Day Three and Making Peace with the GPS

Road shot

Day three on the road and we have made peace with the GPS. We purchased it for a trip in 2012 and barely used it. We are old-school and we like our fold-out paper maps. It does seem a waste not to give the electronic gadgetry at least one more try.

We had a glitch on the I-5 as we tried to get past Seattle in Friday afternoon rush-hour. The GPS kept up a steady patter related to lengthening delays and offered tantalizing changes of route that would save us time. Finally, we gave in to the temptation. Four changes later and desperate to find a bathroom in the middle of nowhere, we truly considered throwing the GPS out the nearest window. Well, as my daughter said when I told her of our mishap – oh my, never leave the I-5. Words to live by.

So, imagine how surprised we were to discover, over the last two days, how useful the GPS can be. I can monitor when major turns and route changes will occur. As the directionally challenged navigator, I don’t want to be caught napping in the passenger seat.

Drum roll, please. Travel update:

By the end of our first day on the road, we had only made our way as far as Centralia, Washington. That rush hour traffic and those GPS induced detours really set us back. No worries – most of day one is always spent getting off Vancouver Island!

Crooked River Gorge



Day two we headed toward Bend, Oregon. Travelled the Mount Hood highway and had a picnic lunch at the Crooked River Gorge in Peter Ogden State Park. Bungee Jumping was possible but, as my granddaughter Britney often says – I’m just not ready.





Bungee Jumping at Crooked River

I took particular interest in the sign warning of the danger to dogs. Short of throwing your dog’s favourite toy over the concrete barrier, I’m not sure why a dog would do what the dog on this sign is doing. Better safe than sorry, I suppose.

Watch your dogs at Crooked River Viewpoint

By mid-afternoon we were in Bend to enjoy the downtown Fall Festival with a delightful variety of vendors and musicians. Did I mention, they had Blackberry Cider. Very tasty.

They have Blackberry Cider

Band at the Bend Fall Festival

We lucked into seeing a whole hour of Tom Vandenavond with Larry and His Flask! Vandenavond is billed as part John Prine and a bit Mark Twain. He sang a song – How the West was Lost – inspired by his reading of Dee Browne’s book, Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee. The lyrics nearly made me weep. Well done, Tom! I’m feeling certain that Alexander is going to travel to Bend, Oregon in my next Crater Lake book and he’ll hear Tom singing that song.

Outback Scenic Highway


This morning we headed out along the Oregon Outback Scenic Byway. Well worth the time. I love the high desert sights and smells. The scrub brush rolls out across the landscape like a wave of muted yellows, golds and greys. The pungent smell of the sage brush is something I would never get tired of breathing.



High Desert scrub brush

Outback of Oregon

Had a quick stop at Summer Lake Hot Springs. The setting is rustic and that high desert wind sure whistled through the boards of the old barn that houses the pool. Interesting experience.


We’ve parked ourselves at the Super 8 in Susanville, California for the night and are glad to kick back with a tall glass of wine and a couple of slices of pizza. Who knows what tomorrow will bring? Rainbows, anyone?

Rainbow on the Outback Scenic hwy - Oregon

11 comments on “Day Three and Making Peace with the GPS

  1. cindy knoke says:

    The first and third to the last photos are my favorites. Loveliness~

  2. Beautiful country you show here! Have never had the pleasure to take it in first hand. Someday…. Nice post. 😊

  3. diannegray says:

    What a fabulous adventure! I had difficulty with my GPS on our last trip, but eventually got used to it. Enjoy the rest of your travels 🙂

    • That darn old GPS – we are now accepting our love and hate relationship. We had it off for most of yesterday and when it’s now familiar voice came back on, we welcomed it. Just can’t let it call the shots 🙂

  4. I enjoyed your travelogue, Fran, and your insights on GPS. I haven’t got that far yet but have graduated from paper map reading to looking up my destinations on my internet map app and then jotting down (or printing) the fine points. I had a rude awakening on crossing the border and trying to call my sister in Fargo when I discovered my cell phone wasn’t powered up to work outside Canada. (I need to get with the modern program.) I’m on a trip right now from Winnipeg, via Fargo ND to Minneapolis MN to meet my daughter and granddaughter who are flying in from Norway via Iceland. Having had to take a bit of a nap at a rest stop on the Interstate last evening, I did a bit of an inadvertent detour when taking an exit off the Interstate to my hotel and missing my next cue. The result was going “old school” turning off to a local bar, asking for help and finding someone who could head me back in the right direction. Now, after cooling my heals at a hotel all day, I’m going to brave the map app directions again to find my way to Minneapolis/St Paul International Airport and hope I don’t get lost. Enjoy the rest of your trip. I plan to do so myself. Gayle Moore-Morrans

    • Oh Gayle – many thanks for sharing your travelling adventure as well as mishaps. So many of these things happen to us daily that we wonder if there is something wrong with us. We often go ‘old school’ as well. We are taking a rest day today in beautiful Saint George, Utah. Day 7 and we need it. And so does the poor car – what a mess. We’ll get it cleaned up today and be back making the miles and seeing the sights tomorrow. Good luck with your journey. What a wonderful experience awaits you at the airport! I love to watch families come together in such a setting. It often brings tears to my eyes. Enjoy 🙂

  5. Gallivanta says:

    Blackberry cider! Delicious. 🙂 I’ll take the cider and leave you to the GPS.

  6. such beautiful travels! I can’t wait to travel with Alexander next!

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