Author Road Trip, Day 5 & 6: Bend to Portland

In Bend, Oregon, we stayed with my uncle–the same uncle who has appeared in several of my posts. (Click HERE for one, or the previous sentence for another.)

My husband on my uncle's deck in Bend. He gets to see this view every day.  (This is the same uncle who has appeared in several of my posts.)

My husband on my uncle’s deck in Bend. He gets to see this view every day. I was jealous, too.

With my uncle.

With my uncle

The Deschutes River, Bend

Took a hike along the Deschutes River

We drove north from Bend along Rte. 26.

The pine forests were so magnificent, we pulled off to the side of the road to stare at them.

The pine forests were so magnificent, we pulled off to the side of the road to stare at the trees.

Vineyards in Hood River County, near Mt. Hood

Vineyards in Hood River County, near Mt. Hood

We crossed the Columbia River and drove in Washington for awhile. Despite the rain, the views were magnificent.

We crossed the Columbia River and drove in Washington for awhile. Despite the rain, the views were spectacular.

View of downtown Portland from the Pittock Mansion in the West Hills

View of downtown Portland from the Pittock Mansion in the West Hills

Reading at In Other Words, Portland

Reading at In Other Words. I got to meet some of the other women in The PDXX Collective, a group of feminist writers based in Portland.

Me and my good friend and writer, Melanie Coffee, outside the bookstore

Me and my good friend and writer, Melanie Coffee, outside the bookstore

We made it home Tuesday afternoon, and on Wednesday I traveled two hours away to the lovely town of St. Joseph, Michigan for a reading at Forever Books. It’s a wonderful store; stop in if you ever find yourself in the area.

Me with store owner Robin Allen

Me with store owner Robin Allen

The town is right on Lake Michigan.

St. Joseph is right on Lake Michigan. Sorry for the dirty car window.

Next Wednesday evening, I’ll be in Milwaukee. If you’re in the area, I’d love to see you! Click HERE for info.

Have a wonderful Memorial Day weekend!

Author Road Trip, Day 4: Boise to Bend

As you know if you’ve been following, I’ve become lax about posting pictures during the road trip, partly because Internet connection was spotty, and partly because I was having too damn much fun.

Here are photos of Day 4, the drive from Boise, Idaho to Bend, Oregon.

I learned several things about Oregon on this trip: eastern Oregon is surprisingly the most unpopulated place we traveled; Oregon has enormous crows (can’t tell you how many times I pointed out the car window and said, “A hawk!” only to discover it was another crow); you have to pump your own gas; and the drivers are extremely friendly to pedestrians.

I learned several things about Oregon on this trip: eastern Oregon is surprisingly the most desolate place we traveled, Oregon has big crows, you have to pump your own gas, and they are drivers are extremely friendly to pedestrians.

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There was so little to look at, I started taking pictures of my feet:

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A person!

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Nearing Bend, Oregon, and the Cascade Mountains:

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Author Road Trip, Day 3: Boise

I put my husband in charge of taking pictures during the book party at my in-laws, and therefore I have no pictures of the event to share. However, I do have these, of our day in Boise – enjoy!

Hiking near my in-laws house in the foothills

Hiking near my in-laws house in the foothills north of downtown Boise

Top of the hill

Top of the hill

Lunch at Front Door

Lunch at Front Door

Popped into this bookstore in downtown Boise and they had my book -- a fun surprise.

Popped into this bookstore in downtown Boise and they had my book — a fun surprise.

My niece, a pretty spectacular reason to visit Boise

My niece, a pretty spectacular reason to visit Boise

On to Bend!

Author Road Trip, Day 2: Jackson to Boise

Day 2 of our road trip: Teton Pass through western Wyoming, Hwy 20 across Idaho, to Boise (For Day 1, click HERE):

Antler arch in the Jackson town square

Antler arch in the Jackson town square

Just outside Jackson, WY

Just outside Jackson, WY

Deserted building in eastern Idaho

Deserted building in eastern Idaho

eastern Idaho

eastern Idaho

 

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Lots of "restricted access" and "do not enter" signs around this laboratory

Lots of “restricted access” and “do not enter” signs around this laboratory

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Didn't get a chance yet to find out what these numbers are for...

Didn’t get a chance yet to find out what these numbers are for…

Craters of the Moon National Park

Craters of the Moon National Park, central Idaho; tree petrified in lava

Just gonna park my plane in my front yard.

Just gonna park my plane in my front yard.

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We’ll be in Boise for the next day and a half before we leave for Bend, OR. More to come….

Author Road Trip Part I — Denver to Jackson, WY

There aren’t many things I love more than road trips. I’ll find any excuse to take one. So when my friend, Danielle, offered to help organize a book event for The Rooms Are Filled in Denver, where she lives, obviously my next thought was: “My brother- and sister-in-law live in Boise.” My thought after that was, “My uncle lives in Bend, Oregon.” And then: “My friend Melanie lives in Portland.”

A road trip was born.  I am hard-pressed to think of a more enjoyable way to celebrate my book.

My husband and I flew into Denver on Sunday and, being from Chicago—land of the polar vortex—we were welcomed with the gift of a snowstorm and 27 degrees. I gave a reading at The Tattered Cover on Monday night, and we left Tuesday morning in our rental car, ending the day in Jackson, Wyoming.

We’ve got 1,200 miles to go in 6 days. I’ll be posting pictures of my first-ever Author Road Trip along the way. Enjoy!

Speaking

I loved reading at The Tattered Cover. The staffers and their whole tradition was lovely. For instance:

writing in guest book

Here is events manager Michael Cruikshank asking me to sign their guest book–right alongside the likes of Amy Tan and Doris Kearns Goodwin. It took me about negative 2/10ths of a second to think about it, but I agreed. They also gave me a metal bookmark with “The Tattered Cover” on one side, and my name and the date on the other. I almost cried.

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Two lonely rock columns in northern Colorado. Aren’t they a wonder?

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The Rockies in northern CO.

I'm not sure if it's just the logo, or if an actual horse picks you up to take you home from the bar.

Laramie, WY. I’m not sure if it’s just their logo, or if an actual horse picks you up to take you home from the bar.

southern Wyoming

southern Wyoming

The REALLY want you to know there are deer in the area

They REALLY want you to know there are deer in the area. These are not like the little silhouette signs we have in the Midwest.

Our hotel in Jackson. They gave us the Cowboy Themed room, which really isn't as bad as I anticipated. Just a lot of leather and wood and antler lamps that are actually very cute.

Our hotel in Jackson, taken from a moving car. They gave us the Cowboy Themed room, which really isn’t as bad as I anticipated. Just a lot of leather and wood and antler lamps that are actually very cute. I wanted to take another picture of our hotel without the huge yellow walking sign, but I was too tired and my husband’s driving was giving me mini heart attacks.

The only bad view all day--the oil refinery in Sinclair. I know--I'm driving and complaining about oil wells. I'm looking forward to the day they make affordable, greener cars.

The only bad view all day–the oil refinery in Sinclair, WY. I know–I’m driving and complaining about oil. I’m looking forward to the day they make affordable, greener cars.

ON TO BOISE!

Road-trip selfie

Road-trip selfie. My husband isn’t mean, despite the picture.