Monday, June 16, 2008

Day 11: Entering Oregon (last day!)

The above picture was the scene greeting us in the morning as we left our hotel for day 11, beautiful wisps of clouds circling the mountains. Unable to push through well into the night because of my still-worsening illness, we spent the night in Boise... a lovely city. I think in the state we were in, many a cross-country-er would have forgone the final lodging cost, plowed through eastern Oregon and arrived in Portland early in the morning. Really, Idaho is not a long drive. However, I am very, very, very grateful we didn't try that.

We entered the state of Oregon, the 17th and final state on this adventure, bright and early at 9 a.m. The first impression? So, this is why everyone keeps talking about how green it is here! Immediately there is green in the fields, green moss on the rocks, trees on the hills and mountains. Sadly, for this part of the trip I couldn't stay awake any longer, my cold had taken all my energy away. It is really unusual for me to fall asleep in cars unless I'm disparately ill... and then I was also on a lot of cold medication, too. Phil kept waking me up for the ever-changing landscape, which was a good thing to do.

Our first stop was Baker City, where we stretched at a rest area before realizing we were quite hungry. A little further, we found the city and ate at a truck stop. (Blueberry pancakes, not that great, but they would have been fantastic if I had gotten the buttermilk. And the coffee was just fine.) I really love Oregon's old iron neon signs, they are running rampant across this state!

Somewhere between Baker City and Arlington was another scenic lookout that we decided to veer slightly off course for. We learned that in 1961 the Oregon Scenic Areas Act was established, removing billboards and other distracting signs from Oregon's highways (they call them "freeways") and protecting scenic vistas such as the one we were drawn to. Oregon is big on providing a lot (I mean, a lot) of information (civic, historical, ecological, etc) to its citizens and visitors... this was becoming quite clear to us. As you can see, there were a lot of clouds that day: we were standing pretty much in the middle of them!

Then, they parted for just a moment and I got a breathtaking glimpse of the valley below:

So on it went; awake, asleep, awake, asleep on through I-84 running along the boarder of Oregon and Washington. And, on went the changing landscape, the clouds parting and regrouping, the mountains rising and falling away again...


mushroommeadows said...

I ALWAYS fall asleep during car rides! :) Anyway, my favorite pics include the mountains wrapped up all in the fog. It's amazing!

laurie said...

Isn't that pretty? I couldn't believe that was what it looked like *by the side of the highway*!! :D

Anonymous said...

hi....your illustrations are simply adorable....

take care,
new york transplant (i miss ca)