Chris Walsh (chris_walsh) wrote,
Chris Walsh

No particular place to go: my first long drive in a while

It's easy to remind myself that Oregon is a pretty state. I drove a few dozen miles today and was thinking Yeah, that's pretty and Yep, that's nice too as I did so.

I'd never gone to the far end of SE Foster Road, which is one of Portland's few diagonal roads and ends in Damascus. That's a city that was unofficially a town since the 19th century and officially became a city in 2004. Now I've seen it! I also paid my first visit to Estacada (though I've seen it before, because the film version of The Postman and the TV shows Leverage and The Librarians have shot there). Walked in the sweatshirt-friendly weather; caught the end of an Easter parade by the area fire department; and lollygagged. Main Street is completely closed to cars until, it looks like, sometime this month, and the sidewalks near and on Main are walkways that look made of cork board. Added to the Old West feel of the town a bit; at least they won't wash away, á la Open Range...

I went up and down hills some more, first heading south/southwest until Molalla, then up to Oregon City (through the towns of Colton, Liberal, and Mulino) and along the Clackamas River for a while -- not planned, but I wasn't in a hurry so I just followed for a while. Carver and Happy Valley followed. (No, the towns didn't follow me, towns don't suddenly turn into Howl's Moving Town or anything. Anyway.) I stopped for lunch at a barbecue place I only knew about because friends of mine who live in Happy Valley recommended it; I likely wouldn't even have known it was there, and if I had I'd likely have dismissed it as cheap shopping center food. Filling a grocery bag at Fred Meyer then filling my gas tank at a fuel station followed. Then home, where I haven't fallen asleep thanks to sweet tea and Vanilla Pepsi. BBQ coma averted!

And with this long drive done, I feel I should grade myself:

* I hadn't done this long a drive since January, when I visited family in Dundee to watch NFL playoff games. I was a little rusty.

* I'm kind of not used to major elevation changes right now! Portland's certainly not flat, but there are fewer chances for big climbs and twisty routes. Stay used to all that, Chris...

* Am I inconsistent? I often am when it comes to speed. On Hwy. 211 south of Estacada I had a pickup behind me, clearly wanting to pass me but not passing at a couple of opportunities, so once I could, I turned onto a side road and heard the diesel rev. Try to be -- and seem -- more accommodating on the road, Chris. And more predictable.

* I was definitely too fast more than once. Bad idea. A couple of times I was surprised: Oh, wait, I got that fast? Doesn't feel like it. It doesn't have to feel too fast to be too fast.

* My car needs to be washed. This is almost always true.

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