July 18, 2014
I have made a few, less than stellar decisions in my life. Driving up to Oregon and Washington in the middle of summer has to rank up there with deciding to wrestle that Mexican midget in Vegas. I hate to complain because most people would kill for my care free life. But I will.
Oregon and Washington in the summer time are just one big traffic jam. It is understandable since a lot of people flock to these two states during the 100 days of the year that they are worth visiting. The real question is WTF am I doing here? The answer to that question is that I am a slave to my softball schedule. That has to change. But I am here during the tourist season or what I like to call the chip and seal season. Washington makes its road out of rocks. Those rocks are ruining my car and motorbike.
I am making the best of it. I woke up in the world’s worse Motel 6. At least I woke up. Waking up in a Motel Six is not that surprising because that is where I went to sleep. But why would I do that? The other choice was to sleep in the Costco parking lot. I have had trouble finding a decent or indecent hotel on this trip. Why? Because it is chip and seal season. Even by Motel 6 standards this place was rank. I usually take a shower as soon as I check into a room for the night to get the road smell off of me. I had to wait and shower until morning to get the room smell off of me. This was the second ‘pet friendly’ hotel I have stayed at on this trip. Pet friendly does not equal people friendly. The really disappointing thing is that I found no zombies at this motel. If there were none here, then the entire zombie thing may be a myth.
So I got up and out before six A.M. I headed out to Mount Rainier National park on what proved to be a cool and comfortable morning. I stopped for breakfast at the “Testy Chef” diner and had a decent breakfast prepared by three delightful young ladies. Other than me, the clientele looked like ZZ Tops band members. Most of them had more hair on their chins then I have on my entire body. It was one of those places that I will remember for a long time. In a good way.
The Testy Chef Cafe
I found a spot to launch my ZAV and went off into Mount Rainier National Park. This NP is a bit odd in that there is a sign to mark when you enter it, and a sign to mark when you leave it. As near as I could tell those were the only two man-made objects in the park. The only things there were roaring streams, beautiful woods, and lovely scenery.
I exited Mount Rainier NP, drove on Highway 12 for a while and then turned back into the park to return to my vehicle. I loaded up and headed out towards I-5 and the chaos that involves. Getting through the Seattle-Tacoma-Olympia area is a job left to a much younger and dumber person than me.
Once on I-5, I headed south yearning for the good weather and predictable traffic patterns of California. I was looking at hitting Portland at 4 PM on a Friday and just could not stomach the thought. I pulled into Keslo and got a room for the night at a Best Western that smells delightfully like there were humans staying there. No dog or zombie odor.
I went off for an early dinner at a Chinese restaurant that was right next door and had a good meal. My plan is to get an early start and clear Portland before anyone knows I am about. After that I may just make a long run home. I am confident that there are no zombies on the loose in Oregon and Washington. There are lots of people for them to feed on but I have not seen one biter. Going home without a zombie kill will just have to be another of the humiliations I have had to suffer.