I did Oregon wall-to-wall in a day yesterday.
Roberta Verona has seemed as though she wants to run, so I’ve given in to the request. I went far past the distance I was expecting yesterday, and I’ve already got three hours worth under my belt today. I expect that will be the first of three driving sessions today, which should take me through Idaho and Utah and on into Wyoming. That means I’ll have run the entire western portion of I-84. 84 is the only Interstate with an eastern section and a western section, I think.
I had thought of a ton of stuff to say while driving, and I’ll probably forget most of it now that I can write.
Approaching Portland from the south is not the way to see Portland. Spend your time on the east side of town, playing in the Columbia River Gorge. Although the scenery was going by at a steady 55 miles an hour, it was fantastic. Around one turn you get a view of a mountain (I’m assuming Mt. Hood) that’s like all the magazine pictures of mountains.
Turns out they have desert in Oregon, too. The good news is that the heat isn’t nearly so severe, and there’s actually little towns every so often to break up the monotony.
Not that I stopped at any of the little towns. Apparently, I’ve decided I’m ready to be home, because driving has been easy, even long hours of it. Although there have been a couple places that I’ve been tempted to stop (Snake River Canyon, for instance. By the way, the Snake River has done some spiffy landscaping, even outside the Canyon proper), the overall impulse is to drive on. So I’m driving on as long as it lasts.
Crash (that’s the kitten’s current name, due to his tendency to crash into stuff while he’s playing, as well as his ability to force me to narrowly avert crashes as I remove claws from my ankles…) seems to have taken to travelling okay. He spends a certain amount of time alseep in my lap, then he’ll climb up the steering wheel and sleep on the dash for awhile, then he’ll climb down the steering wheel and across my left arm (this is tricky while I’m steering, and he has been known to bounce down my leg and into the floor while attempting this manuver, which gives you some insight as to how he’s earning his name) and sit on my shoulder looking out the window for a while. Then sometimes, he justs disappears for a while.
Every time I stop, he wants out. I keep telling him that he has to wait to get to South Carolina before he can go out and play, but comprehension does not seem to be his strongest suit.
So anyway, Crash and I are cruising through the mid-west. I don’t know if it qualifies geographically as “mid-west” yet, but there’s lots of straw and hay and cows. It’s pretty dull.
I saw the coolest cement plant last night.
I thought that needed to have its own paragraph for the full effect to set in. But, seriously, about one in the morning last night (for me it was right about midnight, but I crossed another one of those damn time zones along the way), I saw a bunch of lights up in the distance. Now, it gets _really_ dark out in that mountain/desert/prairie melange they’ve got going, so dark you can’t see more than a couple feet off the edge of the road. Lights in the distance can be tricky to figure out. At least twice before, I thought that there must be a river up ahead, because the lights were obviously a bridge. Nope, just an interstate up the side of a mountain. So I’m trying to be logical and figure out what this thing is.
As I get closer, I can tell there’s a bunch of three different types of lights, and random others here and there, all in a fairly tight grouping. Doesn’t look like a town, doesn’t really loolk like a bridge (unless they’re building spiral bridges out west these days).
Like I say, turns out it was a cement plant. There was a big steel frame structure, with bluish lights at regular intervals, a massive building that looked like it might have been made of stone (or, duh, cement, I guess) lit weirdly from the top and bottom with yellowish/brownish lights, and a low brick officy kind of building. There were also a bunch of normal type streetlight dotting the facility.
The two big buildings, lit like they were, looked like something I would have seen in Las Vegas, but bigger. And the real amazing part was the way the different lights played off of the rocky, hilly landscape, throwing multiple oddly colored shadows off of every stone. Really neat.
That’s about all I can think of to bring you up to date, which is a Perkins just off the 84 in Idaho, past Twins Falls heading east but not to Pocatello yet. I’m not hungry anymore, but damned if I’m going to leave any of this French Silk Pie. I intend to stay at one or the other of two KOAs along I-80 in Wyoming, depending on just how far I drive tonight. Hopefully, I’ll get to actually post this at that point…