I am happy to report that today was far less eventful.
The most important thing was to get on the road early. We know
from past experience (our first trip to Vancouver and Oregon in 2016...
where the idea to move west was born!) that there are two major traffic
areas on this stretch of 5 South -- Sea-Tac and Portland. The plan
was to get up very early, start driving immediately, and be past
Sea-Tac before the major morning rush.
This is not an issue for me, as I am normally up at 5:00 a.m. Sleeping until 6 or 6:30 is late for me. Allan, however, is most definitely not a morning person. Waking up early is painful and difficult for him, so I was very grateful to be out the door by 6. We stopped at one of the famous coffee shacks that are everywhere in the PNW, got back on 5 South, and didn't stop until we were in Lakewood, south of Tacoma.
I brought the laptop to breakfast, and executed my cunning plan: logged into my Telus account to change the plan on Allan's phone, emailed friends and family we're seeing on the trip to tell them my phone is out of commission and give them Allan's number, got my email set up on Allan's phone, and installed the apps I need to make the trip work. All before our food arrived.
Which is not to say I worked quickly. I could have knit a sweater before our food arrived. Or someone could have, someone who knows how to knit. Black Bear Diner chain: a long wait for mediocre food. But again, happy to be there, and even happier to use their wifi.
After breakfast, we gave the dogs their breakfast in the parking lot, and got back on the highway. As we were slowly driving past Portland, I had a brilliant idea: why not find a dog park in the area and give the pups some exercise and fun.
Now here is an example of technology improving our lives in unexpected ways. I was able to use Allan's newly data-enabled phone to find a list of fenced-in dog parks in the Portland area, chose the southern-most one -- and we were about three-quarters of a mile away from exit we needed! Amazing timing. Google navigated us to Willamette Park, a huge and beautiful multi-use park on the Willamette River. The fenced in dog area was just a large square of sand with no shade, but our dogs were very happy to run around for a bit. Cookie especially seemed very happy, bouncing around, awkwardly chasing a toy, so happy and relaxed.
It was sunny and pretty hot, so after a short time, we put the dogs' leashes on and walked on a shady bike/walk path. We took them to the boat launch -- many canoes and kayaks on the river -- so they could wade in and cool down. Cookie was eyeing a family of ducks, but no dice. She Who Cannot Be Contained will not be off-leash on this trip unless surrounded by visible fences!
After the park, we couldn't find an entrance to 5 South, and had to take a connector highway north, get off, and U-turn. Worth it!
The rest of the drive was uneventful. We picked up some supplies at the Medford Food Co-Op, and discovered we were only 10 minutes away from the cottage in Talent that I had booked, pulling in around 7 p.m.
It's a lovely one-room cottage, very comfy, everything we need, and surrounded by fields and orchards.
Seen on a highway billboard: MARXISM, YOUR TICKET TO A POVERTY LIFESTYLE, with a picture of Uncle Sam.