Friday, October 10, 2008

Oregon and/or Bust!

For those of you who may check in regularly, I offer my apologies. Fellow road sister Carla and I did not get lost or kidnapped or enveloped by the great American Western landscape. Computer time just hasn't been a priority these days. So now, a week late, I will try to catch you up on our adventures. From staying at Carla's Aunt Vicy's home south of Grand Junction, Colorado, our small troupe ventured into the out of this universe territory of Southern Utah, specifically Arches National Park. While we were on somewhat of a schedule to get to Portland by Friday, we took it as a sign from the God of Wanderers when, just as we arrived at the entrance of the park, I got a phone call from the moving company saying that they could just as easily deliver my Relocube on Saturday morning as they could Friday afternoon. Hooray! This translated into spending half a day exploring the wonderment of nature's grandest sculptures and driving in late afternoon sunset through the expansive, red Utah desert, coming as close as either of us has ever to Grand Canyon-like scenery. We were just about delirious about the time we got to Salt Lake City, and we were disappointed in the serious lack of coffee shops open after 10pm. Even Starbucks, when we found one, closed at 10! We got a room just north of Salt Lake, and I think we both must have been asleep before our heads even hit the pillow. I was pretty impressed with how well the cats did with hotel stays. For the most part (well, with the exception of that night in Kansas), they really behaved themselves. They even did well in the car, for the most part!

Friday was spend driving through Idaho and Northern Oregon. What a change of scenery! From rusty desert filled with canyons, mesas and natural sculptures, to rolling scrubby grey hills to larger green hills scattered with valleys of fields overflowing with onions and potatoes! We met up with a displaced Kentuckian and friend of Carla's for lunch in Boise and then continued to Oregon. How happy we were to reach the state line and be welcomed by some friendly volunteers at the Oregon Welcome Center! We got a list of hot springs and made a plan to stop at Hot Lakes for a soak en route. The hills got greener and more wooded as we got into Oregon, and more mountains came into our sight both in the South and the North. It also started to get grey and rainy. To our dismay, the Hot Lakes hot tubs were closed just for Friday due to construction. So onward we went, a wet drive through the Columbia Gorge and the Dalles and into Portland - my new home!

We were so happy to have a home to sleep in, and even though we all got to bed before midnight - much earlier than we had the entire trip, we were all wide awake by something like 7 AM. Damn all those time changes! We took advantage of still being on Eastern Standard Time and took Bella for a walk through the neighborhood. The Relocube was delivered just before noon, as did my friend and neighbor, now known as "Super" Barb. Barb came ready for business, even providing us all with gloves to protect our delicate paws! The three of us emptied all my worldly belonging from that small metal container into my garage in about 45 minutes time. Then it was time to explore the insane world of Ikea in search of a bedframe. I think Ikea was what did us in more than anything. We may even have had enough energy between us to do another jaunt across the nation, but enough juice to handle a trip to Ikea? What were we thinking. Thank goodness they have cheap food and really strong coffee, or we probably would have both melted into the floor or crawled into one of those display beds and gone comatose. Somehow, after Ikea, we managed to find another displaced Kentuckian's house in Beaverton, OR (that's Western Portland suburbs) so that Carla could play a house concert. She did a stellar job, and I was quite amazed, as I was having such a difficult time keeping myself upright by the time we got there! We met a lot of really great folks, and I made a couple of new friends that I am looking forward to hanging out with real soon.

After continuing our tradition of going to bed at the point just beyond exhaustion, we both - once again - found ourselves wide awake at around 7AM. This morning we decided that Voodoo Donuts was the place to go. We had read about it in our Road Food book, and we thought what better thing to do on an early Sunday morning? I bought a huge bright pink box of last night's donuts, including the signature voodoo doll shaped donut filled with raspberry, chocolate covered chocolate donuts covered in cocoa puff cereal and many other unbelievable goodies. Unlike Krispy Creme, I have learned that Voodoo donuts taste good many days after coming out of the oven. I got about two dozen+ non-vegan and over a dozen vegan donuts for less than $15 and we were set for my housewarming party. I still wish I had bought the Sarah Palan Voodoo doll donut, though...

Carla made old school biscuits and sausage gravy, and we had a full day of housewarming house guests from noon until about 6pm. It got chilly, and we enjoyed a fire in the fireplace and quite a few good tunes. Ends up I moved into a great neighborhood for old time music. Some call in the Old Time "Hood," some call it the Old Time "Highway." I'm just glad to call it home! We headed over to the Moon and Six Pence for more music after the housewarming, and I treated Carla to a Portland specialty - Spanish Coffee.

Monday was marathon shopping all over Portland. We hit Powell's and just about every cool little vintage and gently used clothing shop in downtown and Northeast Portland. Another full, exhausting day. We capped off the end of our great adventure by both splurging on some really nice boots, having a drink at Beulahland and then dining at one of my favorite Portland eateries - Pambiche, a Cuban restaurant.

Carla flew home on Tuesday, and I am now settling in and beginning the great job and housemate hunt.

And that catches you up...