Being along the Columbia during cold months often means you'll wake to fog. Thick fog. The kind that'll make you wonder where you are... 'cause there are no visible references. Your memory is all you've got to go on. It can feel like a dream if you let your imagination run free.
They said it'd start clearing about 10am, so we lingered until we convinced ourselves that it may indeed be improving... and we were back on I-84 by a few minutes after 10am. About 20 miles later it clearly was starting to clear. Another 20 miles, just as we dropped down into the Columbia River Gorge, just as we wanted visibility to savor one of the great drives in the USA, the fog was gone. The rest of the way to Portland was clear and sunny... and "gorge"ous. Aided by low sun and long shadows we were entertained with scenic eye-candy until we reached Portland. The road through the Gorge, even though it's an Interstate Highway, is curvier than a swimsuit model and almost as delightful (except, some would argue, the Gorge ages better than a swimsuit model). I set the cruise at 50 and let those with places-to-be or those on commercial treadmills pass as they needed.
We discussed our options and decided to book a month at one of our regular RV parks in the area. Recall our situation: sometime in the next few months we'll have the opportunity to buy into an Escapee Coop Park, Timber Valley, here in Oregon. Because we're so close to the top of the list we have the right to rent a site there on a monthly basis until our spot comes up. This RV lot will eventually become our home base. We considered stopping here in Portland for just a week... for the closer access to family and re-connecting with the grandkids for a few days, and then moving the bushouse down to Timber Valley before Thanksgiving. But we're in no hurry so made the decision to keep the whole circus together, right here in Portland/Vancouver, until mid-December at the earliest.
Also on the agenda is Amtrak-ing back to the Midwest to pick up the truck camper and make the run out here all over again. No decision on that one yet... and the TC will remain "on ice" in Wisconsin until we can work it in.
With the 160 (or so) miles today, we traveled 2176 miles in 6 days of driving. This is a record for us... a record we're not particularly proud of and wouldn't have done if it weren't for the potential for tough wintery weather along the way. We found a good weather"window" and slipped through it unscathed. Except for the wind, which we just dealt with the best we could, it was enjoyable, instructive, and... and... we're happy we're here.