened.  

Redfish Lake. I didn't even know this lake existed, but here we were.  Beautiful lake in the Sawtooth Wilderness.  It was a little colder and windy yesterday, but still beautiful.  

Redfish Lake.

Redfish Lake.

A Beer On the Fence. I took my beer out and climbed over and sat up on the fence adjacent to the hills, listened to 80's rock music and savored the sweetness of life at the moment.  Chris told me that deer often came out in the field of sagebrush and I hoped we would see one.  Hard to beat this view.  

Exact spot where I sat.

Exact spot where I sat.

Deer.  And then we saw the deer.  It was awesome!  I saw one, and then another and then a momma with a few little babies. It was so fun watching them!  We also saw a tiny bunny on the campground.  I love being out in nature and seeing wild life.

A little later today we are headed off to visit some ghost towns!  We saw lots on the drive over here yesterday, and thank God, we didn't end up in a ditch...more on that a little later in an expanded travel blog.  On to more adventuring!  

BestThings: Late Sunday Edition

I'm writing this morning...well, really it's afternoon here...from Homedale, ID.  I'm off on my 10-day adventure around Idaho and Montana, coming back home probably on the 13th or 14th.  I slept in and so here we are.  I hope everyone had a good Independence Day, whatever you may have done.  I chose to celebrate my independence by driving to Idaho. 

Driving.  I love driving.  I do it for a job, and I do it for fun.  I never feel more free than when on a road trip because I am on my own schedule.  Even with planes or trains or buses, you are at the mercy of their schedule.  I like to make my own rules.  I had a pretty easy 7 hour drive over here.  I was proud of myself because I did not use AC for 5 hours.  But, once I hit Baker City and the temperature hit 100 degrees, I decided it was time to turn it on.

Family. I wasn't with my blood family on this holiday, but family comes in all different forms.  I spent it with my best friend, her daughter, boyfriend, mom, step-dad and various other assorted people.  These guys are like family to me.  Chris is the sister I never had biologically, and her mom, Linda, and Dave, her step-dad, are like second parents to me.  Linda put on an incredible spread, with hamburgers, hot dogs, chicken, salads (including potato) and even made a watermelon/cool whip cake and gluten-free brownies for me.  It was delicious!  Chris and I played a lengthy game of pool downstairs and we made about one shot in for every 5 shots we took.  Eventually Chris won.

Home. Dave and Linda moved into a new house in the Boise area a few months ago, and from their upper deck we had a view of the entire Treasure Valley, from Boise all the way South.  We could see fireworks for miles!  It was awesome, and a beautiful night to watch.  Their home is beautiful, and perfectly suits them. I am so happy for them in their new place, and so happy that I got to visit and see it.  This is the first summer they have not worked in I don't know how many years. 

Last 4th of July I was working for Dave and Linda at their blackberry-packing plant, and I don't even remember the day.  I think I might have actually just gone home and gone to bed. All I craved was sleep.  It was hard work. 33 days straight last year.  I was a zombie.  I never want to experience that again.  But, it got me to where I am today, which is in a place to take off for a 10-day open-ended road trip with no one waiting on my return. And now here I was, celebrating Independence Day with Dave and Linda in Idaho when we were all eyeballs deep in blackberries last year.  Crazy how things can change so much in a year, but they always do.  I feel so blessed, every day.  Which is why I write these "best things", to reflect on the goodness in my life and the abundance I live in. 

Top 5 "BestThings" of last week:

1. I got asked out for a beer by a super-cute Lyft passenger.  

2. I took off on a road trip for Boise and Montana.

3. I received this awesome feedback from a Friday Lyft passenger: 

★★★★★ Top review

“Jennifer is amazing, and her infectious laugh is sublime. Thanks for the welcome to portland and ride to the airport!”

4. I spent the 4th with one of my best friends.

5. I had lunch with one of my friends in town from Denver that I have not seen in a year.

BestThings: Early Saturday Edition

Every great adventure begins with trepidation -Freelance Adventurer

There is only one reason I would be up at 4:30am on Saturday morning.  Yes, traveling.  That's it.  So, by the time you read this I will have been on the road for awhile.  It's now 6:30am and the car is loaded and I'm ready to roll.  Traveling is definitely an all time "best thing" for me, and I love road trips.  But before I go, here's some of the best things from yesterday.

Brothers. I love my brothers.  There, I said it.  I am honored and SO grateful they are not only my brothers, but some of my closest friends.  I know I can trust them with my life.  Benj lives in the Bay area, and we talk almost every day.  Jason lives here, in Milwaukie, and we got together for an early dinner of Thai food last night before I took off on my next adventure.  


Next Adventure.  Speaking of that, I visited this outdoor store today in search of some water shoes. Something a little better than flip flops, and not so sturdy (or expensive!) as Chacos.  I found these amazing Teva flip flops that have a velcro strap that goes around your ankle so you don't lose them.  The "Original Mosaic Orange", but mostly in turquoise. I was sold! I love the bargain basement where you can find unique clothing items for $5, just $5!  They have all the outdoor gear you could imagine.  Visit Andy & Bax too, while you are it, since they are on the next block.  Amazing camping and military stuff.  

Lyft.  Yesterday was a quiet day, I did two short rides and one ride for a couple out to the Airport.  I'll be off duty for the next 10 days or so while I am traveling.  That's the beauty of this job, I work when I want and if I don't want to, I don't want to.  Right now I think it's working out pretty well.  I'm still figuring out the best days/times to drive, and that will most likely be an ongoing process. 

I hope everyone's Saturday is awesome.  This is short and sweet, but the road calls to me and I have a few hundred miles to cover today.  Yippee!!!!  I'll see you on the flip side where more adventures await!

BestThings: Thursday Edition

Friday.  I woke up excited today because tomorrow I'm leaving on another road trip.  So there will be some travel blogging coming up too.  I'll be heading to Idaho for the 4th and then on to Montana next week to see my Dad.  I am so happy to be getting on the road again! But first, pesky things like packing and laundry.  I intend to be up very early tomorrow so I can get the bulk of my journey done before it gets ridiculously hot.'s been ridiculously hot already. 

Friends. I spent a good amount of time talking to my best friend yesterday morning.  I'm going to visit her in Idaho.  As we were talking, we came up with a new plan for part of time in Idaho.  We are going up to the Stanley area to camp out for a few days before I head on to Montana.  Her boyfriend works up there on a road crew so we will get to spend some time together in the camper.  AND we are going to visit a ghost town!  Super-excited and I see some photo opportunities coming up.  Time to get out my Road Atlas and figure out the route from there to Missoula.  

Routines.  It took me all morning, but I did morning pages, blogged and did my morning yoga routine.  Sometimes it's just like that.  I spent some time talking to my brother too, down in Oakland.  As a result of getting up late and doodling all morning, I did not get logged in to Lyft until early afternoon. 

Lyft. I picked up a few passengers in the afternoon, then decided to come home and take a break.  I do not always like driving in the heat of the afternoon.  It works better if I drive in the morning, then login and drive around 6pm to 9 or 10.  And that's what I did yesterday.  I took more than a few people down to NW.  So busy!  I decided I like picking up on the East side and doing most of my work over there.  I do not enjoy driving downtown much.  And good God!  Pedestrians are so dumb sometimes.  Luckily no mishaps.  When I'm driving, I gear down mentally and chill out, concerned only with getting my passenger(s) safely to where I am taking them.  I had come home and was just about to logout when I got a ride request from around the corner.  So, I took my last guy down to NW Portland.  He was super-nice, a great ride to end the night with.  Earlier I had picked up several youngsters who were clearly high and guess where I ended up taking them?  Not Taco Bell, but close.  Stella Taco on Alberta.  I got in the car to take my next ride and thought, "Whoa!"  If I could smell the weed, I'm certain my next passenger could.  Always an adventure.  We had a very long conversation the whole ride with one of the girls who was having a very hard time figuring out how the billing for Lyft worked.  Finally I think they got it sorted out.  Lord!  

Sunset.  There is nothing more beautiful than driving across the Broadway bridge while the sun is setting.  It was incredibly beautiful last night.  I only wished I could have stopped and captured the image on film.  The sun framed behind the Fremont bridge is something to behold indeed. And at that time, the world is lit with the golden light of the fading sun.  I wished I could stop on the bridge and absorb the view.  Maybe tonight I'll figure out where I can park and walk out and snap some photos.  I am blessed to live in an incredibly beautiful city, and sunset is one of my favorite times to drive.  It always feels like magic, the time between times.  And I fell asleep to the light of the nearly full moon.  So much beauty awaits you if you simply pause to take it in.