Thursday, May 31, 2007

Old Familar Road

I forgot to mention that Zirpu and I are going out of town for a little while. In fact, I'm writing this from Clackamas, east of Portland, because we are on our way to Bellingham, WA, for the 50th birthday party for our brother-in-law, which has become a family reunion. We're spending a few days in Bellingham, with a side trip for me to visit Bink and Lilwil on an island, and then slowly working our way back down I5 with stops in Tacoma, Portland, and Redding.

Obviously I plan to post throughout, which will probably be easier than it was in Puerto Vallarta. Here is today's post, which I wrote, appropriately enough, while we were driving through the Siskiyous.

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We are heading up to Bellingham today, splitting the 900+ mile trip into two days, which is good because we left as late as I've ever left on a road trip, finally getting onto 580E at 1035 this morning.

Road trips are mostly tedium punctuated by beautiful views, slowdowns through construction, and cries of "Sheep!" or "Cows!" Now I've been on so many, not just along the west coast but between the west coast and Denver, that the individual trips recede and just the interesting bits come to mind, like a highlights reel.

At the beginning of winter break my sophomore year of college, I caught a ride to the Bay Area with a friend whose dad lived in Monterey. Heading into the Siskiyous, it started to rain very hard just as night was coming on (there's very little twilight during Pacific northwest winters, because of the clouds). Around 8pm we were just outside Ashland, about halfway, when traffic came to a complete stop. We observed others had turned off their engines, so my friend turned off his too.

It had stopped raining and I put on a jacket and walked up the highway to see what I could learn. A trucker told me that the jam was caused by two trailer rigs that had jackknifed around each other earlier i the evening at the Siskiyou Summit, about fifteen miles away, due to snow and ice.

I don't remember how my friend and I passed the time (it was too cold to stay outside for every long). I do remember that we were there for three hours, and it's because of that experience that I always pack snacks and beverages when I go on the road.

When the cars started moving again, OHP only allowed those vehicles with tire chains to continue. My friend and I were sent back into Ashland via the highway on-ramp (!!) and spent the night there.

I got home midafternoon the next day, and Mom greeted me with a pot of my favorite food in those days, Bombay-style curry.

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