Saturday, September 17, 2005

Ahh, Oregon

Have you ever driven around your state? You know, really drove around and checked out some of the weird stuff that isn't exactly listed in a brochure from the area chamber of commerce?

Living in Oregon can be interesting. Driving around Oregon can be the stuff books are made of. Or not. Depends upon your outlook I guess.

If you drive on I-5 in this wonderful state of ours, around the middle of the state you'll pass through a place called Albany. No need to watch for signs. You'll smell it. Or I should say you'll notice a very unique aroma. The paper mills stink to high heaven, but at least you'll know where you are. I am pretty sure that Albany is the Native word for "was that you?".

There's also a sign near there that states that you are on the 45th parallel, halfway between the North Pole and the equator. I always wondered just who that sign is for. If I ever break down near that, I am just dying to tell the tow truck driver or whoever, that they can find me approximately 2.2 miles from the 45th parallel on I-5. I want to see if they can find me.

And of course driving on some of our smaller so-called highways can be an adventure in itself. Adventures in dealing with the other drivers and with whatever you might see out you window around the state of Oregon.

Try driving on highway 126 to the coast. Argh. First of all I am pretty sure that when they made this road, all they did was pour asphalt over an existing wagon trail. Because I feel like I'm driving on one at times. And I always seem to get stuck behind two different types of drivers. One being the giant motorhome. Jeez. I understand they're old, they have an enlarged prostate, their colostomy bag is full, and they have a Miracle Ear with dying batteries, and they are going to go slow. But when the people with their brand new cars with the freakin' v8 engines and a billion horses under the hood get in front of me, I just want to scream at them to GET THE HELL OUTTA MY WAY! I'm pretty sure your car goes faster than 40 mph! Of course until they get into the passing lane, then suddenly their car has rocket fueled engines. The passing lane ends and they are back to podunking down the road like a tortoise, so I can never get around them. Ever. I've seen paperboys on bicycles go faster than this.

Driving through Eastern Oregon is almost as exciting. This is some of the flattest area that you can drive through here. And there is not a whole lot out there either. Basically a road with no turn offs for miles and miles. You could practically set your cruise control, and hook up a Club to the steering wheel and take a nap.

I once saw a tour bus traveling through Eastern Oregon. I'm pretty sure they went bankrupt. What is there to see? "If you look to your right you'll see some dirt, dried up weeds and stuff. On your left, same darned thing. Oh wait there's a big fat guy with hair on his back. You might want to get your camera for this one folks."

Ok, this one is listed in a brochure somewhere but I think one of the neatest places in Oregon is The Oregon Vortex. The Oregon Vortex is a spherical field of force, half above the ground and half below the ground. The word "vortex" simply means a whirlpool of force, like a whirling mass of water, especially one in which a force of suction operates, such as a whirlpool or a whirling mass of air, especially one in the form of a visible column or spiral, such as a tornado. The Phenomena that gives The Oregon Vortex its name are evident throughout the entire area. Nowhere in the circle of the Vortex do you normally stand erect. Inevitably the visitor assumes a posture that inclines toward magnetic north. It's pretty cool stuff. Check out the photos on the website. It's about the only place in the world, where my husband is taller than me. I'm pretty sure he wants to live there. But I don't think so, though.

1 comment:

  1. hi kimberly, love your blog. you have a great sense of humor.

    i have lived in portland almost all my life, and have driven past the stinky albany plant many times. once, i almost passed out. and some years ago, as we drove by the mill, my wife marie told me the story of an acquaintance who had worked at the mill. when someone would say to this person what a horrible stench the mill put out, she would reply "smells like money to me". Later, I wrote a song titled, "It Smells Like Money", a rockin' little number. keep up the great work, ric