Sunday, February 3, 2008

Oregon State Road #42

Oh, man! Talk about a wearing day! From a rest stop just north of Grant's Pass, Oregon to a rest stop just north of Eureka, California. The long way around, though. When Raymond got up early, the 511 DOT report recording said it was still snowing at Grant's Pass, but worse than that was the truckers' reports that the road from Ashland to Redding, California remains closed. We cannot go farther south on Interstate 5, the main north-south freeway on the West Coast.

By 11 a.m., the weather was turning for the worse, so it was "stay" or "find another route" decision time. Since we had to meet the moving van, which was probably way past us already, we decided to "find another route." We doubled back on our tracks, turning north to pick up Oregon State Rd #42, which leads west to Hwy 101, and come south Hwy 101 until there are no mountain passes to contend with. Longer; grueling—Oregon State Road #42 is NOT built for twenty-eight foot RVs, what with its two cramped and narrow lanes with curves banked up against steep drops to tree-spiked waters, and NO guard rails! If one has acrophobia, that road isn't the most relaxing drive, though safer than snow-and-ice-bound freeways, I guess. Raymond gave me what-for for making him turnaround and take this shortcut. However, remember this: he was driving a powerful truck towing a car, while I was driving a top-heavy, lumbering RV. You tell me who was the worse for wear by the end of that interminable road. It did have one highly redeeming factor: beautiful scenery, such as mist floating, Douglas firs, mercury-bright and still waters. The quintessential Pacific Northwest scenery. I shall miss it.

We stopped at a turn-out over the Oregon coast, and I took some photos of Raymond and Tika, and of the rocks and sun low over the water.

The RV is great, but when the road is rough, it wobbles, because it's top heavy, so I have to take rough road much slower. We averaged 45 mph if we were lucky, but Raymond left me behind many times—we had agreed we were going to end up in the same place eventually, but it would not be good to block the road with both of our vehicles. Up hill; down hill; sharp curves. Luckily traffic was lighter than light. Super Bowl Sunday might have had something to do with that.

Tonight, we reheated the leftovers from our Hunan Chinese meal from Gig Harbor and planned our route for tomorrow. Raymond had his GPS, though no internet; I had the Road Atlas my parents gave me for Christmas. What can I say? I'm a writer, I love paper; he's a man, he loves gizmos. To get to North Carolina by Friday evening, we must average 600 miles per day. That means tomorrow, we need to get past Bakersfield, nearly to I-40. There is a rest stop about 30 miles this side of the I-40 intersection, where we can stay the night in the RV. We'll be tired doggies, no doubt.

Speaking of tired: cats slept all day, and I suspect they'll keep us up with their night prowling.

Wonder where the moving van is by now. Probably through California and into Arizona already.

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