Wednesday, November 09, 2005

OK Here's The Deal

On Tuesday we drove for 18 hours from Amarillo, Texas to Bakersfiled, California. The drive was really nice. We had really nice weather all the way. I can't believe it, but we didn't see one drop of rain on the entire trip, until we were 80 miles south of Portland. I'm thankful for that. Of course, we've been in Portland now since Thursday night and it hasn't stopped raining since.

New Mexico and Arizona were pretty I guess. It was pretty much just us looking at a lot of the same. I don't know if it was desert or not, but in my mind it looked like desert. We drove through the day Tuesday and reached California when it was dark. I usually stop almost every two and 1/2 hours because I apparently have the bladder of a small child. When I make these bathroom stops I usually gas up, even though I have half a tank left, because I never know when we'll see another gas station. Well, when we were leaving Arizona we decided not to stop because we wanted to power through and hurry to get to Bakersfield, thinking we'd just stop when we actually needed gas.

This turned out to be a poor assessment. We came very, very close to running out of gas in the Mojave Desert. Apparently there are very few stops through that desert, and we were lucky to make it at all.

But we did make it, and let me tell you that Bakersfield, California (or at least the part that we stayed in) was very shady and a little scary. I'm not sure what it was but I felt nervous as soon as I set foot in the town and the feeling didn't leave me until we were out of town.

We left Bakersfield on Wednesday morning, with the intention of reaching Portland that evening. When we reached Redding which is the last major California town before you reach the Cascade mountain range and then the Oregon border we decided to stop and stay over night because it was dark and the Cascades are really high and get a bit of snow this time of year.

I'm glad we decided to stop for several reasons. First, we had a really nice time in Redding. We stayed in a really nice LaQuinta Inn, and because we stopped at 5:30 in the evening we had time to go shopping and out to dinner. Second, when we actually did drive through those mountains the next morning, there was a lot of snow and a whole bunch of fog. Visibility was really low and I know that driving through at night would have been dangerous.

Once we were past the mountains we were in Oregon. When we were about 80 miles south of Portland it started raining. I turned on my windshield wipers and after about ten minutes the wiper on the driver's side broke. I drove on a little ways and eventually stopped just outside of Portland and swapped the broken wiper for the working wiper because I couldn't find a store that sold wiper blades. This allowed us to make it in to town and all the way to Scott and Elise's house. I still need to fix that other blade.