It's a route I took for a time back in 2004 when I temped out around Gresham: that year I spent some weeks working in two different food processing plants. I phased that out and looked for other work because it turned out to be a 30-mile round-trip drive from my then-apartment in Brooklyn. Bad idea when you're working not much above minimum wage. That fall I got my first hospital job, an easier and bus-friendly commute. That was a good idea.
It was also a good idea to brave I-84 around Troutdale and Gresham. It's a freeway stretch I started to dislike in the late Nineties, when I lived in Hermiston, Oregon and would visit Portland. On the nine miles from Troutdale to the 205/84 interchange, traffic picked up significantly, and so did — it seemed — bad driving. I'd get annoyed and nervous on that stretch. Eventually I started getting off the freeway at Troutdale and using surface roads to get through Portland. But avoidance only gets you so far. Vigilant driving gets you farther. And I did a little of it.