I started out from Pendleton this morning and pulled into the Shell station next door to refuel. I was surprised to see a young man by the pump waiting for me to swipe my card so he could pump the gas. He told me that a new Oregon state law (or maybe an initiative that isn’t binding?) was for full service at gas stations. He said it was to create more jobs, and to that I say Hallelujia! I always loved fuel stops in NJ as they never went to self service. But after years of pumping my own fuel it feels sort of weird to stand by, so the next time I stopped I told the kid that I was going inside and that I wanted my receipt. When I came back out the tank was full and the receipt was under the windshield wiper. I’m all for providing an alternative for young kids to find employment somewhere other than McDonalds and fast food places, and I don’t mind paying a couple cents more at the pump. I’d rather give it to a kid who is working for it than a huge oil company who has been gouging us on the price of gas for a long time.
Next I want to thank Bob C. for his comment on Lewiston being in Idaho. I ALWAYS get it mixed up, whether inputting it to the GPS or mapquest, and I usually get some sort of response such as “No Match”. There are so many places with Lewis in their names in this part of the country that I just can’t keep up with it. And he mentioned that wheat was farmed on the hillsides, and I have a ocuple of photos below showing the wheat fields before and after harvest. The wheat is a beautiful golden color and you can’t miss it.
I really like Eastern Oregon. It is stark in appearance, high desert, and beautiful. Here are a couple of photos of what appear to be trees that were purposefully planted, but they are so close together I can’t imagine what they are. The photos were taken along I-84, and that is the Columbia River to the right.
By the time I was nearing the end of today’s journey I was really sick of all the small towns along US 97. The speed limit is 55, and then you must slow to 45, 35, 30, and often 25. Even after driving 55, 25 seems like a crawl. I was ready to drive non-stop to Sacramento after a while. Then I approached the turn-off to the northern entrance to Crater Lake. I pulled over and called the Klamath Falls Motel 6 to make sure I could get a room this evening, and then headed for Crater Lake.
I have never seen anything so gorgeous! It definitely requires a return trip, and I think one of these days or years, there will be a camping trip for my granddaughter and me: Crater Lake, Lake Shasta, and Lassen Volcanic NP for starters.
And FINALLY, (sorry to be so wordy), I have had a number of people comment that I drive too many miles in a day, that I should slow down and enjoy it more, take it easy, etc. Judy and I have discussed this a number of times, and yesterday in an exchange of emails I wrote this to her, and she suggested that I post it to my blog, so here it is. It’s just the way I feel now, and I don’t expect many RVers to agree, nor do I want them to. Everyone should live and explore in the manner that is comfortable to them. I sure hope Judy wasn’t kidding me about posting it!
“I’ve really enjoyed the scenery – the open vistas and the closed in forests. I love taking pictures but I’m no photographer; I don’t see well enough to distinguish birds, although I can see small animals they are usually too quick for me to grab my camera. Long gone are the days when I tried to see and do everything, walk through endless museums, dioramas, etc. and read every memorial board I came across.
This country is incredibly beautiful, even in the areas that look mediocre to begin with and I can drive along and wonder what life was like a hundred or a thousand years ago, who were the Norwegians that came to places that were so tough to live in, and what will happen now that their children are long gone from states like North Dakota. What would it have been like on the Plains when huge buffalo herds roamed there, and what about the Indians who revered and used them. These are the things I think about when driving, and what I enjoy most.”
I will have to add that I saw directions today to a museum that I think I would like to visit, and I’ll make a note to return to it someday. It is the Museum of the High Desert. Why do I want to see that and not another? I have no idea except that I’ve always been interested in high desert – but sure wouldn’t want to live in one!