November 20th, 2008

Jin Shei Cover from sgreer

Hello, Portland

We here. We tired. We did well... right until we got thrown noggin first into rush hour traffic in downtown Portland... in the dark... in the rain. I had to circle the block twice in order to get to the place where I could leave the rental car, but I got it there only about five minutes later than I said I would on the rental agreement. So, the Camry is safely in the hands of its rightful owners and I don't have any driving to do for a while. Hallelujah.

Today... was a challenge. I used every wiper speed the car had. Before we left our hotel we had a 4 AM mini-storm that actually *woke me up*, driving against the windows in a frenzy of rain and wind; after that, the weather turned on a dime, from bright sunshine to heavily overcast and foggy to drizzly to driving rain to wind that shoved me sideways on the road on open bridges where the gale came howling in from the sea. While on a short driving break, eating chicken harvest soup and Stollen bread in a roadside cafe in Florence, OR, we overheard some fellow travellers complain of having been hit by HAIL. At least we missed that.

We drove up the 101 almost all the way and that road is the biggest chameleon I've ever driven. It switches without warning from narrow country road to urban street with stop lights to double-lane carriageway to divided freeway-like highway, there and back again, you simply never knew what was going to hit you next and with what speed limit. But my GOD it is spectacular, and the Oregon coastline is fantastic. I stopped once or twice to take some pictures in a howling gale and we shall see how that turned out.

Then just after Lincoln City we turned on to Route 18, and that took us pretty much all the way into Portland.

I'm tired. I really am. I drove three hundred miles today. My powers of concentration are shredded and flapping in the Oregon ocean gale; I am about ready to go grab a bite to eat, take a long shower to wash off the dust of the road, and collapse into bed.

Tomorrow, Orycon. See some of you there, perhaps.

G'night.