We drove through Portland one last time. This picture was the reason we missed our exit; I was too busy taking the photo, and forgot to point out exit 300 (which is the only exit in Portland that I definitely know how to get to, as it is the exit to OMSI where I volunteered for a while this year). We sorted out the debacle, and eventually got to I-84, with only an extra 20 minutes added to the trip.
Starvation Creek in the Columbia Gorge. It is very pretty, and makes a nice rest stop.
I really liked the root structures.
Somewhere around here, used to be Celilo falls. This and other important fishing sites used by Oregon and Washington tribes were submerged in the 50's by the dams being built at the time, which had been a center of trading to these tribes for thousands of years. Which, well, is depressing, but I think it is important to remember what was lost when things like hydroelectric power from the dams were gained.
We spent the night with some family in Meridian, ID. You can do the drive in two days, or theoretically one (it is ~22 hours of non-stop driving) but we split it into three days in order to have a bit of a roadtrip.
We fueled up the next morning with some Starbucks. I don't get Starbucks too often, I mean, I come from the Willamette Valley, home of a lot of independent coffee shops, but we go to Starbucks all the time when we travel because it is reliable and ubiquitous.
A lot of people don't get why I like Eastern Oregon and Idaho so much. Dude, look at it! So dramatic and rugged, and I like sagebrush and basalt flows a lot.
We took a detour to Twin Falls, which I am glad we did.
You know you are in Wyoming when there are buffalo heads at the rest stop.
There are a lot of bison around. Incidentally, we eat a lot of bison now that we live here, and it is really good!
Our journey was basically the Oregon Trail in reverse.
Why don't they have covered wagons at Oregon rest stops? They should. ~History~
Anyhoo, so we got to town, and stayed at a hotel the first night. The next day, we drove around town a bit, and hung out in parks and a coffee shop (they do have at least three good coffee shops here! As a definite northwesterner, I approve of this). We ended up driving around some neighborhoods near the university, and saw a for rent sign in the window of one little house. We thought "what the heck" and called the number.
The landlord was actually at the house doing some painting right then, so five minutes later we took a tour, really liked the place, and decided to sign the lease straightaway. This turned out to be a good decision, because ten minutes later, while we were doing the paperwork, someone else who wanted the house gave the landlord a call.
We stayed with the older couple for a few days while some work was finished up on the apartment, and then moved in shortly thereafter. About two weeks later, though, we still didn't have our furniture and other belongings, just what we'd taken in our car, and it was getting a little ridiculous using three plates and some mason jars for cups.
So, due to a miscommunication about being able to deliver our stuff to Wyoming, we ended up driving a 17 foot truck to Fort Collins (~70 miles away) in order to get our things that were in storage. Not because we needed a truck that big, but because it was the smallest thing any of the Uhaul stores had at fairly short notice.
So I did not enjoy moving our ~2.5 tons of stuff three times (once into the truck, out of the truck into the neighbor's driveway (she gave us permission) because we couldn't get such a big truck any closer to our place, and finally into the house) but we finally got our things, and were able to start getting our house settled.
We did get new Ikea desks though. And you might be able to tell I am a geek, because there is a set of Harry Potter books, and a TARDIS mug on my desk. What self-respecting scientist isn't a geek, though, really?
We did a little hiking at Vedawoo this weekend, which is amazing.
So, there you have it. We successfully moved and got settled this month. There are still some boxes, but it is mostly our massive collection of books, and buying bookshelves will take care of that.
And I am starting to get the hang of school, I think. The classes aren't too bad, except for Biochemistry, as I was unable to take that at my old school and I don't already have the amino acids and thermodynamics memorized. My research project for my first rotation is really cool though, and I think I am starting to make that transition from undergrad to grad. It is very different then what I am used to.