Welcome to Portland!!

Well, Gresham actually, slightly southeast of Portland, but close enough. We got in Sunday night after nearly 12 hours in the car, 8 hours the day before that. On the road to Reno, which is normally a blast doing 80+ mph, we got stuck. Well, a semi truck got stuck…trying to do a U-turn in the middle of the interstate. The driver, who I’m assuming was male, got the trailer effectively blocking both lanes with his tires in the sand, and could go no further. We waited over an hour, parked on the highway, until a tow truck of sufficient size could be summoned to maneuver him out. We made it into Reno around 9:30pm and met an old college buddy for a cup of coffee (tea in my case). Caught some zzz’s before attempting to continue on. I say ‘attempting’ because first, we discovered the headlights weren’t working anymore. Second, once we checked all the fuses and decided we’d just have to run on fog lights and high beams, we got sorta lost on the way back to the freeway. Once we got that all sorted, we stopped at the California border checkpoint. Usually they just ask if you’re coming from Reno, which is dumb cuz the highway that brought you only goes to Reno, and let you through. At 3:30am and when you’re towing a boat, however, they are mighty interested in what you’re hauling, doing, where you’re going, and where & when the boat was in the water last. I think I may have slightly offended the guard also – I wasn’t fully awake yet and he asked where I was coming from, to which I answered thinking in most recent terms, Reno. He gave me this look that said I must think he’s stupid and he doesn’t appreciate it before telling me that everyone comes from Reno. He checks my boat straps and wants to know which waters I’ve been in and how long ago. Cave Lake in September, but also Lake Mead and Kirch. This is when he asks if we live in Reno and of course we don’t. After Honey tells him the boat’s been washed, he abruptly lets us through. I guess California takes quagga mussels very seriously.

We didn’t make it very far. I was exhausted and he was too tired to keep me awake. We found a big bumped out shoulder and went back to sleep, sharing a blanket. Honey told me later I was out almost instantly. Good thing we stopped, I guess. 7:30am we’re back at it. There were some snow-covered roads, some light dry snow (I like that kind cuz it doesn’t stick), and eventually a lot of fog. Driving through a wet pillow or a very fat cloud kind of fog, where visibility shrinks to 30 feet in front of your car. It felt a lot like driving into oblivion; on-coming headlights told you you weren’t there yet. The boat, bless its aluminum bottom, did awesome – no sliding, pushing, or other shenanigans. The only scary part of the whole trip was the last hour into Corbett. In case you didn’t know, I have relatively poor night vision. Combine that with failing light of dusk, short throw fog lights, and on-coming traffic – I was driving basically blind. I did manage to get us there in one piece, without scraping anything or anyone, for which I was profoundly grateful. I let our host, Scott, park the boat where it’ll be stored until further notice, down a very long dark driveway with a ledge on one side. I had a shower and was in bed within two hours.

I’ve logged nearly 3000 miles in 9 days. I went to work promptly at 7am the next morning and I am very glad I don’t have to drive anywhere long distance for awhile. Unfortunately, now I need to do another oil change.

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