Portland, Oregon

Whew, still recovering from Portland. It was a nice drive up the coast from Bandon but it began to ‘turn to custard’ as the Kiwis say when we got to highway 18 which we were going to take into Portland.

It was blocked with trees down so we continued north up towards Tillamock and, after a look at the map, I thought we could turn east in a bit, cut cross country and then reconnect to 18 past the blockage.

Nice plan, but it didn’t work out that way. After miles of small, pretty, twisty roads and little one way bridges, we ended up on a road that took us back to 101 north of where we had exited it and, at that point, we found ourselves half way between the original blocked 18 cutoff and Tillamock so we just continued north to Tillamock then after having wasted an hour hog snorting through the little forest road looking for the highway 18 truffle. Snort!

The day was a bit of a replay of the previous day in that we now found ourselves entering the Portland (PL) metropolitan area at late dusk, in rush hour and in the pouring rain. And, as we entered PL, it became painfuly obvious that the freeways were badly jammed up and barely moving.

And, to add to the situation, I had chosen to enter the city like this thinking that we’d simply work out where our hotel was on the fly. Yow! Bad decision, Batman!

Finally, after a long, slow crawl into the city center on highway 26, Colette called the hotel on our cell and established that the hotel was on the north side of the city just by the river and that we needed to get onto Interstate 5 going north.

That was a lucky break as we were now in the city center and I could see the green Interstate 5 signs coming up. But, bummer, bummer, bummer, the option offered was only to take the 5 south and we wanted north!

I knew if I let the 5 get away, we might wander for a long time before I found it again so I grabbed the opportunity to get on it going south, hoping to hit an intersection where I could get off, cross the bridge and then jump back on again heading north.

We drove a loooong way before an exit presented itself. Then getting back on going north proved to be a trial. I got off, crossed the inevitable bridge and immediately missed the turn to get back on going north (my claim is that it was bad signage (yeah right)). So, off we went, heading east on a road that had no turns for a long time. Grrr.

Then a turn presented itself. Remember, it is dark and raining and the traffic is very heavy. I position us in the center of the road for a turn left as soon as an opening presents itself. It does and I go…. Bang. Right front wheel hits and jumps a curb I hadn’t seen. I go on and drive up the small road on the far side.

Bummer. Some cussing. Some serious anxiety about the car and insurance and will the wheel and the car’s alignment be OK. Or have I just really put a serious dent in our vacation and finances. After a jump out of the car and a quick look at the car and tire (I see nothing obvious), I have a quick pee on someone’s front lawn in the rain because I’m afraid to get back into the car and get locked into the traffic jam again and to then to discover that I have to go.

Back on the road, we get on 5 going north and we are good. Except that it take another hour, perhaps, to get to exit 307 where the hotel is.

We’re giddy and silly by the time we arrive. We are so happy to be there.

Once in, we have a small meal and turn in and another day closes.

We haven’t seen anything of PL but rain and traffic and we’re thinking that in the morning, we’re just going to get up and head east towards Kennewick and take a big pass on having a better look. Maybe later or maybe not at all. Portland has not been a good experience.


One Response to “Portland, Oregon”

  1. Kathy says:

    Ah, this is where the relationship gets tested. Those long car drives with a series of unfortunate events. You two still laughing? A couple of days of 8 hour+ drives would be enough to test anyone’s nerves! The sun will come out again!