Saturday, April 23, 2016

Day 35: Somer’s Bay, Montana to Eugene, Oregon via the Columbia River Gorge in a heat wave.

Christ, I’m tired.

Chipotle is on the table, my wife is reading a book, and we are in a hotel room after a lot of hours of driving.  And damn it is hot.

We started the morning by jumping the battery of a fellow cabin member’s car.  The young man and his girlfriend were fairly freaked out and we happily held up our departure and got them on their merry way.  We left Somer’s Bay at around 6:45 in the morning. 

Travelling home is reflective and usually quiet for the first part of the journey.  The GPS takes us through the back roads of western Montana, across Native American reservations, into and out of backwoods towns, and through picturesque forests and rolling hills.  Once we traverse our way to Interstate 90 we head west and progress towards Spokane, Washington.  The path across Idaho was actually quite nice and Spokane seems like an almost cute city to live in.  But one we were past Spokane, ick.  It’s nothing for hours and hours except fields and near desert.  And it was slowly getting hotter and hotter.  We reached Pasco, Washington around early afternoon and stopped for a bite to eat and a hit at the local REI.  We had a coupon and our old Costco camel packs had pretty much lived their life.  We were hoping that a nicer pack from REI might be in order while making us drool for our trip next year.  Finding nothing we continued our journey. 

We hit Interstate 84 and made our way west through the Columbia River Gorge expecting the temperatures to go down.  The reverse happened.  As we got closer the Portland the temperature gauge on the car went higher and higher.  By the time we had hit the outskirts of the Rose City the thermometer read 103 degrees, the hottest we had experienced on the entire trip.  We also experienced Portland’s finest traffic at about 3:30 in the pm, and thus our attempt to get through the city early still resulted in a good 45 minute delay.  We stopped at the Salem REI for another look at gear and found the style but not the size we were looking for.  We then called ahead to the Eugene REI and forged on. 

We found the packs we wanted, probably spent way too much money, nailed down Chipotle, and are now escaping the heat in our hotel room in Eugene, Oregon. 

Yes, Eugene.  Where the temperature is over 100 degrees and I’m wondering if going home might be a mistake. 

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