Sunday, February 10, 2008

Oregon in January

Part 1
The Sojourn (a.k.a The Interminable)
*Please feel free to click on links or pictures to see an enlargement*

Ah yes, the point was argued and discussed many times over between the last throws of 2007 and well into the infancy of 2008. Making a trip up to Oregon during the final week of January proved to require a great deal of speculation before our departure. What kind of speculation you might ask? Well, the kind of speculation that Dorothea and Jon are destined to disagree upon; (Jon) Do we take the quick and easy Interstate 5 during the winter months and chance poor weather and snow-covered roads? or (Dorothea) enjoy a much lengthier, scenic Highway 101 and avoid the stress of assembling tire chains for use on martini chilled roads? All this while pulling a U-Haul trailer filled to the gills with odds, ends, and nearly a half-a-ton of granite and tile (yes... half of a ton).

The strategy-anchored banter between Mr. and Mrs. Olin became a regular form of entertainment during the month of January and, in the end, we were blessed with the outcome of both previously discussed possibilities: The promise of snow covered roads and icy-dicey driving conditions with a twenty-three hour/3-day trek on highway 101 (side note: this driving event was later dubbed, unanimously, "The Interminable" by all the passengers, human and canine).

Albeit a beautiful and scenic route on the 101, it was definitely a test of the bonds connecting the three of us (as Doodah and Meg were not present in the flesh). Jon and Christopher glanced at gorgeous panoramic expanses of dark blue ocean, deep green rock, and a spectacular Kodachrome sunset near Crescent City, CA for mere seconds before returning our surgically precise attention back to the slippery road that lay before us.

Dorothea?... well, Mother doesn't recall any of this due to the fact that she lay in the back seat, white knuckled, eyes shut, whispering, "slow down, slow down, slow... down!" to us. After all, we were speeding at a dangerous 35 mph (I've just been smacked across the back of my head).

For those of you who are not too familiar with driving times up to Oregon, allow me orient you: It takes the Olin family, on average, 14 hours to drive from Burbank to McKenzie Bridge via the Interstate 5 freeway (done in two days). We estimated that it would take us and additional 3 hours if we drove on the 101 from Meg and Mark's house in Oakley (East Bay) in order to avoid the partially closed and snow-covered I-5 in S. Oregon. From the coast near Napa Valley to the border (Crescent City) it took the Olin family 7 hours to traverse. Normally this would have taken two and a half. It too, was covered in snow:

Despite our chagrin of The Interminable, we did arrive at our destination with no emergencies, accidents, falling-outs, or divorces (although Christopher did threaten to "TURN THIS CAR AROUND AND DRIVE BACK TO BURBANK IF YOU DON'T STOP TELLING ME HOW TO DRIVE!"). The drive was filled with lots of talk, listening to music and books on tape, and gazing, wide-eyed, at the allurement of an Oregon winter wonderland:

Shortly after turning onto our beautiful, snow-white road, Drury Lane, we got our trailer stuck and our wonderment was quickly usurped by a much stronger emotion, that of frustration and, possibly, anger. Good thing we had some company on the river to help us solve our problem. Ray Maurer show up to help us unload some of the contents of our trailer into a neighbor's house as Dale and David, who were working on our staircase (see Oregon in Jan - Part 2), used a pickup truck equipped with chains to pull our U-Haul to a safe spot off the road... where it would sit... become covered in snow and ice... the entire time we were there:

After some laughs and warm greetings the Olins settled in at Olinthewoods and quickly came to the conclusion that this winter trip may not go entirely as planned.

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