Oregon: Sparse

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Open Spaces

There are a lot of open spaces in Oregon. But, I don’t go anywhere near them when there’s a forecast for 18 inches of snow!

That put the kibosh on my plan to take in Crater Lake. And affected my plans for Mount Hood.

It also set me on a course of bouncing around the state—mostly north—by focusing on rest areas and Walmart parking lots until I hit Portland.

I’m okay with that.

I’ve been people watching.

One of my favorite things to do, people watching. I’ve found never-before-seen behavior patterns at both rest areas and Walmart parking lots!

One of the most obvious is the human nature of congregating with your own kind: no matter what size camper—from little minivans to those big drive-away jobs—we all have a tendency to coagulate in one particular area of the lot (I do it myself, looking for the “best” place to overnight).

Out of sight, out of mind.

There are advantages to grouping together, the least of which is as an organized wind break!

I’ve also found that others who are living in their vehicles haven’t been as diligent as I in making sure you can actually do it—and survive. I’m not bragging here but, I am concerned for their safety: living in a car when it’s 14° outside is not for the unprepared!

Dead battery!

One fellow I found this morning living in his car had a dead battery. Of course I helped him; I have a portable battery jumper—and seconds later, his little car was running and off he went, to work, smiling and grateful!

The people of Oregon are, I have to say, a hearty bunch. The cold doesn’t seem to bother them (or they are accustomed to it) and you’ll find many people driving their cars with their windows open (even when the wind chill is deep into the negative numbers)!

Not sure what the story is there!

I mean, I wouldn’t do that. But, it’s a common occurrence. I just shake my head.

Mount Hood

Once again, I am out of position to hit up Mount Hood—unless I turn a couple hundred miles east—and, even then, that area of the mountain is due for some exceptional snowfall. So, it’s off to Washington state for the Minivan Explorer!

The View!

Wow. What a view out my back door window as I huddle inside my warm Sienna at a rest stop overlooking Mount Saint Helens! Oh, that poor mountain isn’t what it once was. Missing its top, it looks like it’s a little sick. Nothing that a couple hundred million years of erosion can’t fix!

Music!

I hate to say this because I can’t remember any of it but, I’ve been composing some really good music! I suppose that I should have written it down or at least recorded some of it but, really, I was just having some fun and stumbled across some interesting stuff! Sorry! If I am compelled once again to compose, I’ll be more determined to keep a record of the composition for you.

It’s Christmas!

I’ve been sent a Christmas package by my brother in San Diego! Snail mail is an interesting process: I map out where I can be in three days from now, the package is sent to “General Delivery” in a post office at my destination and the package is picked up when I arrive (just show government ID).

Hello Washington!

Happy trails my friend!

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