Not one of the very impressive days on my trip. The weather precipitation radar was showing quite a lot of scattered activity in the whole northwestern quarter of Oregon. I did have a little wish to see Mount St. Helens where that big eruption happened in 1980. This would actually take me northeast to my then position in Vancouver (yes, there is one in the state of Washington.
So this plan was scrapped. Then came my other wish … to see the painted hills in Oregon. Took the road of the interstate 5 and headed east only to endure shower after shower. I ended up turning around but then reconsidering after filling up my stomach in the Ivy Bear pizzeria. I was adamant that I shall see those damn hills. But the rain had other plans. It was quite pleasant in the area where I had lunch but the weather got nastier and nastier. It was probably adamantly telling me to turn around. After a proper soaking I relented and headed back – doubly disappointed as I not only had to give up on yet another item on my to do wish list (the first one being the Road to the Sun over Logan pass) but I also lost nearly half a day messing around that particular part of Oregon.
I was also getting a strong feeling that Oregon was a little weird. The biggest clue came when I filled up my tank – the first one I did in this state. A guy approached me who did not convincingly show that he was actually employed there. He said that I am not allowed to self-serve myself with petrol (even though the petrol had all the signs of it being self service). This happened again further south when I filled-up for the second time. Apparently I am breaking the law if I fill up my tank by myself. The first person told me its because they are trying to get more people employed … and weirdly they chose this way to do it!!??
The second person said its because of safety but wait for this. Both of them just inserted my credit card in the machine and pressed a few buttons but then handled me the petrol nozzle for me to do the ‘dirty work’. This must surely indicate that there is an amount of lunacy in the Oregon state legislature.
I decided to leave the busy and very wet interstate 5 at Eugene and head for the pacific coast. I took the highway 126 and the road literarily goes through a spectacular scenery. And the smells you get you can only appreciate if you are outside of a car. Truly mesmerising. However it was quite late by the time I hit the coastal road 101. Found this state campsite that looks like it was set in a prehistoric forrest. Pity it is so busy. Its only Thursday today. Looks like it will be fully booked tomorrow which sort of beggs the question … where am I going to sleep tomorrow and the day after.
I would still like to see some of those big Sequoia trees, park Yosemite and the Grand Canyon. But I still need to get back to Chicago to return the bike by noon on the 29th.
Day 2 in Oregon
The state has somewhat redeemed itself after I drove through some beautiful scenery. Although right by the sea I didn’t see much of it. The forrest is still very dense and there were also very tall sand dunes. Many parts were and probably still will be further down south tsunami danger areas.
Later in the morning the skies cleared and I had beautiful sunshine.
Don’t have any worthwhile photos on my phone so I could publish them here. Most of them are on my Canon.