South Bend to Tillamock to (accidentally) Corbett, Oregon
Well, I for one have pretty much had the biscuit with these long-drive-days.
We started out this day with every intention of only getting as far as Cannon Beach, a mere short 1 hour hop away, the idea being that we would be spending a day hanging out on the beach.
Another epic driving day.
The Oregon Coast is SPECTACULAR.
And so begins the next chapter;
introducing the era of STEEP Precipices.
Starting with the ascent of the Astoria-Megler Bridge!
Exit stage right and we are back on the Southbound coast road.
We get to Cannon Beach in no time at all, more than ready to take a break from long haul driving (little did we know), all filled with expectation of a beach resort hiatus.
Ha, wishful thinking.
Duh. This is the closest resort for Portlandians to escape the city, it's Saturday, it's the height of the Summer Holidays, school is out, and, you guessed it - not a room to be found.
But to be honest, it was a little too touristy for MPJ's taste, and it really isn't much my cuppa tea either, lovely as it is - there are too many people!
Luckily we found the best coffee shop in town, The Sleepy Monk, and fuelled up to press on for another leg of the journey. For MPJ, caffeine, for me, another nap.
Well, as mentioned, this turns out to be one of our favourite drives so far, and we're pulling over at almost every lookout, as the vistas of this coastline lure us from the car and into a state of contemplation.
Nature is truly miraculous.
The whole way along the coast we kept running into these crazy micro-climates.
Look to the right and it's all sunshine, look to the left and it's misty cloud-socked.
Right above us we were simultaneously in cloud and sunshine.
Drive out of the sunshine, into a cloud, come out the other side and suddenly there is a giant crab in your face.
Everything in America is bigger.
These Oregon beaches just go for miles and miles and miles of golden unblemished sands, we've never seen anything like it.
Next stop, Rockaway Beach...
It's so strange to be on a bright sunny coast, then suddenly find yourselves plunged into a cloud. Even though it was all muted and grey, it was just fantastic to be outside, in the wind, with the beautiful accompaniment of the waves - a soothing and refreshing counterpoint to heal us from yesterday's traffic mayhem.
I simply ADORE chasing the seagulls.
Though, the pierce of the whistle from the steam train sure made me jump! It was a happy few hours as we wandered way down the beach and back up again. Totally brilliant to NOT be in the car.
We quite often see this poster in people's windows or pegged out on their lawn.
I think it should also say 'Dogs are people too'.
We wonder a lot about what it will be like on our Charity Drive, experiencing all the differing thoughts and opinions of the incredible variety of American citizens.
It is really important to us that we engage with people from all walks of life,
as we explore with the people we'll meet, asking
'What does it mean for you to be an American?'
We are travelling without prejudice
and striving to create a completely apolitical & areligious platform.
No small task in these troubled times.
Strip mall city.
MPJ is having a hissy-fit (British) as in spit-the-dummy (Australian) as in temper tantrum (universal).
So she looks at the clock, looks at the sun, looks at the map, and decides - we are going for it - on to Sabine's!
Uhmm, actually, at this point it was 'on to Portland'.
What she did not realise is that her friend Sabine actually lives in Corbett, which is a 30 minute drive beyond Portland.
But I get ahead of myself.
I did warn you, did I not, that this day too became an EPIC drive-of-a-day...
Here we are setting off down Route 6.
And here's us arriving in Portland city centre, because Madame Doofus thought it would be a good destination to give to the TomTom (GPS). But when we loaded Sabine's address (dawning realisation that Corbett is still 30 minutes further east of Portland) TomTom desperately wants us to go over the Morrison Bridge.
See Jani drive.
See Jani panic as GPS keeps on trying to get us over the closed bridge.
See Jani shout at the Tom Tom.
See Jani have a hissy fit, after another LONG day of driving, stuck in Portland, trying desperately to find her way over the river.
See Jani burst into tears of frustration.
See the spaghetti network of highly confusing multiple freeways that crisscross through Portland.
See the multiple bridges that cross the Willamet River - 12 apparently.
See Milly pinning her ears and hunching down to try and make some of the frustration go away.
Pick a freeway, any freeway.
So we did.
A complete stab in the dark, both literally and metaphorically, as we took a turn that would in the very least get us on a bridge to other side of the river.
Good choice, it is our lucky night, we're on the right freeway that will get us through the sequence of 3 motorway changes that will get us to the Number 84, exit 18.
Oh, did I mention that MPJ absolutely HATES night driving? Especially on a motorway, err, highway.
Welcome to her nightmarish ending to a nightmarish long drive...
Now see Jani following the TomTom, driving up through deep dark countryside, with only moonlight to light our way.
Oh, did I mention that Sabine still thinks we are spending the night in Cannon Beach?
We did not know we would end up driving all the way to Corbett, but we literally could not find ANY pet-friendly motels the entire way. Jani naively expected that Corbett would have a motel.
Wrung out and tearful, we pull up outside the house, and just as MPJ reaches for the phone to call Sabine to explain we couldn't find a motel, the phone dies.
It's just been that sort of day.
Luckily we knew where the key was, so with gentle trepidation Jani opened the door, and managed to give Sabine the fright of her life. Once she had the chance to recover, Sabine met us with bear hugs and with welcome she tucked us into a super comfy bed, where we slept the sleep of Truly Exhausted Road Trippers.