We left pretty early today since it was supposed to be an eight-hour drive down to California today, and we figured that we would probably need a few extra hours, knowing how we like to get lost. The ride was pretty uneventful for the first two hours. Until we got to Eugene. For those of you don't know, Eugene is the home to the University of Oregon, and is nicknamed "Track Town USA." Hayward Field is where they have the USA Championships and Olympic Trials. Well, it was closed for resurfacing, but as wanna-be runners these days, we had to stop and get some pictures of it! The school is pretty cool. The buildings are huge and look pretty fancy. Their stadium would eat all of Central. After driving around the school, we got back on the road out to the Oregon shore.
It was about another 2 hours out to the shore. We passed through Linn County, which boasts being the "Grass Seed Capital of the World." The spot where we met 101 was the Oregon Dunes Recreational Area. These weren't any dunes. They were HUGE! I mean, like building height. We stopped at some of the viewpoints along the way to see the Pacific Ocean. It's neat to see the difference in the northern Pacific and the Atlantic. The Pacific is so much rockier. There are all kinds of rocks sticking out of the water. And it's definitely chillier here than at home. It's a very comfortable 60 degrees out.
We finally got out of Oregon and into California! They have border patrol where we crossed. The ranger asked if we had any live plants or fresh fruits or vegetables. Well, luckily they didn't check the car or anything, because I totally forgot that we had oranges. Shhh... Don't tell anyone! I'm not sure what they were looking for, but in other states, they have signs about how you can't bring things in from one place to another. In Washington, you can't transport apple trees from one part of the state to another because of apple maggots (gross) and in Wyoming, they had watercraft checks. Interesting, too, that you can't bring fresh fruits, vegetables, or live plants into Canada. Wonder what California is worried about... We also passed through Smith River, the "Easter Lily Capital of the World." These small towns will brag about anything! Like Mitchell, SD and their corn palace!
We got to the campground for the night. It is right on 101. Great area. It looks like an area out of Jurassic Park, with huge trees and all the ferns. Kind of like the rainforests in Washington. That's where the fun started. Apparently when they tell you that a road is a dead-end, you shouldn't try to drive through it anyway. Luckily I have a small enough car that I was able to get around the posts telling you not to go that way (my co-pilot didn't foresee to tell me that it was supposed to be a dead-end. Well, we got almost all the way through... Didn't see the small-ish branch sticking out of the stump on the side. It jumped out at me! Luckily, there isn't much damage to it. I think when we stop at Wal-Mart to get some duct tape, bright pink will look fantastic on the gray. Maybe I can find a color that kind of matches...
(Just noticed that the guy in the corner is wearing cut-off jean shorts that are cut so high you can see the pockets...)
Life is a Highway Pictures updated: 8/3/11
States Visited: California, Connecticut, Idaho,Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, New York, Oregon, South Dakota, Washington, Wisconsin, Wyoming (15/50)