Trip to Texas-Day 1
After being a home body for much too long is was time to get back on the road and make tracks. While most of my travel writings have been about journeys I have taken on three wheels, this trip was going to be on board more conventional vehicles.
The first thing I had to do was take possession of an Acura that belongs to my friend Karen H. I don’t see Karen very much any more since she is busy traveling all over the continent with her new husband-in-training, Bruce Same Last Name. But as happenstance would have it, I was pulling into a parking lot of a grocery store I had not been to in a couple of years when I caught a glimpse of someone I thought that I knew. In true stalker fashion I followed her into the store and caught up with Karen and we caught up with each other.
I let it slip that I was going to Grants Pass Oregon to see some friends. She told me she was trying to get a car up there to give to her parents and we worked it out that I could drive it up there. While she loves flying hither and yon with her husband Bruce Same Last Name, she still has time to assign me an occasional chore. That’s what friends are for.
Karen and Bruce Same Last Name dropped the car off at my house and after a brief visit I was on my way. I first had to stop by for a doctor’s visit but by 11 AM I was north bound on I-5 to Grants Pass. While this is a beautiful drive in places, I have made it so many times that it is unremarkable at this point in my life.
I arrived at my friends John and Sharon’s house at 5PM after a quick 400 mile jaunt. I got there just in time to help John with the rig would we be making the rest of our journey in: a Super Duty V-10 Ford dually pulling a 20 foot enclosed trailer that contained a fully restored Ford Mustang in it. We got that rig situated and went up to join the party at John and Sharon’s lovely home on a hilltop in the woods north of Grants Pass.
John had assigned cooking duties to other visiting friends, Jim and Ellen, and he was doing a bang up job on some ribs. After a couple of toddies for the bodies we devoured everything on the table and retired to the hot tub to look at the stars.
Trip to Texas
Thursday September 30, 2010
East Bound and Down
The morning comes early in Grants Pass. We were all up at 4:30 in the morning and John and I were kind of excited to get underway. Sharon was kind of excited to see us go so she could have the house to herself and her bridge playing harpies.
After a gulp of coffee and some last minute packing we were off in a cloud of dust. Well more like a belch of exhaust smoke but you get the idea. We eased our way onto I-5 and headed south to make our first mistake of the day. We turned east on hwy 66 which may have been the shortest way over to eastern Oregon but it was not the best way.
It was mile after mile of crawling along, in the dark, along very curvy roads, up and down large mountains. And then there were the deer. We had not gone far when John ran into a good size buck with the massive front bumper of the truck. While the humane thing to do would have been to stop and see what the condition of the animal was that was not a reasonable option with the road conditions we were on.
We soldiered on missing 6 more deer. This made a nerve racking trip even more nerve racking. Then we entered land that was marked as ‘Open Range’. I had no idea what that meant until we came upon an obvious example. There, right under another ‘Open Range’ sign was a white stove with the oven door open. Open range-get it. Where is my camera when I need it?
We made it to the eastern side of Oregon and started heading south to Reno. There are not that many trees on this side of Oregon. There was on right beside the road, a long way from any town, and the branches were covered with pairs of shoes hanging from them: A shoe tree to go along with the open range. People in Oregon have wicked senses of humor or not very much to keep them occupied.
At Reno we headed East on I 80 doing a stately 64 miles per hour getting 8.5 miles to the gallon of gas. We had to stop for gas and we would switch drivers and motor on. Our goal was Salt Lake City because that is where we had to deliver our Mustang passenger and because Sharon had got a real good deal on a motel room there.
So after 18 hours on the road, 17 of which we were driving, averaging 56 MPH, 896 miles traveled, at 11:30 pm local time we arrived at our bargain motel room. We had a glass of wine and decided that motel bargains are not what we are going to be doing on a regular basis.