We are in Westport, Washington; approximately 3,500 miles (exactly 3,496.46) from our starting point in Islamorada, Florida. Pretty amazing. This is the furthest we will be away from home the entire trip. Of course, we have traveled many more miles than that; we figure about 5,000 miles in the RV and 6,000 in the Miata, but as far as point-to-point distance, we have reached the maximum. We have seen some amazing places, visiting with amazing people and experienced many amazing moments during this trip, and I have tried to share most of them with you via this Blog and photos. We still have a lot more to see and do, so please continue to stay tuned!
Oregon was fabulous. We spent a total of five nights/six days there I have to say that it was probably the most relaxing (or lazy, to be honest) of the States we have visited. The biggest day came when we drove to Crater Lake. We actually drove so much, that after 11 hours in the car, with 3 more hours to go, we decided to stop off at motel. We had Peanut with us, so it was a no-brainer to do so. James and I have a king size bed at home, but in the RV we have a queen (and it isn't a full Queen), so when checking in, we requested a king size bed. They didn't have one. They had a room with two queens, so as much as we love being in the same bed, we opted to each have our own queen bed for the night. This turned out to be a good thing since I tossed and turned all night long...probably because James was in the other bed.
Crater Lake is the bluest lake I have ever seen. The lake was formed after a volcano erupted and then died. It is the bluest blue you will ever see anywhere. And it is cold. So cold that there isn't much to do there but drive around and see the Lake from different sides, which is what we did. There were Pennacles and waterfalls too that we saw. I am so glad we made the drive. It is something to behold and I hope everyone will have the opportunity to see it one day. None of you will be sorry.
The other days spent in Oregon were in Gold Beach and what a wonderful place that is. Out of the five days in Oregon, we only had 2 days of rain and from what I hear, that is pretty darn good. As in the Keys, or south Florida for that matter, you can always tell the tourist from the locals. In Florida during "the winter" months, the locals have lost their tans, turned in their shorts and tank tops for khakis and long sleeves and talk about how chilly it is, while the tourist are tan...well, I should say, burnt, racing around in their bathing suits, tank tops, or for men, no top at all, and soaking up the rays, even if it is only 70 degrees, which is cold for us Floridians. Well, the same holds true here, but completely opposite! The locals during the summer months (now...I guess), are all in their shorts, short sleeve shirts, skirts and bathing suits, while we the tourists (at least the ones from Florida) are bundled up in jeans, sweaters and coats freezing our back-sides off! Every time a local says anything about summer, my brain goes haywire! My appendages swear it is late fall with winter right around the corner! It just doesn't compute!
We left Oregon yesterday. As I said, we had a very lovely and lazy time there. And guess what else is lazy in Oregon? Cows!! You know the commercial that says, "Happy Cows come from California?" Well, LAZY cows come from Oregon. A strange thing to notice, I know. But, I sure have seen a lot of cows on this trip and the ones in Oregon fascinate me! Cows in every other State are all walking around, eating, meeting at a watering hole or just staring at passing traffic, but in Oregon, every single farm or pasture we drove by, 90% of the cows were laying on the ground...doing nothing. After the first few I noticed, I made it a point to observe each one and sure enough, 90% of them were lazin' on the ground! Now, when we came to Washington I wanted to make sure it wasn't the climate, altitude, air or whatever, so I paid attention to the farms...and all the cows, with the exception of a few calves, were up walking around. So, it must be Oregon. Odd. Very odd.
I believe there is a stretch of Oregon, half way up the coast and spans maybe 100 miles that never sees the sun! I say this because the park we stayed at last night, the Beachside State Park, had large patches of moss growing...on the roads! You know that area hasn't seen sun or a dry day in a long time. It was very foggy and rainy when we arrived and that I was most thankful for. Unfortunately about 15 minutes before we arrived, I experienced my first ever (and I pray my last) cluster migraine. It came upon me as sudden as a lighting flash and felt as if someone took a pickaxe and began hitting me in the side of the head. That sudden...in a snap of the finger. And, I have never ever felt such horrible pain in my life. I have to say it scared the heck out of me...all kinds of thoughts go through one's mind like, "Is this aneurysm? Stroke?" James knew immediately something was wrong and wanted to go directly to the hospital, but I just wanted to get to the park and rest...to see if it would pass in a little bit, and if not, then off the ER we would go. Well, after taking two migraine pills and moments of James squeezing my head (I will explain later), I started feeling some relief. I knew then it was a cluster migraine. The rest of the afternoon/evening is a fog to me, but I'm all better today.
Oh yeah, the "squeezing the head" [not what you know it to be, Cindy]. When I have a migraine, as with many other migraine sufferers, compression on the head really relieves a lot a pain. As a matter of fact, the SkyMall Magazine (found on airplanes) actually has a device specifically for this purpose. It helps. A lot.
We woke up the next morning (today) with the same fog, rain and chill in the air. There is no way I could live in that part of Oregon! We decided to pack up and head off. After about 2 hours of driving, we finally hit sunshine again! Ahhh! What a relief! Oregon has the most stunning and dramatic beaches and shorelines, as well as this small seaside towns that look like someplace out of the past. Such beauty and danger, which leads me to believe (and hope to be true), why they (the State) has named so many of their Parks and Rivers with the word "Devil" in it. We came through "Devil's Elbow State Park," "Devil's Punchbowl" and over several rivers or creeks with the same devilish word. I have to say...I didn't like it much. I don't like Satan. Can't stand him. So, to be driving up the coast and seeing the word "devil" a lot, I got annoyed. But, then it reminded me of something...Satan is always all around us...and usually in the most beautiful of places trying his best to make them ugly. Well, he didn't succeed. Every park, river and creek were still stunning, I just could do without the titles!
James continues to build his Handy Man skills as little things on either the RV or Miata break...he always fixes them. The roads in Oregon and Washington are a piece of cake compared to the ones in California, so he has no worries now about driving any road that shows the least bit of curves on the map...been there and CONQUERED that! I won't drive the big rig until we reach the middle part of the US where the streets are level, straight and perfect. West Coast folks got off easy!!
We are about 50 miles into Washington right now and it hosts some incredible beauty as well. Tomorrow we plan to take a drive up to Olympic National Park and then drive up to the most northern and western point in the United States...might as well since we have been to the most southern point...Key West! The weather is perfect...so far...and the campground we are in for the next three nights is pretty nice as well. It has a heated pool...might have to try that out in this cool air!
We will continue to read our book, "Travels with Charley" and hopefully begin another after that is done. I never realized how much more "life" you give a book when you read it aloud, or hear it read aloud. We are both enjoying it immensely! We need to be in Glacier one week from today, so our time here is truncated just a bit, but not much.
Hope everyone enjoys the Labor Day Weekend...stay safe...there are crazy people out there! I should know, we are two of them! Hahahaha! We love and miss you all! God Bless!