Oregon Trip

My First Trip to Oregon

From Farm Country to the Pacific Coast

For quite sometime, I have wanted to go to Oregon. I have always heard about how beautiful the state is. I work 12 hour rotating shifts and get one week off every month. This gives me a lot of time to photograph around this great country. My cousin and his wife, Ron and Vickie McMullan moved to Prinville, Oregon about two years ago to be missionaries to churches in that area of the state. I called Ron and made plans to be in Prinville the next evening to visit with them. I left Saturday about 4pm and headed north to Idaho on Interstate 15 and then Interstate 84. I spent the night in Nampa, Idaho. The next morning, at Ontario, Oregon, I jumped onto state highway 26 which, according to Ron, is the scenic route to Prinville. As I was driving into John Day, Oregon, there was a policeman in front of me. He turned off of the road and I continued on into town. It was a little past lunchtime and I was getting hungry. As I turned into the Dairy Queen, the policeman followed me. When I stepped out of my pickup truck, he yelled to me that he wanted to talk to me. I knew that I had not been speeding and I had been wearing my seat belt. Come to find out, he was concerned that I didn’t have mudflaps on my truck. Most out-of-state police won’t stop people for such silly infractions. I don’t know how you feel about policemen but I have never been helped by one. I think patrolling traffic should be outlawed. Basically, the mission of the traffic policeman is to put money in the city, county or state coffers. So what if someone is driving 10 or 20 miles per hour over the speed limit? I really wish all states would do like Montana did a few years ago and make the speed limit whatever is “reasonable and prudent”. Unfortunately, Montana bowed to the federal government and re-instated their speed limit laws. Most policemen that I have known became law enforcement officers because they want to bully people. So much for my ranting. The policeman was decent about the mudflaps and told me he would let me go with a warning. He just ended up wasting some of my time but I guess it justified his job. After eating a chicken sandwich I stopped at the local auto parts store to see if they had some mud flaps that slip into the receiver hitch. They didn’t so I stopped to get some gas.While I was fueling my truck, a guy walked right up to me and stared right in my face. I finally asked him if there was something I could do for him. He then informed me that in Oregon, you can’t fuel your own vehicles. I let him finish fueling my truck and headed on to Prinville to see my cousin and his wife. The next morning, I drove north from Prinville toward Portland. The mountain views from this area are incredible. There are two volcanoes in view here, Mount Baker (I believe) and Mount Hood. My trip took me right to the base of Mount Hood. Everywhere I went in Oregon the speed limit was 55 mph. This was about to drive me crazy. Around Mount Hood and up to Portland the road was considered “Safety Corridor”. I’m going to have to figure out what that means but I know one thing, the fines for speeding are doubled here. Oregon spreads dirt on it’s roads in the winter for better traction and when the trucks on this road would drive in the center or on the sides of the road, the dirt cloud was so bad you had almost no visibility.

In Portland, I jumped on highway 30 and drove to Astoria. It was a beautiful day but fog was beginning to roll in from the ocean. As I drove south to Seaside and Cannon Beach the fog was getting worse. I didn’t have the time I wanted to explore the Oregon coast and I plan on going back. I want to start with a trip to Yosemite in California and then drive up the coast all the way to Seattle, Washington. Hopefully I’ll be able to do that in the next couple of years.