13th Oct I crossed the Columbia River by using hwy 97 and started following hwy 84 (old hwy 30) around noon. The first little town I came through was “The Dalles”, actually a pretty town, but I could not find a car park with a free space downtown, though I just drove through. Soon I made a detour on the old hwy 30 to Rowena Crest – it is not all the time the same as hwy 84. It was a challenge for me, even I was driving a car, because the steeps on the sides of the road. It was still raining, therefore I did not leave the car for a long time.
For more photos of the Historic Columbia River Highway click here!
The next town was Portland. I drove through even that one, but stopped at the Cascade Locks Marine Park for the beautiful Bronze statues of Jean McLean.
Not far away from this place, still close to the Cascade Locks, I have got interested in the “Bridge of the Gods“, because its name. This bridge is not so spectacular as its name, but the original and of nature formed bridge, which is not anymore.
I passed through some more smaller towns, partly with pretty historical centres even they were not spectacular. Around 7pm and a ca. 1/2 hours drive before Rainier I found a place to stay overnight. It was a well signed park, but it was closed. Though I parked in front of the entrance. I was wondering about, that the park only is open for memorials – that told me a sign. In addition to that I was wondering about the huge car park, close to the park, which was cordoned off, but I thought, that it has to do with the closed park. A security person checked the park, but did not say anything to me. Later on another security person knocked on my car and asked me, if I know, where I am. I told him, that I am staying outside a closed park. The security guy told me then, that there is a nuclear plant close to the park and that this is the reason for the closed park. He added, that “this is not Europe, they have machine guns at the plant” and that I have to find another place for the night. By the way, I did not and still do not understand, why the park was so well signed. I guess you understand, that I left that place very quickly. I drove to the next town, called Rainier and stayed at a rest area with a flush toilet at the Marina. Unfortunately the water for the sink was not working. The area was not cared about, but I was not disturbed either during the rest of the night.
14th started with the same rainy weather as the day before. During the day, the weather became a little better with dry periods. In the morning, when I used the restroom, there were clothes and a trash bag in there. I found it disgusting! For the lack of water for the sink I had to wash my face etc somewhere else. At the end of the town was a gas station, where I bought a coffee and a brownie as well as used the restroom.
There were no amazing views before Rockaway Beach, but I passed places with interesting names like Swedtown (road), Clatskanie and Schroeder Road (in Pendleton). Around 10am I had my second breakfast in the John Day County Park.
For staying close to the coast I followed hwy 101 again. In the city of Seaside there was an announcement about the “Sons of Norway” and also for tuna and chips! In Manzanita I saw fallen trees and the State Park and Beach were closed. However it was not signed from the highway. I tried to drive to the beach, but only a short distance before it was signed. In Nahalem was the most important junction flooded, nonetheless it was still possible to drive through.I made a detour to Pacific City and the beach, where I also enjoyed to see a little light house, in front of a private property.
Kiwanda is very close to the Pacific City and has lots of rocks. The beach is even rocky at Depoe Bay (hwy 101).
Furthermore I drove through Newport on the highway, therefore I did not see the city center. I also took a couple of photos in Seal Rock, but my big (64 GB) SD-card run out of space.
Finally I parked my car at a Walmart in Eugene, where I bought French fries and stayed overnight.
15th was another rainy day, even it off and on only drizzled. It goes without saying, that these days were not warm either. The weather reminded me a lot of Sweden. I used the restroom at Walmart as usual and bought a coffee for $1 at McDonald’s. Afterwards I drove to the library downtown Eugene. Wow, what this surprised me. There was a computer room with lots of computers and work spaces with electrical contacts for phones and tablets around the entire walls as well as wi-fi. All is for free and not required to sign up for a library card. I spent some time there before I continued to Springfield.
I bought a coffee at McKenzie’s in Springfield, because I was yawning. More alert again I chose the McKenzie scenic byway and pass, which also goes to the 22 miles of a historic hwy – designed by Felix Scott. It was very windy and raining and my SD-card got wet, though I had to change the adapter. Even the weather was really bad and cold at over 5000 feet, I left the car and visited the interesting points. By the way: This is a volcano area.
Coming down from the pass my gps told me with the help of the app “here”, that I should use the Cascade Lakes Scenic Byway for going to my host in Crescent Lake. So I did. There are more than 200 lakes close to that road, but I could only see four, because for all the others one has to drive into the forest. I did not mind it, but the highway is going near the top of the mountains, though it was snow on the road. I was really happy with my M&S tires. Without them it would not only have been dangerous, but also against the law, to drive this road during this time. There are no villages or cities beside this highway, only ski resorts and those had not opened yet. I did neither expect snow nor the lack of gas stations. I run low by fuel and slowed down to around 90km/h for not using too much fuel. I became stressed, of course, by not knowing if my fuel will be enough to the next gas station or to the home of my host. Finally the scenic byway ended and did this on hwy 58, not far away from my host. Guess how happy I was!
My host in Crescent Lake – on hwy 58 – has moved there around six month ago. She lived before for several years in Alaska. She has a little ranch with goats, alpacas, lamas, chickens, six dogs and two cats. Five of the dogs are dachshunds, one is a hybrid of dachshund and basset. The dogs are most of the time in the house. She also has another girl staying with her and her girlfriend. The girlfriend is in her 50th and has autism, the other helper does not like to be with her own parents and prefer to be a helpx helper instead. My Oregon host served pasta, Shepherds pie and cheesecake this evening. I have got the lower bunk bed. It is so low space in between the beds, I could neither sit up in it, nor had I space enough to feel comfortable. I always hurt my head, when I get out of it. It was cold in the room. I slept in one of her sleeping bags, but that was not enough, though I also used a blanket.
16th We have sleet in the morning, which changes to snow and later on to rain during the day. It is cold, around -5°C. Around 11am the electrical power is off. My host is not really prepared for it. She has a generator, but on a place, where it is getting wet. Though she cannot use it. Anyway she is driving with all of us to the store for filling her water canisters and buying fuel for the generator. By the way I have seen, that she and others drive there cars without plates. Maybe that is allowed at the countryside. Back at the ranch she found an old portable Kerosin stove and Kerosin. She took it into the living room and tried to warm up the house. She even tried to boil water on it, but that was not working. In addition to that, I had just put my laundry in the dryer, when the power was off, therefore I have neither warm clothes nor can i wear layers.
I helped to clean the helpers room, the bathroom and the floors. Afterwards I made my economy files and wrote some postcards. Usually I sent email, but I bought a package of 8 postcards and I try to sent them. On one of them I already wrote a name before I saw, that I do not have an address. My host let me understand, that she expects us helping during the entire day. That is not what I am used to and I do not like it either, but I did not tell her.
The power was back around 2pm. My host put the heating on for a while and it also got warm in the helpers bedroom, but only until she switched off it again, though it was very cold again during the night. In the afternoon I helped my host to put her cookbooks on her shelf. She has hundreds of them and had not packed them up since she moved in this place.
17th Even I closed the sleeping bag tight around me, I did not really got warm during the night and I did get a cold. I got some sleep in the morning and slept until 8:30am, but was still tired. Breakfast consisted of Granola with goat milk. I dit the dishes before my host showed me her animals and milked the goat. She was concerned, that the goat did not have a lot of milk, even she had not milked her for two days. I think, that it works for goats like for cows and recommended to milk the goat every day and even try to milk her twice a day. We also took a walk with the lama. My host explained, that she trains the lama for her hiking in the future. The lama shall carry the equipment.
Around 12:30 we were back in the house and got a snack before I had to put apart a shelf and help her to put it together again in another room. I made my blog and helped with the laundry. I already felt sick, though I drank some warm water with honey and got peppermint tea served of her, but she did not like, that I did not help her preparing the dinner, because I won’t spread my infection. I mopped the rooms and the kitchen instead and went to bed around 9:30pm.
That night I dressed in all my “night-clothes”, that means: 1 t-shirt, 1 shirt with long sleeves and a sweater as well as my leggings, my jogging trousers and socks. I still felt cold and the temperature was really decreasing. Therefore I awoke every second hour and had to pee. In the morning I felt really sick and I had to sneeze all the time. I asked my host for leaving, because I could not help her a lot and I also knew, that another helper will arrive that day, though she will not be without help. My host agreed, but I heard, that she was not happy about it. She also offered me to stay anyway – I should not drive. However I told her I have to go somewhere with warmer temperatures.
After breakfast I put my bed clothing in the washing machine and took good-bye. My host told me, I could come back anytime. Fortunately the next gas station was not far away and I knew that already since the power was off. Happily I filled my car and drove than on hwy 58 SouthEast, but felt soon, that I had forgotten my hearing aid at my host. Therefore I went back the short distance I had driven so far. One more time I drove on hwy 58 SouthEast, this time until I came to the hwy 97 South, on which I continued to Klamath Falls. Disappointed I got to know, that there are no falls anymore. I took a walk throughout the city. It was quite interesting and, more important, quite warm. I had a soup of the day and a sourdough sandwich with turkey, cheese and avocado in a nice restaurant for $5.50. I also took some photographs of the town and its surroundings, of course.
I felt much better now and I was wondering if the dogs have been one of the reasons, which made me feel sick. All of my host had pets, but none so many short hair dogs. 3:40pm I entered California for the first time. Please follow the link to read about my adventures in California.