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Oregon Trip

Day 8 of 8

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Friday, July 22nd
Drive home

Originally we were going to visit the Oregon coast today, but we decided for various reasons to cut the trip short and return home today in one shot of 10 hours of driving. That decision seemed like a prescient one after I had the misfortune of breaking the Thule roof box key. Half of the key was stuck in the lock. We tried tweezers to no avail (I had a second key, so we just needed to remove the first one). Eventually we gave up, used some utility cord and tape to secure the box shut, and hoped it would hold. It did (it probably would have held even without the tape and rope, though we felt better with it). The box served us well for about 12 years, but it looks like it's time to get a new one.

We left camp a bit before noon, stopping at the McKenzie Bridge store for some snacks. We then had another misfortune when we got stuck waiting for road construction on Highway 126 approaching Eugene. It was down to one lane and we waited for 15 minutes before the flagger let our side through. Except the car in front of me didn't move. I waited a few seconds, thinking he might have turned off his car and had to start it again. Then I honked. Nothing. Honked again. The driver jerked awake from his nap, then sped up toward the sign, but by then it was too late - the flagger had decided to let the other side through, even though there was a huge line of cars that had been waiting for 15 minutes. A woman behind us was obviously not pleased with this development and got out of her car, walking up to the flagger to have a discussion. I didn't bother rolling down the window to listen; I can imagine the conversation. We had to wait another 7-8 minutes before she let us through. Of course I thought this was entirely unfair and a poor job of flagging; there are several variables and I think it'll make for a good topic for my math blog when I have the time.

Anyway, we kept going, heading south on Interstate 5. There was pretty much no traffic the rest of the way. We stopped for lunch, once more for gas in Oregon (last full service!), then dinner in Orland, a place I'd never even heard of before. I have to admit we found a decent Chinese restaurant there (having grown tired of eating at fast food places).

We finally arrived home in the Bay Area around midnight. Probably the most driving I've done in a day (about 600 miles), but it didn't seem too bad. I think we'll be visiting Oregon again! There is still lots to see, even just in the places we just visited. On a return trip to Crater Lake, we could visit Godfrey Glen, Wizard Island, Mount Scott, and Watchman Overlook. Three Sisters Wilderness looks like a good place to continue exploring. And Opal Creek Wilderness further north looks enticing.


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