On The Road Again - Day 1

May 3
I love traveling. But I don't love getting ready for travel. The past couple days have been brutal. Putting a camper in mothballs every couple months almost makes one consider just taking the big old beast along instead of parking it. Tempting, at least during times of work related stress. But I know that wouldn't last long either as we've come to like exploring in a smaller rig. OK... end of the negativity.

We made it out of the chute today. Began the trek back to Wisconsin... our homeland. Unfortunately we both have medical check-ups scheduled back there for the week of May15. That gives us barely two weeks to cover 2400 miles. Not a "balls to the walls" cannonball run, but also not the leisurely, month-long, trip of a couple years ago. It is what it is. We'll make it enjoyable.

For the record, we followed the McKenzie River on OR-126 up into the high Cascades, down the backside into Sisters, then over to Redmond and Prineville. Pressing eastward from there on US-26, passed through Mitchell, Dayville, and Mt. Vernon. We made camp for the night at Clyde Holliday State Park. The secret word for the evening is "mosquito".  And no negativity intended. I am positive there were a lot of mosquitoes at our first night's camp.

Enjoying history and geology, we try to stop at historical markers, overlooks, and natural wonders. Today, Good Pasture Covered Bridge is an example. I couldn't stop in time when it came into view, so I did an abrupt U turn and went back to investigate. What a wonder. What a work of art. The bridge clear-spans the wild McKenzie River at 165 feet, which makes it the second longest covered bridge span in Oregon. Built of local timber in the late 1930s, and refurbished somewhat in 1987 (mostly approaches and the intersection with OR-126), it's original massive wooden trusses continue to support anything up to and including logging trucks. This, and examples like it, are a testament to the abilities of people to do amazing things without the aid of computers and large mechanized equipment. This one wins my "man-made wonder of the day" award.

And the "natural wonder of the day" award goes to Sahalie Falls near the headwaters of the McKenzie. With an abundant precipitation Winter behind it, and a near normal snowpack in the high cascades, the stream was flowing strongly today. The 120' falls delighted with volume and drama what it lacks in vertical drop. I don't know... some people get jaded by waterfalls. Some people say "you seen one you seen 'em all". But we both get a real kick out of the majesty and power.

Check back... pictures to follow.

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