(Our family is on a five month RV trip. We are journeying West from Dallas, TX and making our way up the Western coastline finishing in Washington state before we streamline our way back to CO for the summer.)
I say Oregon, you say _________. Oregon, ________. Oregon, ________. Did you say rain? Ducks? Weird? Bridges? Beautiful? Scratch ‘n Dent? Any or all fit the bill and all are reasons to visit:
• Rain. Crossing the border into Oregon from California, we officially traded our beach towels for umbrellas. April showers hovered in heavy white watering cans in the sky frequently tipping on their sides to sprinkle whatever part of the state we decided to visit. We couldn’t escape it but we did get bursts of partly cloudy dry moments. I started out determined to sightsee no matter the weather but soon realized that water dripping off my rain hood into my eyes afforded little sight to see.
• Ducks. University of Oregon, Nike infused, coolest college football uniforms ever, stadium facilities rivaling Jerry’s house, Ducks. The university campus sits quietly nestled in downtown Eugene. The football stadium is over the river and through the woods and is a sight to see.
• Weird. No more than Austin, TX, or Boulder, CO, or most San Diego beaches, or me. After several consecutive days of rain, I got weirder. I started jogging. Outside. In the rain. Weird.
• Bridges. The land of bridges. In Texas and Colorado, we have overpasses. Mousetraps. Roads over roads. Oregon has water (refer to bullet point one). The Columbia River separates Oregon from Washington and this city’s bridge infrastructure is incredible.
• Beautiful. Green, lush, flowering trees and bushes everywhere you look. Quaint town of Cannon Beach and its famed Haystack Rock are worth the two-hour drive from Portland to see. Vintage, brick, downtown Portland buildings housing antique finds juxtaposed with street-lined food trucks serving up mouthfuls of modern tastes exude beauty in the soggy eye of the beholder. The Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI) is a dry, indoor, all-day visit and a must on the list.
• Scratch ‘n Dent. Most RV Parks operate on a One-Way road idea to keep RVs from trying to navigate past one another on narrow roads. So everyone drives up the entrance road to your assigned space and down a different road to exit. Logical, right? At this point in the trip, we’re fairly experienced RVers. We connect the fifth-wheel to John’s F450 to pull out of the Eugene RV park. I drove my car to the office to check out. Plenty of space for John to pull out and meet me at the exit to proceed north to Portland.
While standing in line at the office, Aleyna (15yo daughter) swings open the office door and reports aloud, “Mom, Dad needs you. He hit the fence!” I sort of laugh and shrug while giving her the ‘mom eyes’ and scurry outside to see what’s happening just steps from the office. About the same time, I see John pulling the rig around to the exit, head hanging out of his truck window, yelling “I thought I had it.”
He’d opted to turn against the one-way arrow on the road thinking it dumb to drive all the way around the park to exit when he could simply make one quick right and be on his merry way. Problem was, the sites were angled to follow the arrows and he didn’t account for the back left side of the RV swinging into the ‘electrical box’ and knocking it completely off its support pole.
He did get on his merry way after he waited in line at the office, explained the damage he’d caused, swiped his credit card to cover the damages, and use this opportunity to coach the kids: when we follow the arrows that God provides in our lives, we avert damage and extra fines. We’d gotten two lessons that week. Once in an RV park and once at Easter service.
We celebrated Easter in a small, neighborhood church in Eugene. The pastor instructed us to take ‘selfies’ during the service and challenged us with a question: “What do I see?” How we see ourselves is how we view the world around us. Yeah, I’ve got grey hairs hopelessly dyed blonde and deeper wrinkle lines than this time last year, but my selfie in the picture values the people, the experiences, and the events that brought me to this place today. Oregon. I say Oregon…is worth the journey.
Next stop: Kennewick, WA