Well, we're here. Firmly "rv-parked" in Portland, just west of the airport on the north side of town... not far from the mighty Columbia River, and a little-longer-than-expected drive to our daughter, son-in-law, and grandkid's home, optimistically a little less than a half hour away.
We got in just after noon yesterday, Friday, after an incredibly scenic drive down the Columbia Gorge. We've done this drive dozens of times during our years living in the Northwest and it still seem fresh and new and full of new discoveries today. Due to high-pressure, heat (mid 90's for a few days), and some wild fires up in the mountains, visibility was a little restricted and the haze made photography less than ideal. But it's just spectacular regardless.
First order of business was to fill the diesel tank. After filling the side of a paper grocery store bag with cipherin' and stickin' my finger in the air for an estimate of wind speed and direction, I took a chance that we could make Portland with the fuel we had on board. Of course, all that figurin' was based on the promise from Newmar and Spartan that the tank actually holds 100 gallons and that all but a few gallons can be pumped into the engine and are actually usable. We normally look for fuel when we start burning into the last half of the tank, but the promise of saving a few bucks (and the challenge of the whole endeavor too) pushed me to roll the dice.
I won't drag this storyline out any further as it's really anticlimactic. We made it, of course, and still had something like 15 gallons on board when we reached the crazy-busy Loves Truckstop in Troutdale, OR. With a full tank (3.929/gallon), we're ready to sit for a month and enjoy family.
The kids? They've grown so! In some ways it seemed like we've only been gone a month or two. In other ways it was like we hadn't been here for 2 years. Reality is somewhere in the middle, but getting reacquainted and hugging and talking and hugging some more makes "today" the only really important time.
We all went out for pizza last night and had a grand time.
I've got some catching up and filling in to do, once again, with the Journal. I'm working on a couple posts about our drive over Lolo Pass to Orofino, and the trek into Eastern Washington and along the Wallula Gap. Photos will be included for no extra charge. Just gotta find the time...