4-13-11 Into Washington
Since it will be a long day, I was up, hooked up, and rolling by 7:30AM.
There was more mountain climbing into Oregon. At Siskiyou Pass (4400’ ASL) there was snow coming down and sticking. Many trucks were parked along the road. This pass is the highest point on I-5 according to a sign.
Left the snow behind near Ashland, OR but there was rain off and on and would continue this way for most of the day through Oregon. Must be in the “Pacific Northwest.”
Stopped for gas in Central Point, OR and paid only $3.80 a gallon! After California, it feels like stealing.
I crossed the Columbia River near Portland, OR around 2:30PM. Was into Washington state near Battleground when “Harvey” chirped and gave me a warning that there was a delay ahead and would I like to be redirected to save 45 mins. I decided to take his suggestion and go around the problem spot on I-5. This worked out well and was able to avoid the larger part of a traffic jam. I don’t know how Harvey did this but it turned out to be the last favor he did for me this day.
My destination, Puyallup, was reached by around 5 PM. This is when the problems started. Harvey had directed me to a nice Cancer hospital where I was forced to drop the Toyota (in order to turn around) then look for Wal Mart at a different address. I found two Wal Marts, neither of which allowed overnight parking (in spite of assurances I had gotten by phone a day ago). New plan, run for Tulalip now and find parking there. It was one and a half hours more road time and it was getting dark. Back to the Cancer hospital to get the Toyota and through Seattle in the dark. The fun is not over yet.
Once in Tulalip, I was directed to the very end of the road which turned out to be a rundown trailer court in the heart of the Indian reservation where I was forced to drop the Toyota again to turn around. I got both rigs turned around and with a flashlight in my teeth, got the rigs hooked up again. I’ll guess that the folks in the trailers were having a good time watching my antics. I began to take off and noticed the Toyota was not trailing right so I stopped and saw I had only hooked one of the arms of the tow bar. This created a snarl of the rig right in the middle of the road (fortunately not well traveled). I had a merry time getting the rig straightened out and hooked up again. I was tired, stressed, and it was dark so I worked with a flashlight in my teeth. I did eventually get things sorted and underway again.
By dumb luck, I stumbled onto the Wal Mart in Tulalip at 10:30PM. There were other campers there so I just pulled in and parked. I didn’t even unhook the truck. It must be only 75 yards off I-5 but I didn’t care. Took awhile to fall asleep but I eventually managed it. I’m glad Julie wasn’t with me for this enjoyable day!