Oregon Trip

This last weekend we drove down to Lebanon, Oregon to visit my friend’s parents from high school. It was quite a journey about six hours one each way. We left after awakening from our slumber Friday morning and got there about four in the afternoon.

Henry wasn’t feeling all that well but the worst of his illness would happen to us during the nights down there and the ride back. He is all dressed up and ready to go, though. Recently he has graduated to sippy cups. His momma got him some stylish shoes.

Oh boy! Our first trip across the new bridge. This was exciting. Too bad it rained most of the trip down. The tolls are $3.00 East bound only. Anyway, the toll went fast. Reminds me of my early years in Chicago where just about every freeway was tolled.

It is quite an engineering feat. I am pleased that you can change lanes on the new bridge. I wonder how they handled the side wind issue. You can’t change lanes on the old bridge because of the vents used to tame the side winds.

Here we are about to cross the Columbia River. I forgot how ungraceful this crossing was. The steel girders and trusses make the event seem cluttered. We had stopped at the McDonald’s in Tacoma at the end of SR 512 for some fish sandwiches while Jerry got there with his girlfriend. I think we stopped in Centralia for gas and on the other side of this bridge for a quick break.

Yes, so mom decided to entertain the little dude by giving him some gold fish crackers. To her surprise he grabbed the bag out of her hands and dump the entire bag on his lap.

Well here is the big town in the middle of nowhere Oregon. The little town reminds me of Puyallup before it became such a trap. Maybe more like Sumner. Anyway, from what I gather, the most entertaining place to go during the day within 30 miles is the Walmart. Once you go 30 miles, there is a Best Buy. I think when you hit 80 miles you might run into the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry or the Tillamok cheese place.

No complaints though! We got there and Jerry’s folks remembered his birthday. They got him this huge stuffed duck which he loves. Yes, he pulls it around the house and cuddles with it. Man, I love that little guy!

And of course, Jerry and I must check out his dad’s latest copy of the NRA’s Rifleman magazine. During the stay we found that the town has municipal wi-fi. I didn’t get deep into it but it was nice to check e-mail and browse the web.

“Should I push around this trash receptacle or cuddle? That is the question.” If you ever need something to watch, go see this. An hours worth of solid laughs.

Henry looking his cute self. Sometimes he’ll just sit with us which was nice. He was being very grumpy off and on and it was driving Crystal and I nuts. Don’t let this Henry sized propaganda piece deceive you!

The weekend’s main attraction? BBQ chicken! It’s the best BBQ chicken I have ever put in my mouth. Jerry’s dad is a pro at this. It had been 10 years since the last time I had this and I couldn’t wait to have Crystal try it. One other thing I wanted to note was how quiet Lebanon gets at night. It’s eerie. It’s like being at Lake Ozette but there are houses everywhere, street lamps, and maybe an occasional car.

Can I really add anything to this?

Jerry, his dad, his dad’s brother, and I.

Jerry’s dad’s brother’s wife, Jerry’s mom, Jerry’s girlfriend, and Crystal.

So Henry would laugh and clap sometimes. Usually he does this when something he does makes him proud or he is entertained. Well, Jerry made this comment once while Henry was clapping “Scribe, scribe; write this down!” and then, from that moment every time Henry clapped everyone in the room would quickly clap with him. Clap, puppets, clap! One of the funniest things ever.

Does this look bad? Actually, the house is on a dead end street but I wanted to take some action shots. We let Henry wonder around the yard. I had some good smokes from my pipe. I was very relaxed. I hate to mention how tired we were every night because of Henry’s strange wakings.

Here we are all Sunday before we drove back home. It was finally sunny. The whole weekend we ate well, drank good beer, and enjoyed just having a good time. It was really nice again to see Jerry’s parents. I missed them a lot.

It was funny to note that it started raining basically as we entered Washington. Not on the border but soon enough to make note of it.

Here is that bridge on the way back. Man, I really need to take some better pictures!

Henry chowing down on some pizza. We don’t like giving him junk food but we had been driving for hours and had to get some food. It was either that or a place called Steakhouse Burger featuring a mini golf course in the rear. *shudder*

Crystal showing off some of Henry’s fine art. The trip was good but the full 9 hours of sleep that night was glorious.

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