Showing posts with label driving. Show all posts
Showing posts with label driving. Show all posts

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

The Drive To and Return

                As mentioned in this post,  I thought Highway 140 was quite beautiful at some parts and quite scary at others.  The idea of a 50 foot drop and no guard rails is rather creepy.  But that is the way Roland wanted to go - and he was driving.

                I thought 140 seemed scarier driving north than it did driving south - which is ironic, as the drop is on the south/west side.  The drive didn't seem quite as long, either.  But Denise and I had taken I5 through Medford because she wanted to see the temple.  I just  had Roland go by way of Highway 138 to Highway 97 where you can choose to go north up through Bend and over through Boise, or you can drive down south to Lake View and Winnemucca.  

                The Nevada route is only about 30 minutes faster than going through Idaho - provided there isn't any construction or other barriers that might interfere with the normal route, but going south requires a lot more traction and winding - which I somehow didn't believe our car could handle.  But it did.  There were many who'd been praying for our safety and we made good timing, I think.

                Jeanie passed away on the 6th and our plan was to leave on the 7th.  It was Jenna's final week of school and she'd been planning on dressing up for each day.  She'd been looking forward to her final week of school this year and to watch her 8th grade friends graduate.  She cried when Roland told her that she would not return to school.  

                I was appalled at Jenna's behavior - obviously thinking more about the inconvenience of her own plans than for thinking about her brother and the grief that he may be suffering.  Death is rarely convenient for any of us.  I did talk Roland into allowing her to go to school one last time.  We still needed to go to Roseburg to get a rental car and bring it back to the house in order to pack it up.  There is ALWAYS a delay when Roland plans things.  Wednesday was an early day, and we could check her out even earlier if we needed to.  There was no sense for ALL of us to go to Roseburg, and I didn't want to watch Jenna idling any time that she could have spent at school.

                We had made arrangements to pick the car up between 8:00 and 8:30.  We were contacted by the rental company just before we left the house.  We were told the car would not be available until later and that they would contact us.  We had planned to go to Roseburg on some other errands - the delay of the rental would make things easier - I thought.  Roland could do all the driving and we wouldn't have to worry about the second car. 

                The rental company never called back, and so we decided to just go there.  There had been five people waiting for rental cars.  All the cars that were supposed to be available were still out - all the cars that were on the lot that looked like they might be available had expired tags.  We had tried other options, but are actually limited in Roseburg and didn't want to gamble on driving another 90 miles to a larger city if we might encounter the same problem with another rental car company. We still didn't have a car when Jenna returned home from school and so said a major prayer and ended up taking our own.

                The GPS was taking us through Sutherlin, but I knew we could get through on 138 which was in the opposite direction.  We probably wasted a half hour driving back and forth before we finally got on route.  Our daughter-in-law, Carrie, commented that our disability of getting out of Oregon sounded like the makings for a sitcom.

                Roland said he would return through Boise and Bend. 

                We passed many orange barrells. 

No workers or slowdowns - probably due to the wind - except for after crossing the border from Idaho into Oregon.  Loose gravel caused us to slow down.   Tar was being poured ahead.  There was actually a utility truck  with its flashing lights that led the cars in either direction - I think it was at least a mile long.  I'm not exaggerating.  It wasn't bad.  It had been the only slow down of the entire trip. 

                Once we got to Hines, we stopped at a Dairy Queen to have lunch.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Please Don't Make Me Back Up!

            Savannah is a friend of Jenna's and today is her birthday.  Jenna put together a small present and asked me to drive her out to Savannah's house.  Normally I would just call first, but I figured even if she was not as home, Jenna would still want to leave the gift. 

            Jenna LOVES the area where Savannah lives as there is a LOT of yard.  Trees to explore, a gazebo, trampoline, tons of shade - it is located on the outskirts of town.  Driving there is not that big of a deal as far as time.  And the main roads are not a big deal either - but the final leg is VERY narrow and has a "one-car-only" width bridge that doesn't appear to be much more than a ramp.  And I don't enjoy driving that tight.

            I have lucked out with not having encountered any traffic coming the other direction.  Of course today was only my third time out there.  The first time was in the rain - just me and Savannah.  The second time it was Roland who was driving - and there was a "traffic" issue.  We were headed out and grandpa was headed in when we met.  Roland wasn't sure what to do. "Grandpa" ended up backing up for us until we could actually fit around him.

            I hadn't noticed all the "No Trespassing" signs until this afternoon.  Tons of them.  I wouldn't call it a driveway - a community dirt road, perhaps.  I don't know how many houses branch out at the end.  I think I pass three houses before I get to Savannah's - and there are at least two more in another direction.  I wouldn't even attempt to do that drive in the dark.

            I think I'd rather drive to Savannah's - even across the ramp and the skinny one car lane than to drive to one of the leader's in young woman.  Her house is gorgeous, and the neighborhood looks nice, but it is all up hill and skinny and would be quite the drop at night.  Roland had driven there the first time, but I had to do it by myself the last time.  Didn't enjoy that drive at all.

            And then there's the drive to DelEv Blueberry - where the drive just feels so long and I always wonder, "Did I pass it?" and drivers tend to want to drive faster than necessary and there isn't a whole wide selection of pullovers to let the fast drivers pass.  Even less spots to actually turn around.  I'm not near as adventurous in Oregon as I was in Salt Lake.

            In Salt lake I could drive somewhere and have options of streets or lots to turn around or explore.  I have learned that in Oregon, even the well-known streets that are labeled are not necessarily driver friendly - at least to a city girl like me.  But I know people who grew up here who don't think twice about it.  Driving these roads is normal to them. 

            The roads may feel empty and give a "ghost-town" feel at times.  But you know what?  I would rather have that emptiness than to deal with traffic and too many reckless drivers on the road.  It gives me a sense of freedom. 

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

One Van for the Girls, Another for Their Equipment

          I was on the road all day yesterday - most of it anyway.  It seemed like I had been driving the same piece of highway for more than four hours.

          The class for water aerobics started yesterday.  I had taken Jenna with me.  It was just us with the instructor in the pool - which was warm, though the air was not.

          The library doesn't open until 12:00 on Mondays, and so we returned home for two hours and Jenna finished her packing. 
          At 11:30 I received a reminder to please have my girls' belongings to the leaders house sometime today (yesterday) and had planned for that anyway.  I told Jenna we would drop her things off and then go to the library.

          After I turned onto our former street, Jenna spotted three of her friends playing together and asked if she could leave the car.  I told her to go ahead and play with the friends she misses seeing more often than just once a week.  She had fun. 
          I dropped off her bags and was told that she might want a chair.  I left Jenna on the street where we used to live and returned for the chair and a blanket and drove back to the leader's house.  I took Jenna with me the second time and we headed to the library and she registered for the reading program.

          She wanted to stay for story time - though she is really too old for story time.  She checked out 8-10 books and I said we should go to the store as story time would not be for another hour. 
          So I drove from the library to Dollar General - which is not that far of a drive.  We browsed a long while purchased Band-Aids, baby wipes, a water gun and some eye drops.  Returned to the library and saw some of our neighbors leaving.  I asked if they weren't going to stay for story time.  I didn't get an answer.  As it turned out we didn't stay for story time either.  There had been a huge mass of kids and then the children's part of the library had emptied out.  What a shame.

          Next library activity scheduled was the teen water fight event at 5:00.  We had to go to Roseburg at 3:00.  I asked Roland if we could please return in time for the library activity that Jenna had been looking forward to now for almost a month.
          So we had programmed the GPS to take us to Charter (a cable company I often refer to as Comcast's little brother - both trying to expand - Comcast with Xfinity and Charter with Spectrum) so we could turn in our cable boxes (which we can no longer afford - not that really could in the first place.  We NEED the internet, but we don't need cable)

This is what the Comcast building looks like in Salt Lake:

and this is the Charter building in Roseburg:

          As long as we were in Roseburg, we decided to pick up a few items that are a bit less costly than in Myrtle Creek.  While on the road, the cars were jammed together much like they are in Salt Lake.  A horrible accident within a main intersection.  Unbelievable.  Just like Salt Lake.  Second traffic jam we've run into since being in Oregon.  Horrible.  Horrible.

          We did not return to Myrtle Creek until about 5:10.  The air was so overcast and seemed to promised rain.  The water fight event had been postponed until next week.  That is good.  Though it doesn't bother Jenna, I was not excited to have her being wet in the chilled air.

          This morning I took her to the church and dropped her off.  She carried a small bag with a few books (I told her she couldn't take any library books) the baby wipes, sunscreen (although its highly doubtful that she'll need the sunscreen) and a small flashlight.

          It wasn't raining when I dropped her off, but I'm certain they'd encountered much moisture on the way to the campground.  It rained for about an hour this morning.  The sun has made a few appearances, but the air hasn't warmed up at all.

          I did not choose to go to water aerobics today.  I think the temperature ought to be above 60.  It has been in the low 50's.   I can live with that.  I'd rather have it be 50 than 80 or 90.         
          I'm told the girls will get rained on when they are at camp.  I hope that Jenna has a good time and may open herself up. 
          There is a saying:  "People who don't know me think I'm quiet.  Those that do know me wish I was."          -      
                                                                         That's Jenna.


Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Two Down, One to Go

         We had been told by our friend (the one who lives in McMinnville) that we would have two months to reside before changing over to Oregon plates and driving.  We’ve been here for almost two months now.

         We somehow believed that we would have to take the tests in the big city of Roseburg, but someone had suggested that we go to Canyonville.  I hadn’t thought of a DMV even existing in Canyonville.  What an awesome thought.

         Roland happened to be off work for pioneer day as he is still on Utah clock.  The South Umpqua ward tries to do something for the days of ’47 to honor the pioneers who traveled across the plains.  I’m told that the pioneer celebration always takes place a week earlier than it does in Utah as Myrtle Creek has its own celebration around the same time as Utah has theirs. 

         So on July 24th, we went to Canyonville so that Richard could take his test first, and I went across the street with Jenna to take pictures of her playing in the park.  We weren’t there for very long.

Yesterday Roland received his Oregon driver’s license in the mail.  He now has two valid driver’s licenses – one from Oregon and one from Utah.  His Utah was never punched.

         He had seemed nervous about the test for some reason.  I do not know why.  Roland is a great driver.  If he thought he would not be able to pass, what chances would I have at passing?

         The questions had mostly common sense answers.  There really wasn’t anything to be nervous about.  I actually did better at the test than he did.  My Utah driver’s license was punched and I was given a temporary piece of paper.

         Now we just need to change our car plates from Utah to Oregon.  NOT an easy task. ALWAYS red tape in Utah.  It hasn’t ended for us.  I wonder if it ever will.

         For some reason we arrived in Oregon without the title to the car we are currently driving.  We sent an application to Utah to get a replacement title.  Paperwork sent back with the reason that we still owed our credit union for the car.  We DON’T owe our credit union.  The car had been paid off over a year before we moved to Oregon.

         So we get the credit union to send a letter that says we have indeed paid for the car and we return the paperwork to the state of Utah.  It is returned to us again because the letter clears us of a car – it doesn’t give the make or model number. So we call the bank again. 

      They said they would send a certificate for the lean.  They also sent an email so that we could print it up and resend off again.  But the printed copy seems distorted, as we appeared to be out of blue ink.  So I expect that Utah will send it back to us. 

       Meanwhile we have the hard copy – which does appear to be a lot more acceptable than what we printed out.  Meanwhile our two months are running out.  Fortunately I don’t think it will be a major concern right now in Myrtle Creek.  There are certainly more pressing issues going on in our surroundings at this time. 

       There have been so many ideas come to mind about what I’d like to post, but I find that if I don’t write it down the second that I think about it, it often doesn’t get written at all. 

         This morning I take Jenna to school for registration.  She is not excited.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Reminiscing a Very Past Memory (maybe three)

          I don’t know how old my grandma was when she decided to get her driver’s license.  She had been born and raised in Utah, but was then living in San Francisco.  I don’t know if she had ever driven at the time she had resided in Utah and maybe didn’t feel the need in San Francisco as she could rely on public transportation.

          Grandpa Ralph was a retired bus driver and did know his way around. I am pretty sure that he had a car, and after he passed way, perhaps Grandma Mary had been missing that luxury of just driving somewhere and not having to wait for the bus or the streetcar or the BART or whatever. 

          I was too young to actually get all the logistics involved.  I just remember my own mom having mentioned it. I know that Grandma had purchased her own car but doubt that she had it for more than two years.  San Francisco has a lot of hills and narrow spaces. Why anybody would ever want to drive (or learn to drive) in San Francisco is beyond me.

          I vaguely remember teeny space off to the side that led the way to underground parking.  I probably would have missed it altogether except for I remember daddy driving through whenever we would visit – which wasn’t often, really.  My grandma seemed okay with the driving part, but was more than reluctant to try to park it.  I remember her telling my mom that she would stop it in the street and wave someone down and offer to pay the individual five dollars to park the car for her.  That always fascinated me as she lived in a very high crime neighborhood.  Yet every person that got behind the wheel would actually park it for her and no one just took it from her.

          My Uncle John had worked for the police force and lived in Martinez.  I remember taking the BART from the mission district to a location that was near to where he could pick me up and drive back to Martinez.  It was interesting to me that grandma had taken me to a BART location in San Francisco where the transportation was located underground which reminded me of a subway system.  And yet when I got to Lafayette (I think that was the name of the station where I got off for Uncle John) it was above ground like a monorail.

          I had gone to Martinez to go to church with John and his family and when he returned me to the station, his police radar had kicked in and as he told me where to get off, he warned me to stay underground.  The mission district was full of crime and he said under no circumstance was I to walk up to the street but that I had to wait for grandma to come and get me.

          I remember telling mom and she kind of made a face and laughed and said, “I’m sure he’s asking you to wait for this little old lady to come and protect you.”

          Grandma was a very friendly and optimistic person.  She didn’t seem to be bothered by much.  I remember my mom telling me that grandma’s residence had been broken into a least a couple of times – but it was while she was out.  I don’t know that she was ever physically attacked.  On the other hand, mom did have a good friend who had been attacked at Golden Gate Park.  I cannot find the original source, but there is mention of it here.

            I don't know what it is that triggered my memory of my grandma.  It still fascinates me when I think about it.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Highway 140 has lots of names

     Denise and I have taken pictures and some could very well go with my road trip posts, but I have to wait until I return home in order to retrieve them from the camera.

     Denise likes to sleep in and stay until checkout.  Never in my life have I stayed at a hotel/motel/inn that long.  Get me back on the road as soon as there is enough light.

Denise thought she woke me up when I was certain it was the other way around.  Roland called before she was dressed and she asked if he was asking us to get back on the road.  Well, yes.  And fortunately we did.

We had breakfast in Winnamucca – which was very fortunate, as we did not hit the next town until four hours later.  The diner was crowded and it was a while before somebody had even taken our order.  I noticed the group (in the booth next to ours) left before their order even made it to the kitchen.  We probably weren’t even there for an hour though it felt like we had.  I think it was the earliest Denise had ever left her apartment (or in this case motel room)

It was just shortly before or after ten when we left Winnamucca.  Our main road companion was Highway 140 – which was pretty – even with the scary curves at one point.  The Highway changed names (and it felt like direction) several times as Siri would lead us to this road or that. 

For the first four hours, though the name changed, it felt like an endless drive.  There was nothing to stop for.  I think only two rest stops between Winnemucca and Lakeview.  Lakeview actually offered two motels – I can’t imagine that there is enough money there to create a livelihood for ones self.  Population of less than 3,000.

At that point we didn’t even know if Lakeview was in Nevada or Oregon. Denise was quite frustrated with the lack of signs welcoming us into each state or even letting us know where we were.  The Garmin would just give directions and map out streets (well, when there were streets) that we would pass or come to.  Garmin never let me know what city we were in, but changed the name of Highway 104 to Denio and Freemont.

It was in Freemont that we stopped to take pictures of Lucky Reservoir.  I can’t remember if that came up before or after the dangerous curves (which were actually not so bad for travelers going north, but it certainly gave me good reason not to be driving that thing by myself while traveling south)

After we passed the town of Lakeview, Highway 140 became Klamath Falls-Lakeview Highway and then finally to route 62 which is called Crater Lake Highway. 

It appears that the Highway is being straightened out in some areas – but that always accounts for construction.  We got held up a few times.  White City looked like a booming town when we finally arrived – as there had been little signs of life during our entire journey.  What we had both anticipated might take six hours ended up taking us almost eight.  Denise’s back hurt from driving all that way and we were both exhausted.  Still exhausted.

I actually got up because the alarm clock had started going off.  I finally unplugged the dang thing as I couldn’t figure out how to turn it off.  And Denise still continues to sleep.  That actually fascinates me because I am such a light sleeper.  Evidently she is not.

She says she has always wanted to go to the Medford Temple (well, since she converted to Mormonism 18 months ago) and finally has the opportunity to do so as we are ten minutes away.   So our plans now are to get up early (though I think my definition of early and her definition or early are two different times) and come back to the room and pack and then she will take me to Roseburg where I need to meet the individual who has the key to the property where Roland and I would like to live – even if only temporary.

Denise has planned everything.  She likes to know exactly where she’s going, and have a specified destination.  She’ll call ahead to book a room.  Today she and I will part ways.  She will continue on to Newport to visit her grandkids, and I will hopefully get to see a house that hopefully we’ll be moving to in just a few weeks.

I did have a room booked in Roseburg – for last night.  I also had a car.  Right now I don’t have either.  Nor do I have a way of getting home.  I’m hoping to take the bus from Roseburg to Salt Lake.  I am hoping to leave this weekend. 

I’m going to dress and get something to eat before Denise gets up and we head for the temple.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Touring the Coast on Easter Sunday

             On Sunday we met Beth and Graham for a light breakfast.  Plans were to drive the coast.  Beth took us on the scenic tour – which really was pretty.  Unfortunately my stomach was not impressed, and we had to stop the car and rotate seats before we got to Tillamook.

            Once we arrived at the Tillamook Cheese plant, we were able to take a self-guided tour and sample the cheese before purchasing ice cream.  The Cheese company had offered an Easter Egg hunt on Saturday.  That could be one of the reasons that Sunday was so slow.  It was great for us as we didn't have to wait in lines.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Move Out of the Way!

I have heard that Utah has the widest streets in the nation.  Neighborhood streets are only two lanes – generally.  Still most seem big enough for cars to get by other cars that may be parked on the side of the road. 

Our main streets consist of 6 – 8 lanes – perhaps not for the entire road, but at some points.  I’ve gotten used to really wide roads.  As a pedestrian, I find I have only a few seconds to cross before the light changes.  It’s not like that all over the city – but enough to me that it feels that way.

Roland and I noticed the streets in Oregon were quite narrow in comparison.  We had a strange encounter at Fort Grove because of it.

Fort Grove is very pretty, almost story book looking, very secluded though.  Not a lot of shopping convenience.  I don’t know how far the firehouse is, but apparently they have access to one.

As we were driving around and looking at houses, Roland saw the fire truck behind us.  When we see that in Utah, our reaction is to pull over and let anything with a siren pass us.  Even with neighborhood streets, or the not-as-wide streets downtown.  There’s still enough room to pull over and pass.

Aside from Portland, I didn’t see much in the way of being able to pull over in order for any emergency vehicle to pass.  Certainly not in Forest Grove.  If we had pulled over, the fire truck would not have been able to pass.  The streets were too narrow.  I felt in the way as we continued to move and try to get out of its path.  It didn’t matter if we turned or went straight, it seemed to follow us – and there was nothing we could do but continue moving in a neighborhood that we weren’t even familiar with.

The two pictures don't  show the true narrowness of what was felt


Thursday, February 12, 2015

Slow Down, People – seriously – SLOW DOWN!!!

The weather the past few days have made for awesome biking weather, driving weather, walking weather . . . except for one thing.  There are some drivers who think they own the road and that the rules don’t apply to them.  They can drive as fast as they wish, as reckless as they wish and ain’t nobody in the path that is going to stop them.  Oh, whoops – there was.  Most of this could have been prevented.   

I was at the front of the school yesterday – and have to walk a ways to the bus stop and make at least three transfers.  I make my first transfer at the college.  I decided to take the 41 in whatever direction came first.  The first one to come was going eastbound and then I made my final transfer to the 217 – which is the bus I normally take.  But there was a blockage that prevented both northbound and southbound traffic.  The bus had to turn back and take a long detour around that area.  I was at a loss at what might have taken place.  The blockage was between intersections.  I couldn’t even visualize an accident.

Seven hours later I was on the bus going southbound.  Same detour.  What the heck?  I was reminded of this incident – when Roland and Jenna and I were returning to the house when we lived in Kearns.  

         It was after 8:00 p.m. when we made our turn off 4000 W onto a neighborhood street that would take us home.  We could see the lights up ahead from all the emergency vehicles that were there.  We watched the news and heard this story.  The number of children varied with each report.  Some local authorities said as low as five were hit.  Some said seven.

         I’m certain that it was not the intent of the driver to plow down those students – or was even aware that he was off course or where he was or what was happening.  It was later explained that he was driving with or without medication that caused a reaction. 

         The next morning that part of the street was still closed down – over 15 hours after it happened.  It had remained closed due to investigation on what was considered a crime.

         I actually hadn’t thought too much about it after we had left Kearns.  Not until yesterday when I learned that Redwood was still closed in that same location as it had been that same morning.  I know that being without power is quite painful, but I felt relieved to know it was not as serious as accidents causing injuries or death – or even worse, a crime that had led to murder.

         Roland was to meet me at Jenna’s school as we had an appointment with her teachers.  He wouldn’t have been able to go home his usual way anyway.  I told him about the blockage and he sent me a list of five different accidents taking place all throughout the valley – all at approximately the same time – all causing backed up traffic, detours and delays.

         The day before, police were out patrolling – looking for speeders and evidently meeting their goal.  I saw the same police officer pull over a second car after driving away from having written up someone else.

         There was a police truck behind a civilian car blocking the bus stop at the college.  It doesn’t happen often that a vehicle blocks the pathway of the bus.  But I have seen it three or four times where the bus driver becomes angry and will honk and shake his fist at the driver.  The bus driver was ticked but decided not to provoke the police officer (I guess)

         I suppose accidents at this time of year are common – but in the past it’s been due to ice and snow – not totally to stupidity.  Why drive so recklessly?  Why not enjoy the weather?

         Even some bus drivers have been known to have led feet.  Shame on them for flying from intersection to intersection, zooming past three or four other bus stops along the way – only so they can wait 3-5 minutes so they won’t be “ahead of schedule” – I don’t have the strength to run to the corner and across the street.  I’m an old woman!

         Just slow down.  Don’t go over the speed limit.  Don’t speed up for yellow lights!  Is your being in a hurry really worth the delays you create for others?  Is it worth risking others’ lives? Or even your own?  Leave early if you must.  But don’t speed.  Please slow down.