Trish and Harold's Weblog

News, information, and random thoughts from the busy lives of Trish Egan and Harold Phillips.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Idaho Trip: First Leg

Hey all. It's about 3:15 am Mountain time (that's 2:15 am Portland time), and we just got off the road in Boise.

The trip to Boise took a couple more hours than expected... we hit the road at about 6:00 after Trish's doctor's appointment. Traffic getting out of Portland was pretty heavy. As we got outside the Portland area and in to the Columbia River Gorge (between Portland and Hood River) we encountered some seriously strong wind gusts. The Prius, being a comparitively lighter car than the Camry I used to drive, was very reactive to the wind gusts... It was a fight the whole way to Hood River. Once we got past the Dalles, however, the wind had let up and we had smooth sailing until we got to the mountain passes.

We stopped in the little town of Boardman Oregon for dinner at about 8:30. The small diner we ate at was called the CD Drive In (home of the "Bozo Burger" - a HUGE bacon cheesebuger that was very tasty. We had a good time reading the monthly newspaper for the area, the Irrigon Irrigator, while we ate.

It was around LaGrande that we started to encounter a light dusting of snow and heavy fog. Our speed had to drop down into the 50 mph zone (speed limit through there is 65). We went through a pretty bad patch as we went through the Blue Mountains, and then things cleared up.

We filled up the gas tank in Baker City, OR (we got about 300 miles off of the Prius's 11 gallon tank... an average of 38 miles per gallon). From there on out things were pretty smooth until we get close to the Idaho border. Once we got close to Ontario Oregon (right on the border) the heavy fog started up again, and the thermometer in the Prius was reading 21 degrees. The road started to ice up, and as we crossed over into Idaho the fog was so thick that we had to drop down to 45 for safety.

I have to say that the Prius acquitted itself quite well on the trip. It handles the curves really well, and we can't complain at all about the gas mileage (as I said above, we got about 38 mpg between Portand and Baker City, and around 45 mpg between Baker City and Boise. The lower mileage on the first half of the trip is, I think, largely due to the high winds in the gorge and the steep grades of the mountain passes. The second half was more level and we didn't have to push against the wind). We were comfortable through the entire trip, both in terms of the seats (great back support) and the temperature (all you have to do in this car is set a temperature and put it on auto... the computer keeps the cabin at whatever temperature you set).

The only way we knew we were close to Boise was the "Now Entering Boise City Limits" sign that we passed in the fog. The lights weren't visible at all. We pulled into the University Inn parking lot at around 2:45 (Mountain time). Great people here... not only were they very friendly and sympathetic to our fatigue as we pulled in, they gave us a later check-out time to allow us to catch some more sleep.

Which is just what we're gonna do now... time to crash. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

- Harold