Monday, July 4, 2011

Into Oregon!

Somehow, we ended up spending twenty-five consecutive nights in California.  That was rather unintentional - but I suppose California is just so much more populated than the previous states we'd been through & so in some cases there is more to see & do.  Our day today was rather uneventful, after a late start after watching the Wimbledon final & me finishing another Poirot (I finally picked one early - Peril at End House) we hit the road north.  Driving up the coast there were the usual alternating periods of brilliant warm sunshine & really dense fog as the road was either almost in the Pacific or just back a little in the hills.  We saw some curiously named places today - we went to Samoa (didn't know you could drive there, did you?), Trinidad (or there), Crescent City (I suppose it's better than Spanner City or Wrench City) & in Oregon - Wonder.

Just north of Crescent City the road left the coast & headed through many more acres of forest towards Grant Pass & the Oregon border. I was still loving the beauty of the large NorCal virgin forests & most of the road followed & crossed the Middle Fork, Smith River (the most boring place name of the day). A much smaller & less wild river than we've seem for some time, with its deep green colour & small falls it was stunning under a clear sky. (Speaking of rivers, it turns out that the day we went to Yosemite was the second highest day for waterflow all season [a week after the highest]. We definitely lucked out there!) We had a very pleasant lunch by a calm part of the river.
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It was quite a thrill to be going to a state that I'd never been to before for the first time since our one hour in New Mexico at the end of May. Over the border there was the obligatory "let's put as many signs up as possible to explain our unique road rules" fever. Strangely, the double yellow lines seem to be a foot apart. It was as I expected - more trees! But they were subtlely different - not quite as tall & some plantation ones too. So far I'm loving Oregon - there's no sales tax(!); the middle grade of gas is better (higher octane) than the premium gas in all the other states we've visited; the window brushes at the gas station actually have proper length handles (not twelve inches); you don't have to prepay gas; & they have to pump your gas for you. Can you tell we filled up tonight? Plus, the riding here is also supposed to be brilliant.

Tomorrow we head for Crater Lake National Park - deepest lake in the country - & then to Bend to see some July 4 fireworks.

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