Yesterday, we turned south and started our long trip down to California. We will be spending the Thanksgiving holidays with two of our three kids, and their respective families and then will drive down to Southern California to see friends where we used to live in Dana Point. By the time we make our way over to Tucson, Arizona, to spend Christmas with our third child and her family, we will have traveled from the border of Canada (since Blaine is nestled up against the Canadian border) to near the border of Mexico (since our route to Tucson will take us to San Diego, which is just north of the Mexican border).
Yesterday’s trip was a long 6-hour drive with its highlight being fighting Seattle traffic in the rain. A front moved into the Pacific Northwest the other day and for the next few days we will be slogging through the rain. Seattle is one of the worst cities we have experienced regarding traffic. The city has grown so much over the last 50 years and there are only two freeways that you can take that go north and south. Thus, you can image way the traffic can be like.
Actually, we were fortunate as we squeaked by before the horrible Friday afternoon traffic rush started and only struggled with the afternoon traffic as we scooted by Washington’s capital, Olympia, just to the south of the Seattle/Tacoma sprawl.
As we made our way south, Mary Margaret had a big smile on her face. She was so happy that we were in the peak of the color change and we were driving past forests of hardwood trees that were showing their colors. It was spectacularly beautiful, especially between the rain showers when the sun would come out and make the trees glow.
We stopped for the night at a city park in Port of St. Helens, just across the Columbia river, in Oregon. I felt that I had returned to my roots since I was born in Vancouver, Washington, just up the Columbia river from where this park is located. It is a little ironic that I was born in Washington but only lived there for three months. Now, 68 years later, I will be moving back to Washington to live. Go figure! Actually, I guess it is not too surprising since my dad was born and raised in the Seattle area and all of my surviving relatives from my dad’s side of the family still live there. It will be a real treat for me to be able to see them more often from now on!
This morning, we kept to our southern route and drove three hours to a county park in Curtin, Oregon. It is just south of the Willamette Valley and is where the hills and mountains that separate northern and southern Oregon are located. It is in the middle of nowhere but is a convenient rest spot for us for the next two days.
We are rather tired from the hectic time we spent in Blaine and the stress of looking for and buying a house. Follow that up with driving a big, 25-ton bus for 9 hours during the last 24 hours and I believe you know what I mean.
In two days, we will leisurely drive another three hours to the Ashland, Oregon area. It is just north of the California border and it the location of another county park where we will be spending a couple of restful days before entering the great state of California.