Sunday, November 07, 2010

The Move West, Day Six: End of the Road

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We awoke in the Onion Capitol of Oregon...or something. Signs everywhere proclaimed this fact, but nowhere can I find evidence of this, or what exactly Ontario, Oregon, is the onion capitol of. (The world? The state? The Northwest?) We were now in the Oregon desert, and it was hot and dry as expected, but also smelled like onions. This made us hungry, so we walked across the parking lot from our hotel to DJ's Family Restaurant. I had planned to write a favorable review of this place in my blog, but now I can't remember much of it. Their menu included a Recession Special of something like a biscuit and gravy with an egg and all kinds of stuff, for some crazy price like $3. Giant cinnamon buns were advertised; Meg got one to go. It was indeed giant - the size of our heads. Something eventful happened with a strange busboy (who was really an old man) who talked to us in a friendly way for awhile, then abruptly stopped and watched up until we got the hint and left so he could clean the table. We drove across the street to a gas station and were met with another Oregonian oddity.

Gas station attendants.

Oregon, like New Jersey, outlaws pumping one's own gas. And now that I've only lived in these two states, I'm pretty useless at a gas station. It's not the pumping so much as the paying; I always end up paying inside.

The drive on I-84 across Oregon is quite interesting. Miles of desert, scenic and colorful, surround you, until suddenly you arrive in the Blue Mountains, where it is shady, cool, green, and of course, blue. Unfamiliar with Oregon geography, one might be tricked into thinking he or she has finally arrived in the Cascades, only to be cruelly thrust downhill back into the desert for more miles. Eventually, the road reaches the Columbia River and travels all the way to Multnomah County alongside it, with Washington visible on the other side.

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Anxious to get home, the scenic drive just seemed long, especially with a speed limit of 65 mph. So we didn't stop in the Blue Mountains, we didn't stop in Pendleton, we didn't stop in Hood River or any of the other worthwhile places until Multnomah Falls.

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Soon, the highway became three lanes and busy. Troutdale became Gresham, and then we were in Portland. We turned north onto I-205, crossed briefly into Vancouver, Washington (another new state), to pick up my keys from my roommate, and then went back south to my new apartment.

I was home.

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