2001: Oregon, Redux

Home at Last

September

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We left Oregon behind and retraced our steps to McCloud, near Mount Shasta, for a few final days of relaxing; as I write, I'm sitting at the dining table listening to the cows mooing across the road. While on a short hike in the nearby forest, we happened upon -- A BEAR! We surprised him eating berries in the bushes about 30 feet away from us. He was just a cloud of dust by the time Mike got off a shot with the camera, but it was a great memory for our last days on the road.

We decided to hightail it for home from McCloud in one day. It was only 320 miles, and with good roads and no traffic jams, we made it in seven hours including stops. When we reached highway 80 near Vacaville, I knew the fun was almost over: five lanes of superhighway, cars buzzing past like angry hornets, and smog so thick you don't breathe it, you snort it.

When I put the cat down in the doorway of the house, she looked at me as if to say, "Are you nuts? What are we doing HERE?" Mike had to cut his way into the back yard; a climbing rose had run amok over the pool filter. The pool itself, thanks to our special neighbors, was in fine shape, not at all green. I had to re-learn where all the light switches are and how the TV works. But it's good to be home.

Things I'll miss about the road:

  • Trees, mountains, lakes, rivers
  • Clean air, uncrowded roads
  • Meeting new friends
  • Unexpected delights around every corner
  • The throbbing growl of a Cummins diesel engine
  • A very small house to clean
  • No mail to open

Nice things about being home:

  • Having a bathtub
  • Elbow room
  • Floors that don't wobble when you walk
  • Water pressure
  • Having the same neighbors every day
  • DSL -- online, all the time!

What I learned on the road:

  • You don't need a lot of space or a lot of stuff to live well
  • Husbands prefer hammering to sight-seeing
  • Despite evidence to the contrary, a cat is an adaptable beast