We planned to spend September 2020 visiting friends in Perth (Hi, Jane and Tom) and borrowing their campervan for a trip up the west coast to Karijini National Park.
The world had other plans.
My stint with the Department of Health’s Covid-19 case investigation/contact tracing team ended in September so we decided to camp for a week somewhere remote and uncrowded. Steens Mountain here we come!
We did our final packing at 5:30 am in the rain. It was predicted and unpleasant.
If the rest of the week follows the forecasts, today will be our only aquacamping day. Fingers crossed.
Freya’s brand new, all-weather tires are an unexpected disappointment. We hydroplaned a LOT down I-5. The tires did not track at all. Skittering and slipping on the freeway wakes you up right quick. Something to discuss with Honda when we get back.
A quick stop in Sandy for gas and cocoa and we headed up and up and up Mt. Hood then down and down and down. Out of the Doug Fir and into Ponderosa and Quakies.
On the Warm Springs flat the rain let up. Looking across the the rocky prairie to the sunkissed hills–gorgeous. Mill Creek Gorge–gorgeous. All that rimrock–so gorgeous.
Oh, holy hell!
About 30 miles from Bend we’re driving along on 97 approaching a wide, flat, paved intersection when an old truck just starts crossing the highway in front of us…not nearly far enough in front. It’s heading right at us.
Can’t slow down, we’d be toast. Luckily the pavement was dry. Luckily their was no oncoming traffic in the two opposing lanes. Luckily the highway was wide enough. Luckily Bill can think and act quickly.
Bill swerved way out into the oncoming lanes as the truck just kept crossing the highway. No reaction from the driver…I don’t think they noticed our fairly large rig pulling a small, but noticeable trailer. I think we cleared that truck by about 3 feet.
We moved into the slow lane, hearts beating. As people passed us, they smiled in disbelief and offered emphatic thumbs up.
I’m glad we’re not dead. I’m glad our adventure didn’t end with tow trucks and rental cars. I’m glad Brave Horatio follows along so closely.
Life goes on
Stopped for take-out lunch at Life and Times in Bend then through another heavy rain storm and off across the Western Juniper plains of highway 20.
Pulled into Page Springs Campground about 5:30. Raining off and on. Only one spot left (Hooray, 1 spot left!) Discovered that Freya also needs larger mud flaps. Poor Brave Horatio was a little bit drowned.
Ate beans and weenies in the car. Made a plan to allow some sleep on soggy bedding. Not the best camp evening ever.