It takes about three short hours to get to Bend, Oregon. I don't use other entertainment in the car because snow falling in the Cascades is entertainment enough. Sometimes, we drive through heavy snow. When I'm in the front seat, I turn on Vampire Weekend's Contra, turn on the heat, and take off my Chuck Taylors. It makes me feel like it's Christmas with all the snow and the warmth.
Emerging from the mountains, it gets much drier and the world changes. Instead of just smelling pine, juniper is mixed in. Farther along, sage joins as my favorite guest and the trees disappear. If it's not too dark outside, we sometimes pull over and step out of the car for a bit. The only noises are the air and the cars speeding by. It makes me think about how time stops here and it keeps going in the city, even though I know it's not true. It's true enough to me; the silence is enough proof. It makes me like the desert for a while.