Friday, August 25, 2017

To Portland and back, a two day driving extravaganza and tale of white line fever.

 Filled the mighty black Dodge truck with sweet, delicious fuel, loaded the boy and his gear, turned the key and heard the throaty roar of eight huge pistons crying for more.  Road trip!

Starting at about 8am, the road north passes through extensive agricultural lands, a tribute to the industry of hard working Americans who transformed the landscape from barren grasslands to the breadbasket it is today.  Consider: from the time the glaciers melted, to maybe 170 years ago, nothing really changed over thousands of years.  Then, kaboom, everything changed in a flash.

At the head of the Sacramento Valley, the land starts to roll into the mountains, and you reach Red Bluff, which is Brigid Country!

Oregon is significantly greener than California, and offers a very pleasant landscape to drive through.

The Wing Commander, with his spiff military haircut, handles the driving duties.

Finally, 9 hours later, we crossed the mighty Willamette in Portland

Wanna joint?  Portlanders will oblige.

Classic Portland coffee shop

Perfect cappuccino, artfully presented.  Needed the caffeine hit for the long road back.

Of course, being Portland, there must be the obligatory virtue signaling.  But, no smoking within ten feet!  These signs are all the style there.  Later, I had to scrape the gobs of self righteous virtue off of me with a trowel.   I was a virtue victim.

No smoking?  Well how about a trip to Rich's Cigar, on Alder Street, downtown?  Let's bathe ourselves thoroughly in some politically incorrect smoke, shall we?

Spent twenty minutes enjoying talking to the salesmen, ogling the leaf, and found a tin of Vintage Syrian to buy that is getting pretty rare to virtually unobtainable nowadays.

However, the Portland traffic control managed to find a way to ticket my parked truck, in spite of the fact that I bought a parking sticker and put it on my window.  Oops, they wanted it on the curb window, not the street side, so they tagged me for a full 44 dollar ticket, even though the officer saw the sticker I stuck on the other window.  Well, Portland, let's see now whether you can make me pay, you jerks.

The obligatory Mount Shasta photo, on the way down I-5 to home. This is a file image, because forest fires were blowing so much smoke that you could barely see the huge, slumbering volcano.

The Dodge truck ran like a champ, even though it's got more than a quarter million miles on it now.

Now all the kids in school are at school or working, and I'm back to a more normal, non summer routine. In addition to work, I'll focus now on the garden, the yard and a more strenuous workout schedule.  


  1. We didn't go all the way to Portland and took a more leisurely pace, but pretty much observed the same things over last weekend.
    It was nice to see that Lake Shasta is still holding lots of water this late in the summer.

  2. I don't smoke either pipe or cigars anymore, but the smell of good tobacco makes me miss it.

  3. I drove the bottom end of that route many times in my youth. I was living with my uncle's family in Tulelake during high school (class of '71) so we would take a right at Weed (yeah, Played high school football against Weed and Dusmuir. Shasta is spectacular viewed from the north, the way it flows down to the surrounding country. I will always have a soft spot for any place with juniper and sage brush.

  4. Thank you for the road trip update. The Wing Commander is back commanding his wing, the Dodge is running like the well-tuned machine, the freckle faced girls are lining up to put their claws into the boy at school, God is in his heaven and all is well.

  5. Be careful on the parking ticket. They may suspend your license for nonpayment (and if they are part of the inter-State Compact Agreement then your state will consider your license suspended), request a hold on renewing your vehicle registration, or put a warrant out for non-payment (I have arrested a person on a warrant for nonpayment of a parking ticket thought he warrant was only good within the Village I was in).

    1. I will. I always pay the very few tickets I get, since I'm such a law abider that when I do manage to get one, it's a quality ticket, but this one just violates my sense of fairness, and makes me feel like a subject of the greedy leviathan state, instead of a citizen.