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Exploring the Scenic Route: From Arizona to Washington State



Our Adventure Begins

Embarking on a journey from Arizona to Washington State with our two adult kids, we anticipated a thrilling road trip full of adventure and surprises. Little did we know that Mother Nature had prepared a snowy surprise for us. Despite the challenging weather conditions, we discovered unique attractions, experienced the thrill of Emerald City Comic Con, and made lasting memories along the way.


Witnessing Nature's Majesty at Twin Falls, Idaho

Our first notable stop was at a beautiful Shoshone Falls. Situated on the Snake River, Shoshone Falls is a sight to behold. These falls, which give the city its name, have a total height of approximately 212 feet, surpassing the 188-foot height of Niagara Falls. The cascading beauty mesmerized us, and we were captivated by the smaller waterfalls and the mountainous landscape along the road. These hidden gems added an extra touch of enchantment to our journey. During our time in Twin Falls, we also stumbled upon Dierkes Lake. It is a man-made lake created from a former gravel pit. Nestled near the city, this picturesque lake offers a serene escape surrounded by breathtaking scenery. During our visit, we found the lake frozen over, a testament to the region's winter charm. Dierkes Lake provides visitors with fishing, boating, and swimming in its crystal-clear waters. A delightful park encompasses the lake, providing ample space for picnicking, strolling along walking trails, and enjoying the company of loved ones. It's a destination we look forward to revisiting in the Summer.



Battling the Snowstorm to reach Washington State for Emerald City Comic Con

Our journey to Washington State for Emerald City Comic Con was not without its fair share of challenges. Setting off at 6 PM from Idaho as the sun began its descent, we braced ourselves for an adventure that would unfold under the cover of darkness. Little did we know there would be a traffic jam caused by an accident on Snoqualmie Pass that kept us stranded for hours and tested our resilience. At the beginning of the snowstorm, we made a quick stop at a rest area, allowing us to stretch our legs and use the facilities. Shortly after this brief stop, we realized the magnitude of the challenge before us. The snowfall didn't just pick up – it intensified, surrounding us in a full-blown blizzard, something utterly foreign to our usual Arizona scenery. We then noticed several brake lights ahead and then suddenly all traffic stopped on the highway. There we were chillin' on the highway, watching the beautiful snow come down. But uh-oh, things were getting real and an uncomfortable feeling was sinking in after sitting on the highway for an hour, not moving. We were starting to get worried about how much snow was accumulating to the point our daughter made snowballs from the car door handle. So to take our minds off of this situation, our daughter came to the rescue, producing her iPad so we could watch Rapunzel, where we felt like we were in the front row of the coolest movie theater ever. I love how our family made the best out of this intense situation, no matter how wild it got. As the clock ticked past 9 PM (3 hours later), we found ourselves in motion, navigating through treacherous road conditions caused by the snowstorm. The howling winds and relentless snowfall created a scary atmosphere for us "zonie's," driving in this crazy blizzard. I'm glad we made the decision to fill up our car's gas tank before venturing into this mountainous terrain, ensuring we had the necessary fuel to brave the elements. Eventually, the accident was cleared, but the abundance of snow required chains, which we did not have. Navigating the snow-covered roads proved to be a daunting task, especially without the aid of snow chains. Yet, the base model Kia Soul surprised us with its resilience, demonstrating commendable performance despite not being specifically built for heavy snow conditions. As our journey pressed on, the accumulation of snow around the exits stopped us from making a safe and timely freeway exit. While driving, there were flashing signs with an ominous message: “Chains Required And Will Be Fined.” With uncertainty creeping in, we found ourselves desperately searching for a viable solution. Luckily, our quick-witted and resourceful daughter spotted a glimmer of hope—a hotel called Summit Inn, just a mile away. We eagerly seized the opportunity, making our exit from the freeway just as the road was being cleared by diligent workers. The Summit Inn provided a warm and comfortable refuge for the night, allowing us to rest and recharge for the remainder of our journey. The following day, we continued our journey with a renewed sense of excitement. With the roads cleared, we resumed our journey with a renewed sense of determination. The memories of battling the snowstorm will forever remain etched in our minds, serving as a reminder of our resilience and the unpredictable nature of travel. We would like to express our heartfelt gratitude to my husband for his exceptional driving skills.



Exploring Parks and Experiencing Emerald City Comic Con

While our kids reveled in the festivities of Emerald City Comic Con, we took the opportunity to explore nearby parks, accompanied by our gracious host. One remarkable park we visited was Point Defiance Park. Located in Tacoma, Washington, this expansive urban park spans an impressive 760 acres. As we ventured through its vast grounds, we marveled at the captivating views of Puget Sound. Point Defiance Park offers an array of amenities, including walking trails, gardens, and even a zoo—the Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium. The park provided a quiet escape from the hustle and bustle of life, allowing us to connect with nature and soak in the peaceful ambiance.


Emerald City Comic Con: The Good and the Not-so-Good

The highlight of our trip was undoubtedly Emerald City Comic Con. As our kids immersed themselves in the whirlwind of excitement, we witnessed firsthand the remarkable aspects that made this convention a cherished event. The sea of vibrant and meticulously crafted costumes left us in awe. The dedication and creativity exhibited by cosplayers brought beloved characters to life, creating a visually stunning spectacle. As well as the vast amount of artists that were present. There was a wide variety of artistic work displayed at the show. Moreover, the convention offered a variety of engaging activities, including the "finish the song lyric" game with a Disney twist. This interactive experience allowed fans to test their knowledge and indulge in the nostalgia of beloved Disney tunes. The extensive variety of vendors was another highlight, surpassing the typical expectations of a comic convention. The diversity of merchandise available catered to various interests, extending beyond the realm of comic books to encompass a wide range of fandoms. Emerald City Comic Con also demonstrated commendable efforts towards accessibility. The provision of designated lines, passes, and special seating areas for individuals in wheelchairs during speaking events showcased the organizers' commitment to inclusivity. These accommodations ensured that all attendees, regardless of mobility, could enjoy the convention to the fullest alongside their companions. However, it's important to acknowledge the challenges encountered during our time at the convention. Navigating the venue in a wheelchair proved to be a cumbersome task. The elevators, while essential for accessibility, often had long lines, leading to delays and frustration. Additionally, instances of line-cutting further compounded the difficulties faced by individuals in wheelchairs. The event's immense popularity resulted in overcrowding, particularly on Friday and Saturday, making it challenging to maneuver through the crowds. Furthermore, the parking situation proved inconvenient, with the distance from the venue requiring uphill walks—a tiring endeavor for many. The absence of a designated pick-up/drop-off area added an additional layer of inconvenience for those requiring assistance or transportation services.


Snowy Encounters and Pyramid Lake in Nevada

Prior to our return journey, we wisely invested in snow chains to prepare for potential snowy conditions. As fate would have it, we encountered more snow on Diamond Peak and had to employ our newly acquired snow chains. Thankfully, a kind city employee, recognizing our need for assistance, offered a helping hand and guided us through the process of securing the snow chains. We appreciated his willingness to lend a hand because the chains proved more difficult than expected. With the snow chains in place, we continued our journey with a heightened sense of caution and appreciation for the winter wonderland that surrounded us. As we made our way to our friend's house in Nevada, the snow-covered landscapes painted a picturesque scene, highlighting the serene beauty that comes with the embrace of winter.



Pyramid Lake: A Tranquil Oasis in Nevada

During our stay in Nevada, we had the opportunity to visit Pyramid Lake—a tranquil oasis nestled in the picturesque desert landscape. Located in northern Nevada, Pyramid Lake is one of the remnants of ancient Lake Lahontan, which once covered a vast area of western Nevada. Its unique geological formation, including the prominent Pyramid and Anaho Island, adds an element of mystique. Pyramid Lake holds significant cultural and spiritual importance for the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe, who have resided in the area for generations. The lake offers not only breathtaking natural scenery but also a connection to the tribe's ancestral traditions and heritage. As we gazed upon the serene waters, we witnessed several people indulging in the timeless art of fishing. They sat comfortably on bar stool-type chairs in the lake, patiently waiting for the fish to bite, while immersing themselves in the peaceful ambiance that only a place like Pyramid Lake can provide.


Exploring Artistry at The International Car Forest in Nevada

As we made our way through Nevada, we stumbled upon a hidden gem called The International Car Forest near Goldfield. This extraordinary attraction showcases over 40 vehicles artistically positioned and painted in vibrant colors, creating a striking display of automotive art. The Car Forest is a collaborative project between artists Chad Sorg and Mark Rippie, who aimed to transform this remote location into an extraordinary attraction. Today, it draws photographers, artists, and road trip enthusiasts, seeking to capture its unique beauty and immerse themselves in its surreal ambiance. The surreal experience left us in awe, prompting us to recommend this fascinating place to anyone seeking unconventional art forms.


Conclusion

Throughout our journey, we not only witnessed the splendor of nature but also experienced the warmth and hospitality of the communities we encountered. These memories and the connections forged along the way are what make road trips truly special. As we reflect on our adventure, we carry with us a sense of gratitude for the diverse landscapes, the shared experiences, and the joyous bonds that road trips bring.



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This looks very exciting.

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