01-17-2015 by 

Sometimes we just need to disconnect and hit the road to clear the mind. New scenery and beautiful landscapes are a great way to boost your spirits. Here are three wonderful road trips that can help you release your mind:

Trip 1. Oregon: John Day River & Fossil Beds National Monument

A drive across Oregon's Columbia River Plateau takes two days to enjoy properly, but this trip through time is worth every minute. The scenery and stops are sure to put a smile on your face and unhitch your wagon from the hustle of modern life.

The starting point is Biggs Junction, 90 miles east of Portland. Drive from Highway 97 to 206 and you're on your way.

The first stop is Cottonwood State Park on the rugged John Day River. Hike through the park's 8,000 acres of natural, high desert beauty. [1]

Oregon's John Day River

Spend the night a few miles down the road at Condon's Historic Hotel Condon, then walk across the street to the Round-up, an old-time saloon remodeled to an upscale bar and eatery. [2]

Continue south to the tiny town of Fossil, where you can actually dig for Fossils, then drive on to the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument.

Trip 2. Montanta: Along the Yellowstone River

Our second trip moves your mind into the secluded regions of Eastern Montana. The small town of Terry, Montana is the jumping-off point for this drive through 'old-west' Montana. The town sits just off of Interstate 94 and the mysterious Yellowstone River.

At Terry, Montana, visit the Prairie County Museum and Cameron Gallery, which displays the work of Evelyn Cameron, a photographer who documented the area's early days. [3] After you are inspired by her work go out and take your own pictures of the beautiful land!

Eastern Montana

Drive on to Miles City at the juncture of the Tongue and Yellowstone Rivers, where the Range Riders Museum displays relics of early settlers, fur traders and Native Americans. Watch for agates along the way. [4]

Trip 3. Idaho: Wagon Ruts along the Oregon Trail

Our third mood-boosting trip is a gentle drive through Idaho and back into the time of the Wagon Trail. Get an early start for this journey; this 102-mile trip isn't exactly a super-highway. [5]

Fill your tank at Glenns Ferry. This desert town 75 miles southeast of Boise is home to the Glenns Ferry Historical Museum, with "The stories of yesterday and the artists of today." [6]

The scenery along the road to Mountain Home is little changed since the pioneer days. You'll see wagon ruts left by the covered wagons and you'll pass sites such as Canyon Creek or Rattlesnake Creek. Look for a large boulder above Bowne's Creek and you can still see where early pioneers signed their names on the granite.

The last stop is Mountain Home, at the Snake River crossing. This is where you can fill your car, and your tummy.

If you have another day or two, follow the road through Twin Falls and Idaho Falls to Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming. You will reach the origin of the 1000 mile Snake River and you will find yourself in one of the most remote areas of the Western United States.

Mood Keywords: sad, fatigue, satisfaction
Image Credits: Main Image: Dean Fikar © 123RF.com (used under license) Inset Images: welcomia © 123RF.com & Joshua Rainey © 123RF.com.
© 2015 by Higher Mood™ unless noted otherwise - All Rights Reserved. Subject to our terms of use. Article Reuse Information: see our article reuse policy.

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