Over the River and Through The Woods: My Road Trip with Grandma

Once upon a time I lived in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.  I was young and wild and even after I left, would routinely make the 17 hour drive back from Santa Barbara when I was homesick for the mountains and my bearded friends. I worked in a cafe which was a hole in the wall where we made burritos and cappuccinos and blasted our music while reveling in that special something brewing in our pocket of magic in an otherwise isolated state*. 

I’ll never forget driving into town for work at 5:30am while the sun peaked from behind the mountains and the sky turned rose, or of the absolute freedom that came from country life.  Apparently I called my grandmother from the lake to tell her how much she’d love it here, which stayed with her and continued to grow as I sent her photos of my home in the Tetons.  And so began the idea that one day, one day she’d have to see it for herself.

I’m not a huge believer in “one day", though it did take almost ten years before all ducks were in a row and ready to go.  To add in some variety, we decided to make it a road trip, tackling the landscape of seven states in seven days: an epic journey through the west.  With flashbacks of road trips to Virginia with my grandparents popping in my head**, we trekked (grandma straight off a flight from the east coast) to the lights of Reno, through endless farm lands to Twin Falls ID,  a few days in majestic Jackson WY, up through the gorgeous mystery of Montana, to a rough Spokane WA, and then down to Portland, where both of my little brothers waited for us. I drove back to SF alone after a few days with the boys, taking in the grandeur of the open road and sighing in reflection of how great it was to drive again and to make a “one day" happen.  Here it is on film.

These last three photos are from Lulu’s Vintage in Portland, one of my favorite shops in the world.  Every time I visit Lulu and her beautiful store, I wish I could photograph it and take it with me. 

*Me circa 2002 in the cafe, Becky coming to pick me up for a night out

**Me & Grandma on our Virginia road trip some time around 1992