Today, October 2, 2011 was the second day of our Lincoln Highway Road Trip and it began at 06:30 when we went for our meager “continental” breakfast at the Super-8 Motel in Alturas, California. It appeared that it would be a great day for traveling and it was. The temperature was in the mid-60s with clear skies.
We were about 40 miles from the Oregon border and after we filled the tank we headed north on US 395 for Oregon. As soon as we entered Oregon we noticed a change in the speed limit from 65 to 55. The only road we found a 65 mph limit on was the Interstate. All other state highways were posted at 55 mph, even the most deserted, desolate sections of 395. I guess people in Oregon like to go slow. I set my cruise control for 70 and watched for cops.
Another annoying thing in Oregon was the filling stations. First they had no ice as this was the opening day of hunting season and the hunters took all of the ice. The second is that you are not allowed to pump your own gas. The station has an attendant who pumps the gas and inserts your credit card into the pump. You can clean your windows though. I guess this helps unemployment in Oregon.
Our trip on 395 started very nice. No traffic, straight road, and nice scenery. We passed a big lake and a geological marker about this being a rift valley covered with basalt rocks. The maker was next to Lake Abert.
After the rift valley 395 turned into one straight two lane highway that seemed to stretch on forever. We soon discovered this would not be the case as we entered the national forests and the mountainous sections of 395. For the next 5 or 6 hours we would navigate curve after curve with recommended speed limits of 45, 35, or 25 mph. Curve after curve, right and left. Up and down. It was nor pleasant driving this stretch of the road.
We decided to eat our lunch in the park using some of the vittles we brought with us. This was a very nice break from the mountain driving and our ham and Swiss sandwiches were just the thing. After about a 45 minute break we were back on the road again driving more mountain road.
As we came into the town of John Day I somehow missed the speed limit sign and when I looked behind me there were the flashing lights of the police cruiser. Deputy Mobley approached our vehicle and politely introduced himself and informed me I was doing 60 in a 35 zone. He requested my driver’s license, vehicle registration, and proof of insurance, which I gave him. He retreated to his car to check out my documents and when he returned he asked if we were on vacation. We told him we were heading for Washington and Canada and about our planned road trip. Deputy Mobley then told us he would not ruin our day with a citation and told us to drive slowly through the town. I thanked him and we went on our way sans a ticket.
After more tedious mountain driving and listening to the NFL scores and updates on ESPN radio we finally exited Oregon and entered Washington where the speed limit jumped to 65 of state highways and 70 on the Interstates.
We arrived at the Comfort Inn in Spokane, WA about 19:30, checked in and went out to get something to eat. We were recommended a Perkins Restaurant and Bakery about 10 minutes from the motel. The food was okay, but the service was really slow. I was getting very frustrated because I wanted to get back to the motel download my photos and write this blog before I got too tired, which I am right now.
Tomorrow we venture through the state of Washington and across the border into Canada. It should be fun.
You can see all of my pictures by clicking here.
Till tomorrow night.