Dear Oregon State:
PLEASE improve your signage. I don’t think that you really want to be responsible for any stress induced acne outbreaks, cries of frustration, multiple turn-arounds, and merited cursing. Posting the speed limit once every 45 minutes might be a little lax. Not posting warning signs before junctions, expecting me to magically know when they are coming up, is not safe and kind of rude. All day I felt this smug sort of greener-hipster judgement coming down upon me because I don’t know Oregon well, and I don’t like driving so slowly. (Seriously, 45 miles per hour for several hours? Kill me now.)
I was impressed by the lack of civilization that seems to have infiltrated 70% of Oregon. I think I drove over two somewhat mountains and past 100s of ghost or zombie towns (seriously there was one town that I passed that had a farm with a crooked sign–and that is it).
Not having a GPS not only deprives me of conversation (I mean, er, what?) but it also takes away some of my confidence that I definitely am going the correct way despite there not being any signs telling me so. I actually pulled off at two separate McDonald’s hours apart from each other, buying items off the dollar menu, just to use their wifi and double check that I was on the correct route. (McDonald coffee–not very good).
Despite all of that, I thoroughly enjoyed my drive. I loved the kamikaze deer running across the freeway. I loved the log carvings and disgusting rest stops up in mugging-ville mountain, and I was uncertain whether I should tip the gas station attendant for cleaning my windshield without my permission or request. Oregon is straaange. But lovely.
There was a really great moment when I was driving by the Oregon-Washington border on the Columbia river–scores of power lines, topped by twinkling red safety lights burst into view atop the hill on the Washington side. I immediately thought, “light the torches! Rohan must answer!”
I laughed out loud at old episodes of some of my favorite podcasts (I’m looking at you Grapes of Rad) and giggled at a few new ones I was trying out. I finished the audiobook I had been listening to, and I belted out some Kelly Clarkson and Spring Awakening. I also felt my body and the car melting into each other, becoming one. When I first sat in this car I found it be extremely uncomfortable, but after all of the hours and miles we’ve shared together already, we’ve melded.
For some reason I got upgraded to a suite, and I am quite enjoying the couch. My fair tomorrow is in the evening, which means that I have all day to work and I can sleep in a little bit later. Unfortunately I only have my hotel until 11am, which means I’m going to have to go find a McDonalds or Starbucks to steal wifi from.
My sweet suite: