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