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May 4th, 2019

Round-Trip Friday

112 miles. That's how far I drove Friday. I was in the mood for it.

First I headed down to Dundee to visit my parents. I followed the Willamette River via Hwy. 43; not the most direct route, but a nice-looking one. That was my late morning. After hanging out with Mom and Dad for a couple of hours (and happily thinking that cone August, they will have been living in their nice Dundee house for 25 years) I got driving again. I was still in the mood.

I didn't take pictures. I now feel I should have, but I wanted to drive and watch the scenery. But hey, I could tell you my route and if you want to look at bits of it on Google Maps, I won't be stopping you:

Southwest on Hwy. 99W to Hwy. 18, past Evergreen Airventure Museum with not one but two 747s out front (one on the lawn between the main building and the highway, another on the roof of the Wings and Waves Water Park), then into downtown McMinnville where I walked for a bit. Some more driving in McMinnville, looping around and looking around, with a stop at McMinnville Public Library — a neat complex I probably hadn't been in since 1997 — to check some stuff online.

Then around the west side of McMinnville, because I got a little lost then realized I could take side roads to leave town (hello, parts of McMinnville I'd never seen!) and headed north out of town via Hwy. 47, through the towns of Carlton, Yamhill, and Gaston before reaching Forest Grove. This is a pretty drive, north-south with often open fields on both sides of 47 and the eastern edge of the Coast Range to the west, shadowed in the late afternoon light.

East finally, then, out of Forest Grove and through Cornelius and Hillsboro. I stopped at a bank ATM then, because I was in the mood for Dairy Queen, Dairy Queen, one on Hwy. 8 in southern Hillsboro. Chili cheese dog, a "snack melt" (chicken, bacon, and BBQ sauce inside a toasted tortilla), and an M&M Blizzard. I got there soon before a dessert rush; the DQ got happily busy.

Then eastward again on Hwy. 8, with its dead-on view of Mt. Hood (it's like the mountain's RIGHT THERE instead of 80 miles away), and a grocery stop at the Beaverton Town Square Fred Meyer before I headed home. It was dark by then: not my favorite time to be driving, but I still was happy for the driving I'd done while it was light out. And nice out. Oh, yeah, I didn't mention it was nice.

Here's to nice days and nice drives.