The rest of the drive through the northern part of Utah was some of the least exciting, but the billboards were pretty entertaining. The state has quite a penchant for zany advertisements. Fortunately, just when we couldn’t take the lack of variety in scenery anymore, the speed limit was increased to 80, and we zipped right up to the Utah-Idaho border.
Idaho did not embrace the speed and they promptly lowered us back down to 75 mph, slowed down further by road work every once in awhile. Then we lost all the time we had gained, but that’s life on the road for you. We couldn’t escape those orange cones our entire trip. Everyone seemed to be in the mood for tinkering with the roads.
Most of the Idaho drive along I-84 consisted of green, rolling hills and a few interesting points along the way, landmarks like Snake River and small towns with unique storefronts to see. We would spend more time in Idaho on the way back, since Twin Falls ended up being a hotel destination for us. The entire time, we were just counting down the exits until we would reach the border of Oregon.
Getting just into Ontario (exit 324), we decided to break our vow of fidelity against fast food and drove through a McDonald’s for Dollar Menu fare. Maybe it’s been a long time since we last ate there, but there were some odd varieties on the menu. Sarah ordered an onion and white cheddar burger, and I ordered what was supposed to be a barbecue ranch burger. To wash it down, we ordered a couple of iced coffees. Neither deserve any accolades; we promptly decided after that to go back to our original agreement concerning food.
After that, we had the first taste of Oregon’s famed gas stations, where the attendants are the ones who fill up your tank. Two things to know: You can’t fill it up yourself, unless you want to pay a $500 fine, and you also can’t tip the attendants. It caught me off guard for a second when the attendant raced over to our car and started unscrewing the gas cap. All throughout the trip, I would keep forgetting to tell them what grade of gas I wanted. “Fill it up please… oh, with what? Just regular.”
Baker City was the first Oregon town that we really ventured into. The historic side of the town was full of intriguing shops and the old Victorian houses looked pristine. Since it was Sarah’s birthday we decided to stop into some antique stores so she could hunt for treasures (this appeases the pirate side of her personality and her avid love of all things old and dusty).
Windfall Antiques was a top-notch antique shop packed with lots of old books and a plethora of genuine antiques. We could have spent an entire afternoon scouring this place! Sarah found a 1915 candy scale and I unearthed a stereoviewer card of a lion in a zoo. There is an upstairs and a downstairs and the prices are very fair. Leo, the shop’s owner, even threw the stereoviewer card in with the scale and we celebrated when we realized we were now shopping in the land of no sales tax: another Oregon quirk we could start to get used to.
Visit Windfall Antiques on 2306 Broadway, Baker City, Oregon 97814
This is the candy scale that Sarah found; the base looks like walrus fins. She’s still considering what to display on top of it. Possibly candy, fake fruit, or—knowing her—something dead. Right now, it’s taken up residence on the dresser and holds vintage hair clips. That’s her birthday hat sitting there. It came in the mail just in time for the trip. The hat was something she found here in this Etsy shop.