Washington and Oregon

January 2, 2003. We're on our way. we pulled out of Shelton, WA a little before 3 p.m., close to three hours behind schedule. The day started out with a lot of wind and rain which hampered us during our final hours of loading the truck. It didn't get better as the day progressed.

Our first stop, and last business in Mason County, was Kamilche Trading Post where we fueled the truck and did our final checks on the truack and trailer. As we traveled south on Interstate 5, the rain began to let up. South of the Olympia interchanges the rain and wind picked up again. We made a quick stop in Onalaska, WA for a snack and continued on south.

At the fuel pumps, Kamilche

The Kamilche totem pole

Dennis’s son Greg met us at a rest stop near Vancouver. As it was getting late and the rain and wind were continuing, we made the decision to stay overnight with Greg, Brenda, Andrew, and Olivia in Vancouver. Lori dropped by with Cameron and Maddie for a mini family reunion.

January 3rd dawned partly cloudy and calm. We fueled up, checked tires, and hit the road at about 9:30 a.m. We were out of WA state about 20 minutes later. After leaving the Portland metro area, the terrain turned to gently rolling farmland. We traversed some of the richest farmland in the United States, the Willamette Valley, as we headed south to Roseburg. Lunch was at the Pine Cone, a café at the Corvallis/Lebanon exit on I-5. The dogs were walked at the rest stop near Cottage Grove. The weather turned nasty again with more rain and wind. Approaching Roseburg, the agriculture activity moved from vegetables, fruits, and wines to livestock and timber. The terrain got decidedly less gentle but the truck did ok making the grades up and down hill. It was slow going at times.

Because of the bad weather, we decided to NOT try to make Grants Pass and the mountains in the dark. The big worry was snow and icy highways. Roseburg was our stopping point for the night. We fed and walked the dogs, went to Fred Myers to get more necessities for preparing dog food, and pick up some swimwear so Dennis could use the whirlpool at the Roseburg Super 8 motel. The only downside to the motel was the lack of restaurants within walking distance, otherwise, it was an excellent place to stay with friendly, courteous staff.

Departure time from Roseburg was 7:40a.m. At the time there was light rain and traffic was light. We made a fuel stop in Canyonville at the 7 Feathers truck plaza. The flood and rock slide warnings were still up and rivers like the Umqua and the Rogue were raging torrents of churning, frothy brown water. I-5 took us down the California Trail/Applegate Trail spur from the Oregon trail. Erin has now crossed the US along much of the same route as the early pioneers. When we moved from Florida to Washington, we traveled along much of the old Oregon Trail. As we move south from Washington, the roads follow the same route some of the early settlers of California followed.

The restaurant at 7 Feathers Truck Plaza

The long climb up over the southern Cascades and the Siskiyou Mountains began after the fuel stop. As we climbed higher snow was visible at the higher elevations but not along the roadside. That all changed after Grants Pass and Medford. Although it was raining, we started to see the remains of recent snowfalls along the roadside. Thankfully, it was still raining. The temperature stayed warm enough to prevent snowfall.

Siskyou Summit

Snow in the Oregon mountains

Siskiyou Mts.

More of the Siskiyou mountains.


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