Every time I head out on a road trip with my family, Im inspired to work on a little travelogue Ive always meant to write. Itll be called, Scenic Places to Puke in the Pacific Northwest.
Im not sure thered be much demand for such a title, but I feel I have lot to contribute on the subject. Write what you know, they say, and I know plenty about puking on car trips. Im no rookie to the art myself, but its my kids whove given me the real experience. We have it down to a science.
Kids are a little prone to motion sickness to begin with, some more than others. Ive got one who, for awhile, could barely make it across town. Added to that, stomach bugs dont respect travel plans. There was a time when my kids thought hotels were where people went to be sick.
Even without help from our germ friends, a lot can come up during a car trip -- breakfast, mostly. Weve tried everything -- eating certain foods, not eating at all, riding in the middle, looking out the window. Benadryl only succeeded at turning everything pink. Peppermint candies take the edge off the nausea, but candy canes are forever ruined. The pressure-point wristbands made us feel like we were trying, if nothing else.
Mostly we just got good at handling the puke buckets. Pull-outs offer a more scenic experience, of course, but timing is an issue there, and its not worth the risk. Plus the buckets work well to hold snacks, at least until -- well, they do a good job holding snacks in all of their forms. You maybe dont want to use them much after theyve held snacks that have been eaten once already.
These are all tips I would explore in the introduction of my travelogue, along with bucket-dumping strategies. You dont want to dump anything out the window of a moving vehicle, for example. Unless you hate the person behind you and their window is down. Likewise, even after the car is stopped, take note of wind direction. That long, flat stretch between here and Seattle can get rough if youre not careful.
The nice thing is that, if youre looking for scenic places to puke, youre in luck because the things that make for nice scenery are also ideal for motion sickness: Mountains and rivers lend themselves to winding roads.
My guide would highlight some nearby destinations, like Rattlesnake Grade on the way to Joseph, Ore. If that road doesnt get you on the way down, itll get you on the way back up. If you can find a pull out, youll enjoy fantastic views of the canyon. You can even stop at the bottom for a milkshake if you want to reload.
Highway 12 along the Clearwater River is also an excellent option. The road hugs the banks of the river, and if youre lucky enough to ride in the backseat with a driver whos in a hurry, youll be retching in the river in no time. There are enough scenic turnouts along the route that you might consider skipping the bucket -- just pick a spot and take care of things. Once youre done, youll be able to enjoy the sights, sounds and smells of the river.
If youre more the thrill-seeking sort, you might check out Washington State Route 261 from Washtucna to Starbuck. With plenty of hills and turns, youll be wondering what this roller coaster youre on will cost you from a digestive standpoint. Its a narrow road and beautiful terrain, with great views, especially when driving south. Unfortunately, this guide is yet unfinished. But you can bet that Ill be doing plenty of research for it this summer. Whatever your travel plans are this summer, heres to another season of discovering great places to visit, and puke, in this beautiful region we get to call home.