Saturday, March 8, 2008 -- Vancouver, WA
We're here! The day was ideal for driving and the short trip -- only 160 miles -- could have been done with one hand tied behind my back. The weather was mixed clouds and sun and traffic moved right along.
After almost 10,000 miles, the bus is starting to "break-in" somewhat and the mileage is improving. As we drove north across the flat Willamette Valley yesterday, with no wind, we were getting almost 9 mpg. That may not sound like anything to brag about but it's darn good for a 32,000 lb. vehicle pulling another 4,000 lb. car. Some big SUV's being driven to the grocery store by soccer-moms don't do better. With fuel prices as high as they are we're happy to see the improvement in this department. I've also noticed more truckers slowing down to closer to the speed limit, probably to stretch as many miles out of every gallon of fuel that they can.
I just love this part of the country even though it gets a bad-rap about rain and dreariness. I'm convinced most of that propaganda is generated by people who live here and don't want the growth and congestion from even more people moving in. So they continue to make it sound worse than it actually is. There are probably a few more days of rain here, but the annual rainfall totals are less here than in many other cities all over the USA. Besides, water is what this part of the country is all about -- rivers, waterfalls, snow in the mountains, forests, recreation -- if it didn't rain a significant amount all these things would dry up and die.
We settled in at an RV park in Vancouver. It's only a couple miles from our daughter, son-in-law, and grandson. It's close enough that I can ride my bike if I need to. We're also walking distance to restaurants and the Vancouver Mall. I think we'll be here through most of April, so this'll be the longest we've parked in one spot since starting this trek last summer.
I can't think of another place I'd rather be right now.