In The Dalles we stayed overnight in a motel with a parking lot full of worker trucks — serious pickup trucks mostly, not pickups that suburban bros profile around in. The parking lot was full after supper. In the morning, when I walked over to the lobby to get coffee at 5:30, the lot was already half empty, with a few stragglers in reflective jackets getting into their trucks. An advantage of staying in a place like that is it usually settles down early. We were asleep last night by 9. I woke Andrea up at 6, anticipating the change to Mountain Time we’d get later in the day.
Morning weather was cool with what I think of as Portland rain. It wasn’t the hard rain of yesterday but the light rain that is not so much drops falling from the sky but droplets coalescing out of the air. You don’t need a raincoat, but if you’re out in it for any length of time, you’ll get wet.
Heading east, as the cliffs of the gorge fell away, the clouds, no longer caught, raised themselves. We could even see patches of blue here and there. But by the time we got to Pendleton, the clouds had pushed against the Blue Mountains and were dumping their load.
East of Pendleton, the interstate climbs several thousand feet. What’s that road called? I don’t remember, but it was shrouded in fog, slowing everything. Some trucks creep up the hill at 20 mph and other trucks, impatient, pass them doing 30. They would appear abruptly out of the fog, side by side.
Beyond the crest, the fog lifted and the rain stopped. By the time we crossed into Malheur County and Mountain Time, the skies were partly cloudy, the air freshly washed. It was the first good weather we’ve had on the trip.
Tonight we are in Boise. We’ll have supper with Andrea’s brother, Paul, and that is always a pleasure.
Today was a first for me. We had breakfast and lunch at restaurants that had model trains running around the tops of the walls.
OK world travelers, what does this sign mean? It was on the inside of the door to a toilet stall at a truck stop in Ontario, Oregon.
I think it means don’t throw toilet paper on the floor. Is there anywhere in the world where it is customary to throw toilet paper on the floor? The truck stop wouldn’t have made the sign because there was one incident; evidently it became a problem. Huh?