I guess I'll have to take this a little bit at a time, or it's going to become one of those things that gets so big you don't even know where to start. (It's a similar feeling to a kid being required to thoroughly clean her very messy room--where do you start?)
As my last post said, Roger and I are back in Powell River, which is surprisingly cold this winter. I've seen very little sun, as I expected--Powell River has precipitous winters--but the sky keeps spitting snow. (one hour it's rain, the next it's snow. If it snows at night, it's been cold enough that the snow actually stays on the ground for hours the next morning.) Long-time residents are shaking their heads, confused and not a little disappointed. People settle here, after all, because they like the temperate, almost snow-free climate.
They've had even more weather similar to the weather we left in, an unusual snow storm in November 2006. These are pictures of our van and the surrounding scenery after our first night of our 2006 trip. We'd gotten stuck in a gas station parking lot the night before (the gas station had been closed due to a power outage). See how you can't even see the cool aerodynamic front piece of our Westy's top? We hope that these winters are just weather anomalies.
Our new road trip plans for 2007 started shortly before American Thanksgiving when Roger called to tell me he'd talked to a lawyer (finally) who would help us at an affordable rate. We went through several drafts of plans, but finally decided that on December 7, I would fly to meet Roger in Seattle. I would accompany Roger on the drive to Ohio, where we would get married on December 13 in my parents' living room.
We stayed in Seattle the first day, just getting used to being around each other again, so I can't count that as the first day of our road trip. I think that day of not being on the road with each other was necessary--we really needed to get to know each other again, and we needed to do it without being encapsulated in our beloved Westy. So we started on December 8 to wend our way to Ohio. We'd decided on roughly this route: southeast through Washington, through the northeast corner of Oregon, the southwest corner of Idaho, pick up I-80 in Utah and take it all the way across that little upper northeast corner of Utah, all the way across southern Wyoming, across Nebraska, Iowa, northern Illinois and Indiana, and (finally) into Ohio.
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(I wanted to go through Yakima, Washington to visit a bookstore I'd read about.)
Day One of our trip, however, proved slightly vexatious. We were halfway to Yakima from I-5 when we realized that the Crystal Mountain Pass was closed, and that we needed to go through the Crystal Mountain Pass to get to Yakima. We had to go all the way back to I-5 to make a detour through Oregon. On this detour we encountered the charming little town of Enumclaw, Washington, and had lunch at a little place called The Kettle. The parking lot was packed, so we figured it was a good place to stop and grab a bite. The service was very friendly, we were the only strangers in the place, and the food was heaped onto the plates.
The other perk of having to turn around is that the new route took us through Vancouver, Washington, where we finally found tire chains (all chain, no cable) for our Go Westy! tires (Michelin HydroEdges).
We got as far as just over the Oregon border, and decided to call it a day.