Friday, March 29, 2013

Hound Dog Traveler: Along the Oregon Trail

I'm getting very organized. Here I am ready to leave the motel.
By Guest Writer Cinnamon (Canela) Rose

I've been told I'm slacking off in my travel writing. So I will try to get everyone caught up on my trip from Santa Fe to Vancouver, WA.

After a pretty mellow day cruising around northern California, going to dog parks and buying olive oil, it was decided that we could make it from Redding, California to Portland, Oregon where yet another La Quinta Inn awaited us.

I knew this part of the trip would be good scenery - wise. The day before I had a glimpse of the mountains and was really excited about actually getting to those mountains. Gone was the dry and dusty land and now I found grass wherever we stopped.

As we approached the first mountain, I encountered fog for the very first time. It was like riding through a cloud. On this part of the trip I stayed alert and sat up. It was foggy and then it rained and I was not at all sure she could make it through the slick winding roads without my help. And the trucks were still there and they added to the problem, kicking up water wherever they went. While it was raining we didn't stop and, since my new raincoat was packed, I didn't want to stop either.

But I have to admit that Lake Shasta and the rivers were pretty. I'd love to dip my paws in them on a hot sunny day.

Soon, we broke out of the rain and it was sunny! We stopped at the rest stop in Weed, California and I got to sniff around. I noticed there were daffodils growing. It was spring in northern California. It must be close to Easter. Last Easter I wore bunny ears for my Easter picture. (But I digress).

So the weather was a lot better as we headed into Oregon. I was so excited. I was told this was "the promised land... the Eden at the end of the trail." Or so the pioneers said.
There was green grass everywhere.

As we drove, we went over more mountains. That is when I was ready to throttle my owner. She wouldn't stop singing... "The dog went over the mountain, the dog went over the mountain, the dog went over the mountain... to see what she could see." And at the end of this tedious song, the dog only saw the other side of the mountain. Grrrr.

We made a few more stops and at each rest stop we were near a river. Rivers have water in Oregon, unlike many rivers in New Mexico. I walked around at the rest stops trying to avoid the damp grass. It was always damp.

Here I am sniffing around in the wet grass.
We stopped for gas at a Fred Meyer store. That was really cool. In Oregon people can't pump their own gas so they have an attendant. And THIS attendant gave me a dog biscuit! Lucky day!

We pushed on into the green valley and we saw daffodils everywhere... growing wild! But she didn't let me out to sniff them. We kept driving. Soon we were entering Portland and turned off at the Airport Exit. Oh no! Was I now going to be subjected to a plane flight after all this driving?

But no, our La Quinta Inn was right there. We were both tired. It was more like a hotel than a motel. And, since our first floor room was actually a floor above the lobby, the desk clerk helped us by carrying in my bed and bag and I got my first elevator ride. An elevator is a little room. You go in, the door closes and it feels really weird, kind of like you are off balance. And then when the door opens again, you are on another floor. I was very brave for my first elevator ride. A lady in the elevator said so.

I trotted down to room 116 and we went in. Boy was it tiny. I had to have my dog bed over by the air conditioner. I was feeling claustrophobic so we went for a walk. It was a horrible neighborhood. It was a place where there were offices and lots of trucks... all parked. We went a couple of blocks and found a vacant lot. I sniffed around and ate a few blades of grass but I really didn't like it. That evening I asked to go out about four times and only once "did my thing." I was missing having my own yard. I slept well, but heard airplanes overhead all night. When I'm outside I like to look up at the airplanes and helicopters and wonder how many are carrying dogs and cats.

The next day was to be my first day checking out my new town.... one full of trees, few trucks and close to a huge river. But best of all, I was told, there would be no more long distance driving. Yay!