The day started out early, as in before 5a early. Two brown eyes were staring down at me and up I went. Aria and I had breakfast, checked out and made our way South. We did have a final stop in Cannon Beach to walk the beach one last time. Aria knew this area before we even got there and was anxiously jumping up and down in the back. She was in love with the ocean, the beach and chasing the birds along the way.
One of them wanted to take her up and over the cliffs, while another out to the ocean. It took several calls to get her back with a warning of going back on the leash if she didn't stay close by. Problem solved. A few more photos were taken of her enjoying the last day. Another 10 hour day of driving was ahead of me and I was dreading every single moment of it. I really needed to stop pushing it so hard, eight hours of driving was long enough.
The first part of the trip took me towards Portland, Oregon and I was going to be driving through it to continue on. I use to live in Portland, Maine and had always wanted to visit Oregon's Portland. The first part of the trip was driven through hills, forests, and mountains. Clearly, a logging community with signs posted throughout showing when the trees were planted. The drive was going smoothly but about ¼ of the way fog could be seen in the distance. At first, it remained high near the treetops, the sun was burning it off but then I dipped down into a low part and the fog covered the road and the visibility. It didn't last long but it was enough to slow down, and mystery stories popped through my head which almost always included a foggy scene.
I continued on and a few more twists and turns had me leaving the mountains and into the city of Portland, Oregon. Which I got to experience during rush hour; lucky me! The city was definitely bigger than I had anticipated. There was construction everywhere and when you've driven one city during rush hour, you've driven them all. People were pushy, anxious, reckless and inconsiderate to everyone but themselves. I even had a semi-truck behind me that kept wanting to ride in my trunk.
Finally, I made it out of the city and up ahead was Mount Hood. It loomed over the city and helped make the rush hour not so bad. I left Portland only to see the mileage sign for the next town. Plenty of miles on the gas tank to get there but some of these posted towns, as the past has shown me, don't have much in the way of services. A quick turn around, and much yelling from my GPS had me going back to Portland for a fill-up.
It was a good thing I did gas up the next two hundred miles were through the mountains, sharp turns, and no accommodations and what exits did have them required going away from the interstate for several miles in order to reach them. The view was beautiful, the mountains were enormous and the rocks were huge. The whole way followed Hood and Columbia Rivers. They varied in color from turquoise to deep blue. Road construction continued for most of the way and between the interstate and the water was a railroad track. On the other side of the river was another road, from this distance, it appeared to be a two-lane road, probably a local highway. But it too was busy and full of semi-trucks and cars.
After this section came one hundred miles of nothing. The road I'm describing was Interstate 84 which ran all the way through Oregon and took me all the way to Twin Falls, Idaho. After the one hundred mile stretch the remainder of the trip, approximately two hundred miles, the mountains, twists, turns and great views returned.
The hotel I had chosen, Quality Inn, had an interesting entrance but even more intriguing was that the hotel was two separate buildings long. Building A had the lobby and breakfast bar while Building B had the pool and hot tub. But I'm happy to report that this one did have grass and a nice walking area for Aria. It was also a popular place for construction workers which, I had a feeling, took over Building B. Thankfully I was in Building A.
Once again, I hit the city during rush hour and going out for supper took twice as long as it should have. I finally reached the Dairy Queen in one piece. I quickly saw that this Dairy Queen was used for "certain hangouts" and was glad there was a drive-thru. Even though that didn't stop one of them from almost falling into my open window when I made the order. The staff was pleasant but I also had to question their mentality.
Upon return the parking lot was almost completely packed, clearly, check-in time had arrived. Aria and I made our way to the hotel room, had supper, did a walk and not more than an hour later I was in bed fast asleep. Change in elevations and a ten-hour drive dealing with rush hour traffic and mountain driving wore me down. The drive itself wasn't easy and even the usual tricks of staying awake weren't helping and the temperatures kept climbing which also didn't help but the sleep felt good and I barely remembered turning off the t.v.
Driving across country can bring about some interesting situations. Broken down on a day by day basis enjoy my adventures and set backs along the way to some beautiful destinations.