It seemed like we got up in good time this morning, but by the time we fed ourselves, fed the llamas, and checked for drowning squirrels, we didn’t get on the road till after 900. We didn’t notice the temperature because Lara lost touch with all her satellites for almost half an hour, but it was definitely single digits. Lara eventually made contact, but we have noticed that in the mountains, she often thinks we have strayed off the road onto some logging trail, or even that we are crashing through the forest. Speaking of mountains, I have realized that this trip is not really about parks or wineries, it’s about Caroline making drive up one side and down the other of every mountain in America. So far we’ve done the Tetons, the Blue Mountains and today the Cascades. We have switched Lara over to use miles instead of kilometers for the next while, just so that her numbers match the signage better.
Before we came to Corvalis, we excursed, oops, made an excursion to see covered bridges and alpacas. The whole loop would have included six or seven bridges and two alpaca farms, but we did three bridges and one farm. I have set the camera to not retract its lens every two minutes, but now it eats batteries two a day.
Arrived in Corvalis this afternoon. Another nice big hotel room, and another helpful front desk guy. After a short rest, we decided that seeing as it’s day six, we really ought to get at some wineries. We drove out to Benton Lane, where we tasted a few wines and bought a Pinot Blanc. I don’t know if I’ve ever even tasted a Pinot Blanc before. Then we drove almost an hour south to around Eugene and dropped in on King Esates. We had heard their wines were expensive, but they weren’t outrageous. We especially liked their Gewurtztraminer, and we bought one of those.
Returning to Corvalis, we gassed up again. For the last three days, we’ve been buying just one tank, at the end of each day, as we have been driving only six hours or so. In Oregon, you cannot pump your own gas, and even the gas jockey cannot ‘top off’ your tank- when the pump quits, it’s full.
I have been very glad I brought the folding hand truck, but it’s so useful for the luggage, I’m reluctant to pile wine on it and haul the suitcases on their own wheels. Today I caved and bought a ‘platform cart’ with four wheels and a folding handle. I tried Staples first, but they don’t have them. The manager recommended Home Depot, saying ‘that’s where I got mine’. The nice front desk guy lent me a hammer to tap in the bushings for the casters. He also recommended the Italian restaurant across the road.