Who’ll stop the rain?

15 03 2008

Oh. My. God. Oregon is such a DANGEROUS place!! Seriously.

We left Brookings at 7:40am and headed north. At 7:44am there was a 5.9 earthquake off the coast of Oregon out from Port Orford which we went through less than an hour later. We didn’t feel anything as we were in the car (or out taking pictures of the very scenic views), but we heard it on the radio news. This is AFTER we’d passed through Gold Beach where we saw the “Entering Tsunami Zone” and “Tsunami Evacuation Route” signs for the first time. Obviously California is immune from tsunamis as there are no such signs there, but there are in Oregon.

Tsunami sign

Add to these the signs for elk and deer, and trucks. BTW, the elk here are very bright – they know which 2.5 mile section they’re allowed to cross! e.g., ‘ELK 2 1/2 miles”. Clever elk. But the trucks aren’t so bright – we saw many signs for ‘Slow Trucks’ 😉 And the wind is fickle too – we saw several signs for ‘Wind Gust’. Just one wind gust, presumably. We didn’t know if we got it or not. Later we saw a sign for ‘Abrupt edges’, when the ‘edge’ was about 2″ deep… this is after driving along Highway 101 where one section had no shoulders and about a 4 foot (or more) direct drop off. No signs there!

While the views were scenic, the rain wasn’t. It rained on and off all through the 6 to 7 hour trip, and once we were on the I-5 (we cut in from Florence to Eugene), there were some phenomenal downpours and purple skies. Fortunately, most of the traffic slowed to a crawl for the worst of them.

So, with the bright elk, the deer, the slow trucks, the earthquakes, and the potential tsunamis, along with the torrential rain, we’ve come to the conclusion that Oregon is indeed a dangerous place to visit!

Just kidding, Oregon’s actually very beautiful, and we made Portland by 4pm after stopping for a bite to eat in Reedsport late in the morning. I finally got to have clam chowder in a sourdough bun, with melted cheese on top. Terrible for the cholesterol, but it sure tasted good!

Clam chowder au gratin in a sourdough bowl

So now we’re settled in to the hotel for the next 4-5 days. Typically, the more you pay for a hotel room, the less you get. There’s no free internet here, or wireless – you pay $10 a day, or $45 for a week, plus $25 a day to park the car (which is cheaper than San Francisco, but still a hefty price). The conference registration is tomorrow afternoon, and then it starts.


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