Archive for the oregon Category

No rain, no rainbows

Posted in Hess, Highway 101, Matthews, oregon on June 5, 2007 by lenscapremoved

            Ed told me that the coast of Oregon was one of the most beautiful things he had ever seen. He kept talking about how much the rain was appreciated and that no one minded what I thought was crappy weather. During the first half an hour I was in doubt and wanted to rush through to get to California. Elliott fell asleep quickly, as he has done almost any time we’ve had to drive over an hour. Ed and I just watched the landscape change through the thick fog as Ben Folds’ ideas about life and learning played through the speakers. As the music panned through the tracks the fog began to fade and reveal a tangled mess of trees to our left and a rocky coast out the passenger window.

            Our first stop was at Cannon Beach, where we found a cold and misty beach behind a restaurant. After our first five minutes of the Pacific chasing our toes with its foam, the clouds spit water into our expensive lenses and the wind throwing sand into our eyes and hair we were ready to get back in the car and explore farther South.

            The forest thickened and the road narrowed and became rougher. We weren’t on the Oregon Trail Interstate anymore. The Lewis and Clark Trail, or this part of the 101, was made up of pavement that’s patched and cluttered with dips and brief construction. None of this was an aggravation. It seemed like worse the road conditions were the more beautiful the scenery around us became. With each broken part of pavement there was more trees that hung over the roads forming perfect arches for us to pass through. Each highway cone was an exchange for a breathtaking view of a lighthouse above crashing waves shooting a warning light through the fog or a glimpse at a group of sea lions resting on the rocks.

            About midway through the coast of Oregon we reached Florence where we stopped at the world famous Mo’s. The best clam chowder in the world, or so they claim. I had to try a bowl. And I must say, now I’m a fan. I was pretty upset that I didn’t do a full meal of it instead of just settling for a burger. We think there is one near San Francisco so I’ll have to try again.

            Start new day here. My computer died last night when I typed that first part.

             We left our campsite immediately last night to explore. We wondered through woods to find a sand dune that towered over the area. It was easily the highest elevation around. After scaling it and taking a break at the top for about half an hour we were going back down and Ed and I found it much easier to run. So straight down the slope we galloped through the sand sinking nearly a foot with each step and extending at least six feet horizontally. It was an amazing time that made me feel like a kid again. We had to scale the mountain again just to try it again.

            As different as our music taste is, it’s actually starting to come together. We’re all listening to one of Ed’s bands as if it were our own music. In fact, one band of Ed’s is actually such a favorite we call it our theme music. Any time and every time after we do something remotely cool we play it and drive with the windows down. No matter how cold or how fast we’re going we play our theme music. Ed is starting to branch out too. He knows all the words to three Old Crow Medicine Show songs.

            Today (June 5, 07) we’re heading down the coast again. We plan on getting to California, but we’re not sure if we will. If we can have another blissful and misty day like yesterday I wouldn’t care if we didn’t see it for another day.

             It’s looking sunny today, but I’m OK with the rain.



      I’ll upload some of Ed’s stuff once we get a chance to go through it. His computer is slow and doesn’t have wireless (blame the Kernel). Don’t worry. Keep up with the site and you’ll see our entire trip soon. Very soon.


What actually happened?

Posted in camping, Hess, oregon, Portland, Ventura on June 3, 2007 by lenscapremoved

                      So that first part was a bit rushed, and I’m not into editing and revising to fit the now. So here it goes again. 

           Right now we’re in Portland. We drove 350 miles from last night, when I typed that first part on a picnic table in Farewell Bend State Park. We met a guy, Rick, who started talking to us when he saw that we were about to play some Frisbee. He said he had a fun game. We played his game, which was made up of string, PVC pipe and golf balls. After about 10 minutes he was throwing a sales pitch to us. “I got an extra one of these in the car only 40 bucks!” Lame.

            Since we’ve had the opportunity to shower I’ve been taking advantage of it just to wash my knee. Sadly enough though I haven’t felt a shower necessary where I went six days without showering at the beginning of this trip. My hygiene has benefited from the knick in my knee just in that I’m having to shower. On top of the bathing I clean my knee three times a day with peroxide, Solarcaine and Neosporin (if you care).

            Elliott spotted us a hotel room (or Becky and Tom rather, I’m sure Elliott’s not paying the bill). Navigating Portland isn’t the most fun part of the trip I’ve had but I’ve driven more confusing cities, I think. When we first got here we parked in search of wireless to check on a Volvo service. That was a blast. This place has some characters. Just in the block where we were sitting we saw a lady in a bikini walk up to a guy and take off his shirt and they both ran across the street in their skin. Later she was walking down the center stripe by herself. Another group of girls where walking around in self fashioned shirts that had been torn and ripped to barely make bras, let alone shirts. Everyone who walked by had their own style. Maybe I can get some of Ed and Elliott’s photos.

            So the plan for the next two days is sketchy. We’re going to a dealer tomorrow, but we’re not sure if it’s going to be in Beaverton, Portland or Salem. I’ll just start calling places tomorrow and telling them what my car is saying and see how soon I can get in. If they say it’s probably not a big deal we’ll be heading south and I’ll stop in Santa Rosa, California.

             We’ve gone 3,500 miles roughly and I’m expecting well over 4,000 by the time we reach Ventura. We should arrive in three or four days if the car maintenance doesn’t throw us off. If that happens we’ll make the most out of it and enjoy the city, whichever one that is. 

At first glance

Posted in camping, Hess, Highway 101, Mary Margaret, Matthews, oregon on June 3, 2007 by lenscapremoved

           It doesn’t get much more uneventful than today.

            We woke up and got in the car, drove for hours, and got out to make a new camp. We’re in Farewell Bend, Oregon right now. Having a name is about all Farewell Bend has to offer. We’re next to a cow pasture and a lake. If you look off of the eastern side of I-84 you can see us right there as you come into the state’.

             The transmission problem has thrown a knuckle-ball into our plans. We want to get past Portland tomorrow, but we’re not sure if we can. I don’t want to drive the car too far if it actually is having a problem. It’s not slipping, there aren’t any unusual sounds and the only thing that seems to be wrong is that the stupid warning wont go away. I’m not a mechanic but I’m almost positive gearing down for the steep mountains threw a sensor out of whack.              Elliott is standing next to the highway almost on the barbed-wire fence containing the cows, waving his phone in the air trying to find service to call someone. I’m positive he doesn’t even have anyone to call. He just likes to talk to people. Before he left he was going down a mental list trying to figure out who he should call, should he find service. I think I’ve had as much luck as he has here at the campsite. I’ve been text messaging my dad and Mary Margaret back and forth pretty consistently.

             So we’ve figured out the rest of our route. If you’re looking at Oregon, find I-84. It runs across the top of the state. We’ll take it all the way to
Portland tomorrow, which is over 300 miles from where we are tonight. We’re planning on getting a crappy hotel outside of there and trying to find a Volvo dealer to talk about the car even though it can’t be serviced until Monday. From Portland, we’ll take Highway 30 all the way to Highway 101, then we start our trip down the coast.

            This part may be my favorite. I love mountains, exploring, animals and “roughing it” but I think I’ll find the coast to be the most enjoyable. We had an option, to see Crater Lake National Park in Oregon or to see the whole coast of Oregon. I pushed for the coast. While I appreciate seeing all the beauty of the mountains, hiking and landscape portraits, I want to enjoy as much of the 101 that I can. I feel like to put all of our road trip’s emphasis into that type of scenery would be overkill.          

             I’m ready to see California.