Day 1, Thursday, August 5, 2021, Home to Klamath Falls, Oregon via I-5, US97: 356 miles
I returned from my last adventure, To Denver and Beyond, two months ago, on June 7th. Other than about a 45 mile round trip in July to our son Craig’s home for just one night, Big Blue had been home bound for two months – and so had I!
It was well past time to hit the road again, and so I made plans for a new adventure. I planned to spend at least two weeks on the road, and the trip would be as far north as I could make it. I planned to visit friends and family in Oregon along the drive. I thought driving through Montana, North Dakota, and perhaps into Minnesota, as I did last summer, would be worth repeating. The weather would likely be cooler, generally, through those states than more southern states.
Having a powerful urge to scratch the itch to hit the road, I prepared Big Blue for the adventure over a prior few days, and she was as ready as I was to just be gone.
I loaded up the morning of Day 1, and a few minutes before 1100 hours, I pulled onto the infamous CA99 and headed north. The day was relatively mild by Central Valley standards, and I didn’t need the air conditioner for the first several hours.
The traffic was typical Kalifornistan – waaaay too many cars and waaaay too many bumps and bangs along the neglected I-5. I said a lot of bad words as the coach was bounced severely over the many patches and bumps.
I discovered a great work saver, although the discovery was unintentional: simply delete all the photos of the day! Yep, and then I didn’t have any photos to edit and post. And that’s just what I did. I still don’t know how I deleted all of them. I had already downloaded the photos from the camera, and edited just one. When I went back to edit the others, there were no more photos! I know it was me that lost them, and not the computer, as I am pretty sure that it is much smarter than I.
Without photos, there seemed little purpose is describing the many views of the day, so I won’t. Suffice it to say that I never saw Lake Shasta so low, and I’ve driven by it many times over many years. It was scary low! I drove through an awful lot of smoke from the wildfires that seemed to be trying to burn down the entire state. I saw several burned out sections of the forests of the north state and even some in Oregon. I had several photos of the old burns, with the emphasis on had.
I arrived at Klamath Falls, Oregon’s Walmart lot at 1800 hours. Once settled in I headed out to find a meal from the McDonald’s inside the store. But, contrary to my navigator, there was no McDonald’s. I saw a restaurant nearby whose name I don’t recall, but the name included teriyaki. So I tried there, but the cheapest teriyaki meal was around $14! I passed on that. Then I walked into a Subway and saw entirely too many people waiting in line.
I finally just headed back to the coach and zapped a frozen meal, keeping on my diet. For dessert I walked into Walmart and bought a pint of low calorie ice cream. And the calorie total for the day was still within the limits of my diet!
I spent the evening writing this not-so-abbreviated description of the day’s travel. As mentioned in last August’s overnight stay at Klamath Falls, the F-15 fighter jets, rightly known as the Screaming Eagles which are stationed at the nearby Kingsley Field, roared mightily overhead from time to time. The sound was nearly deafening, and I hoped they’d knock it off overnight as they did back then. It seemed, as of 2230, that they did.
After posting this new travelogue, I poured a cool one and watched some You Tube silliness for a while. I headed for bed a few minutes after midnight. It was good to be back on the road!
Day 2, Friday, August 6, Klamath Falls, OR to La Pine, OR via US97: 114 miles
Parked at Klamath Falls Walmart on the morning of Day 2.
I slept well in K-Falls where it fell into the 40s overnight – and I’m not complaining. It was pleasant to feel a bit of coolness after weeks of never ending heat back home where, this time of year, our overnight lows are always in the 60s and sometimes low 70s.
It was a cool, robe wearing kind of morning. That’s quite a change this time of year for me.
After morning chores, I relaxed around the coach, and took a few photos which I would try not to delete. The place was nearly overrun with seagulls – they were hanging around the lot by the dozen, as they were the prior evening. Apparently they, too, know that a Walmart lot is a safe place to spend the night.My neighbors, the seagulls.
After updating this blog and enjoying my first coffee of the day, I headed into the store for some groceries. I was in the store the prior evening and was surprised that very few wore masks – mostly just the employees were so attired. Back home, nearly everyone was masked as required. It reminded me of June’s trip to Wisconsin where it seemed each state had different standards.
Back at the coach, I stashed the groceries. And then it was time to phone home and talk with my lovely wife.
As I was talking to my dear Lavonne on the phone, sitting in the driver’s seat, a fellow walked up to the side window and wanted to chat. It was a strange experience: He had a pickup and travel trailer parked fairly near me. He complained bitterly about the noisy Walmart employees who, he claimed, drove by his rig during the night blaring thumpy music just to bother him. I tried explaining that I was talking to my wife, and yet he kept yapping. I finally insisted that I talk to my wife, and he kindly returned to his rig.
I had seen him in the store chatting up at least two employees, but I didn’t pay any mind at the time. He had told me that he was complaining to them about the noise. He was mannerly, but very insistent about something being done.
Too much drama over not much!
A few minutes after the fella left me, a local cop rolled up near his rig, followed by a couple Walmart employees who chatted with the cop, then soon returned to the store.
The officer talked to the fella ’til I left – a period of about 45 minutes. During that time I prepared and ate breakfast, set up Big Blue for the day’s drive, and pulled out of the lot. I presumed the unhappy fella was sent packing, but maybe they’re still chatting!
It was a few minutes after 1000 hours that I continued my drive north on US97 to La Pine where I would spend some lovely time with my niece, Jill, and her hubby, Craig.
The day was perfect for a drive along one of my favorite roads. It was sunny and bright with calm winds. I drove a bypass around the town, across the Klamath River, and joined US97.
Crossing the Klamath River on a gorgeous day to be bummin’!
I was soon merging onto US97 north bound, along miles of good, smooth highway. I drove along Klamath Lake, enjoying the lovely sight of all that water that stretches out over 90,000 acres, most of which wasn’t visible from the highway.
Beautiful Klamath Lake along US97.
The drive was a bit more crowded than what I usually see in those parts. It was a lovely Friday when many folks begin their weekend treks. There are many passing lanes on US97 which makes it easy for others to pass slower vehicles such as Big Blue.
I stopped at a rest area some 40 miles or so before arriving in La Pine. I had a bite to eat as I didn’t want to bother Jill with lunch. I worked a bit on editing photos and writing more travelogue.
There are a couple miles of gravel road to drive before reaching the kids’ couple acre spread. I enjoy that rural feel of the area.
I arrived at Jill and Craig’s Little Cabin in the Woods at 1330. I backed the coach, gingerly, through the trees to the spot I park for my visits. It was so good to greet both with a big hug, and begin a couple days of rest and visiting with them.
It wasn’t long ’til Jill and Craig passed margaritas all ’round and the fun began!
We began visiting on the back porch, then moved to the front porch as the sun took over the back. We caught up with each others happenings, but mostly with their busy lives as mine is usually very sedate, and I’m not complaining. I like sedate!
When dinner time rolled around, Jill served up soft chicken tacos, which were very good. She had prepared brownies, too, and we each had a couple during the visit. They were soooo rich and sweet! Then around 1930 hours, when I was ready to return to the coach for the night, Jill packed two more for me. I just couldn’t resist ’em.
Back at the coach, I worked through the evening chores, which is to say I showered, etc., and then settled in for the night. I edited photos and brought this blog up to date, as well.
It would be another cool night, down into the low 40s in La Pine. I have soaked in this cooler weather as there is so little of it this time of year. I planned to leave for Keizer, Oregon on Sunday where it would also be mild and comfortable for my visit.
After the blogging and editing were up to date, I watched more silly videos, and enjoyed my usual cool one. I headed for bed a few minutes before midnight. It had been another lovely day on the road and visiting family.
Day 3, Saturday, August 7, at rest in La Pine, Oregon
I was up at 0620, turned up the heaters and went back to bed a few minutes while the place warmed up – it was just 42° outside! Cool as it seemed, it was better then waking to 72° as we sometimes do back home – which means the day will heat up to the high 90s or 100s.
After morning chores, I shuffled a gazillion pills into the two pillboxes I use to organize them. Each is good for one week, so I have to do the sorting only every other week. It’s a chore most of us oldsters must deal with in our quest to keep body and soul together. Completion of all the sorting comes with a sense of accomplishment and hope. We hope we got ’em all sorted properly!
Yes, my life is made up of very small achievements.
Jill and Craig invited me to lunch around 1300 or so. Craig cooked a steak into bite size pieces that were done just right – rare and tasty. We also had salad and it was a good, rather light lunch.
They had a “disc golf” tournament in town that evening, and left in the afternoon for a few hours. I made myself at home in the coach, doing a bit of housecleaning and watching a movie DVD they loaned me.
Jill and Craig’s cozy and picturesque Cabin in the Woods. Lovely.
My cozy little cabin in the woods. At least ’til the next day when I’d head to Keizer, Oregon to visit my ol’ buddy Al and his wife, Betty. Here, Jill caught me working on my bug collection – a seemingly daily task in the summertime.
When Jill and Craig returned, I joined them in their cabin and visited maybe an hour or so as I enjoyed another of Jill’s wonderful margaritas. They really are splendid with terrific flavor. Instead of bar salt around the rim, she uses sugar with a bit of lime salt which is unusual and adds a lot to the drink.
A few minutes after 2100 hours, I bid them goodnight, and headed to the coach for the night. I spent the evening updating this blog and watching more silliness on YouTube. Along with the many funny videos, I enjoy watching the pet videos, especially of dog and cat rescues. Those videos are always heartwarming and tell of the good people who make abandoned or lost pets lives so much better.
I headed to bed around midnight after a very restful and pleasant day with Jill and Craig. Life is good aboard Big Blue!
Day 4, Sunday, La Pine, OR to Keizer, OR via US97, OR58, I-5: 182 miles
I was up and at ’em a bit after 0630. I planned to head to Keizer and spend a day or so with my old high school buddy, Al, and his wife, Betty. To that end, once morning chores were done, I set Big Blue up for the day’s drive.
Before leaving, I went into the cabin and visited with Jill and Craig for a while. I thanked them for the lovely visit, the great margaritas, and for the hospitality. It had been a very lovely visit, as always.
I pulled out of their place a few minutes before 0900 hours, and headed for US97 where I’d drive south toward Oregon’s Highway 58. That would take me down the Cascades to the Willamette Valley and I-5.
Heading south on US97.
It was Sunday morning with little traffic, the best morning of the week to drive. It was a very pleasant drive, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I drove just 17 miles when I came to Crescent Cutoff Road, which is a shortcut to OR58.
I parked on the shoulder just before the junction with OR58 to grab a bite to eat. I toasted three little, frozen waffles, peeled a mandarin orange, and called it breakfast. It was quick and easy. Then I turned west onto OR58 and headed down the mountains toward Eugene and I-5.
The traffic had increased quite a lot and stayed that way the rest of the drive. Naturally, along the curvy OR58, some pokey RVers really held up the flow, poking along and giving the rest of us RVers a bad name. The very least the jokers I poked along behind could have done was to pull over and let the mile of cars behind them pass. But, no; consideration for other drivers does not cross their minds.
OR58 is a beautiful, smooth drive. Here is a gallery of photos I took during the descent from US97 to the valley. After clicking, click on the ⓘ, then click on “View full size” for even larger photos. Click again for a huge photo.
When I reached I-5, I turned north and drove something over 70 miles to Al and Betty’s home in Keizer, Oregon. A few miles before I reached my destination, I pulled into a rest area and whipped up a chicken salad sandwich for lunch. I didn’t want Betty to worry about lunch for me. She’s plenty busy as it is.
Driving north on I-5, heading to Keizer, Oregon and a lovely visit .
It was good to hug Al and Betty when I arrived for my visit. Betty greeted me when I began to back into their driveway. Al always greeted me at the driveway and guided me in, but he’s suffering from pulmonary fibrosis, and is on oxygen 24/7. It’s really sad to see him in that condition, as he was an active guy before the illness.
Once I was parked, I joined Betty and Al in the house to begin our visit. Al was a track coach during his teaching years, so he was watching the Olympics on their last day of competition.
After a brief visit, I headed back to the coach and set her up for my two night stay. I returned in time for dinner, naturally, and Betty served up some delicious tacos. I had two, and they were more than my usual meals. For dessert, Betty served cheese cake, smothered in ice cream. That was certainly off my diet, but I surely enjoyed it.
Around 1930 I thanked them for their hospitality – especially for the night’s dessert, and headed to the coach for the night. My evening in the coach was about the same as the prior evenings. It seems that not much changes for me on these adventures except the locations!
Day 5, Monday, August 9, at rest in Keizer, OR with Al and Betty
I dawdled around in the motorhome ’til after 0900 hours. Al called a bit earlier to let me know they were up and around and I could come visit at anytime. After whipping up oatmeal for breakfast, I joined them in the house.
Al is pretty much confined to the house due to pulmonary fibrosis, which reduces greatly the efficiency of his lungs. He struggles to breath when he gets active, and he needs to take it very easy. As we visited, we watched some silliness on YouTube which he played on his big screen TV – a huge improvement over my little laptop. We watched some gospel singing as well, and I dug out my Merle Haggard DVD and we enjoyed that.
Big Blue in custody again, behind the chain link fence on Al and Betty’s driveway.
I returned to the coach from time to time to get my trip lined up for the next day. I made my route north and eastward as far from the Portland metro area as I could. I designated a good priced gas station on the Garmin navigator for a diesel fill up that would be my first stop of the day. I suppose all this could be called dawdling, too. I’m pretty good at dawdling.
The day was a restful one. I took my walk around the neighborhood. Betty fed me well, providing both lunch and dinner. I asked her not to worry about feeding me, as she has plenty to do, but she insisted that since she was making lunch and dinner for her and Al, I might as well be included. It was hard to fault her logic, and her cooking is much better than mine!
In the evening after dinner, we watched a movie from the collection of DVDs I keep on the coach. The Help, staring Emma Stone and Viola Davis, is a very good movie, and Al and Betty certainly enjoyed it. Of course, I had seen it several times, and I bid them goodnight and headed for the coach well before it was over. They understood; I would continue my Oregon and Beyond Adventure in the morning, and had to get some planning and work done for it.
My evening unfolded as usual, and I headed to bed at midnight. It had been a good day spent with some very good friends.
Day 6, Monday, August 10, Keizer, OR to Hermiston, OR via OR99E, I-205, I-84: 226 miles
My stay in Oregon had been pretty mild; I turned the heater on every morning while at Jill’s and at Al’s. The day’s high temps were in the 80s at the most, but things would warm up a bit as I drove the Beyond portions of my adventure. I would drive through the Columbia Gorge en route to Hermiston on Day 6. It was predicted to be in the low 90s at the day’s destination, and I’d likely be running the generator and air conditioners there. Similar weather conditions applied to much of the week ahead. But Montana and Minnesota, should I go that far, would be much milder than most areas of the country in August.
In preparation for the trip that morning, I readied Big Blue, then I was able to dump the tanks. Al and Betty have a sewer clean-out near the driveway where I park. A sewer cleanout is exactly the same as a RV dump, and so I dumped the holding tanks. It was good to continue the trip with empty holding tanks and a full water tank.
When I was ready to continue the Beyond portion of my trip, I went in and thanked Al and Betty for the lovely visit and the good eating. I bid them good-bye, and pulled out of their driveway at 0900 hours.
In the little town of Woodburn, Oregon, just 10 miles from Keizer, I pulled into a gas station and pumped 77 gallons into the 90 gallon fuel tank. The price there was as good as I could find online, at “just” $3.46 per. It took four swipes of my credit card as the pump stopped at each $75.
The drive took me north on I-205, somewhat near the Portland metro area. I was never in Portland, but the traffic sure was heavy and I worked my way through entirely too much slow and go traffic. When I finally reached I-84, it took me east along the (mostly) beautiful Columbia Gorge.
Along I-84 the traffic was lighter and I cruised along at my usual 58 MPH nearly the entire drive. I stopped in rest areas for breakfast and lunch, and whipped up my own meals. I had plans for a Panda Pig-out once I reached Hermiston, as there was a Panda very near Walmart. I was long overdue for Panda!
The Columbia Gorge was a very scenic drive. Click!
I arrived at the Hermiston, Oregon Walmart at 1520. It was very warm, in the low 90s, heading to a high of 96°, or so it was predicted. As soon as I arrived and set up for the night, I headed into the store and took my daily walk where it was cool and comfortable. I shopped for some items I needed, too.
Big Blue at rest for a very warm evening at Hermiston, Oregon.
Back in the coach, I turned the generator and air conditioners on at once. It was a very warm afternoon and evening, and I ran the air conditioners ’til after 2130 to stay comfortable.
I enjoyed a wonderful Panda Pig-Out of Orange Chicken, Teriyaki Chicken, and rice smothered in teriyaki sauce. mmmmm. It was very satisfying. Later in the evening as I updated this blog, I waked into the store and bought a pint of ice cream for dessert. And the next day I’d have to get back on my diet!
It was 2200 hours when I finished updating the travelogue. I then dug out the movie, O Brother, Where Art Thou? and watched it for the umpteenth time. It’s good to be so easily entertained! I also enjoyed a cool one along with the movie.
I called it a day near midnight and headed for bed a few minutes later. It had been another good day on the road.
Day 7, August 11, Hermiston, OR to Missoula, MT via I-82, US395, I-90: 372 miles
I was up and around a bit after 0630, anxious to get back on the road again! I had a long drive planned, well… it was long by the current standards of this old man. I pulled out of the lot just an hour later, which was pretty good time.
Crossing the Columbia River as I began my day’s drive.
Soon after I left Hermiston, I crossed the Columbia River – twice, because it meanders east, south, then west. I drove northeast on US395 ’til it merged onto I-90, which crosses Idaho, then across Montana where I planned to spend the night in Missoula.
The area of Washington I drove through was between the Columbia River to the west, and the Snake River to the east. That area was bone dry and everything was the color of toast except those under irrigation. I don’t know where the water came from, but I assumed it was from one of those major rivers. There was quite a lot of irrigation (Click!):
As I entered Idaho, soon after driving through busy Spokane, WA, I was warmly greeted by a splashy Welcome to Idaho sign. Idaho is a lovely state, and has attracted a lot of Kalifornistan immigrants – likely to the chagrin of native Idahoans.
More to Click!
Lookout Pass, at 4710 feet, sits at the Idaho/Montana state line. As one reaches the summit eastbound, Montana extends their welcome. It’s a long descent from the summit; I was happy to have Big Blue’s engine brake available.
The day was hot! I ran the dash air conditioner nearly all day, and fired up the house air each time I stopped to eat or dawdle. Once in Missoula I ran it most of the evening as it was 93° when I arrived at 1800 hours Mountain Time.
Descending into Montana from Lookout Pass. Montana in the summertime is a beautiful place to visit!
I continued along I-90 in Montana ’til I reached Missoula and the Walmart store. It was good to pull in at 1800 hours Mountain Time. Yep, I lost an hour as I crossed into Montana at Lookout Pass.
Once I had Big Blue set up for the night, I headed into the store expressly to buy some of that Stella Artois beer that our son, Allen, had introduced me to when we visited them in Denver. But there was none to be found, as they were out. I tried again later in the evening, but still none. It sure would have gone well with the hot evening I dealt with.
Big Blue set for the night at Missoula, Montana’s Walmart.
As part of the evening chores, I zapped a frozen meal for dinner, staying on my diet very well for the day. Then it was time to update this blog and edit photos, etc.
It was nearly 2200 hours when I finished blogging and settled back with a cool one and relaxed. I dug out another Coen brothers movie, Barton Fink, and watched about half of it. Again. It seemed to be a pretty strange plot to me. Again. But it was surely well done, and I would likely finish it the next evening.
I headed to bed around the usual time, and slept well. As usual.
Day 8, Thursday, August 12, Missoula, MT to Havre, MT via MT200, I-15, US87, US2: 272 miles
The first day of my second week on the road was a good one, as most are. I drove almost the entire day on two lane roads, in very remote parts of Montana. The weather was mild, the winds were generally calm, and I enjoyed the drive and the beauty that is Montana in the summertime.
The Walmart RV Park the morning of Day 8. Thank you, Mr. Sam!
I did deal with a warm fridge the prior day, and was fit to be tied after all the issues I’ve had in the past. I do believe that much of my angst is due to the electronic gauges that keep me informed of the temps. Prior coaches weren’t nearly so troublesome, but then I never knew the actual temps, and even in the 50s, the food seemed pretty cool. Now I know to the tenth of a degree just how it’s doing. And on Day 7, it reached a fraction of a degree short of 60°. I programmed in the “forget” code to clear any fault codes, and that seemed to work. This morning, and all of Day 8 so far, it’s worked just fine, with fridge temps in the low 40s and the freezer at about 0°.
The first order of the day was to pump on some diesel before leaving Missoula. I found just one station selling it for “just” $3.29 while everywhere else was in the mid $3.40s and more.
I drove across town to find the place pretty much filled with cars, and it took awhile to figure out how to get in and out. I did manage, and besides that hassle, I found the slowest pump in the west. It took me over half an hour to pump on 60 gallons.
Amazingly, the pump allowed me $200 worth before cutting me off. Most stations require additional swipes of the card after $75, and some go to $100. At any rate, the $200 allowed me 60 gallons, and while I could have pumped on another 8 or 10 gallons or so, I was out of patience with the slow pump. But I did get the lowest price in town!
The small, very crowded station with the slowest pump ever – but the lowest price in town.
Once under way, the beauty of Montana was on display much of the day, and I shot waaaay too many photos, as usual. I’ll let those that did make the cut tell the story because, as they say, a photo is worth a thousand words.
I reached the Continental Divide at over 5,600 feet, and found the drive down from that summit to be entertaining. Mostly, I was surprised that the landscape changed so drastically on the east side of the divide. It was barren by comparison!
More to Click!
I continued driving through the remote Montana I like so much – and the northern route I chose was all new to me. The barren hills and plains became farmland, and I saw countless miles of brown, dry, harvested fields. I think they were hay and/or grain crops. I saw miles and miles of both.
Here she is! The loneliest cow in all of Montana. Well… she probably would agree.
And then I came upon several miles of construction, and had to drive about four miles of bumpy dirt roads. Big Blue came through it fine, but with mud and dirt to show for the drive.
Uh-oh. This didn’t look good. Click to enlarge and read captions!
Here’s an example of the many miles of harvested fields I drove by.
I arrived at the Havre, MT Walmart a few minutes after 1600 hours. I was ready to be “home” and it felt good to settle in. Once I had Big Blue set up for the night, I headed into the store for my daily walk.
I planned to go way off my diet on Day 8, and I did so with unimaginable success. I stopped at a Mickey D’s in Great Falls, Montana for lunch, and ordered what is about my favorite sandwich, a McGriddle with sausage, egg, and cheese. It was my first in a long time, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. As I continued my drive, I enjoyed a McFlurry with Oreo cookies. I was in Fat City!
Those treats weren’t enough calories. After my walk around the store in Havre, I grabbed the six-pack of Stella Artois beer that I was deprived of the prior evening. The beer was intended to wash down a box of a favorite snack of mine, Crunch ‘n Munch. They’re much like Cracker Jacks, but even better. Worst of all, the beer and Crunchies were my dinner! And so it was, and I’m not going to let myself take a guilt trip over my transgressions. Nope. I hadn’t had any of either in months, and according to my sense of justice, I was due!
Good grief! The guy has no remorse at all! And it was delicious. Note the bowl holding the Crunchies, complete with a spoon to make it a nice and tidy pig-out.
A few minutes after 2200 hours Mountain Time, it was time to finish the Barton Fink movie. But I got sidetracked watching more silly videos. I do find YouTube to be pretty habit forming.
A few minutes before midnight I gave up and headed to bed. It had been a good day for me, if not my diet. I promised myself to do better the next day.
Day 9, Friday, August 13, Havre, MT to Williston, ND via US2: 303 miles
The new day dawned very sunny and pleasant, and I was hankering to hit the road for North Dakota. The plan was to drive clear across Montana on US2, a farm highway if ever there was one. But first things first…
I had a bug collection that had to be dealt with if I wanted to see much through the mammoth windshields. It was quite a job to get them spotless, as I like them. And I had to run into the store for some breakfast sandwiches. I was growing tired of only frozen waffles or oatmeal for breakfast. After those jobs and the usual morning chores, I pulled out of Havre’s Walmart at 0830.
Then, I needed to pump on more diesel before leaving town. I had the misfortune of pulling into a station that advertised the stuff at $3.30, but the pump sold it for $3.35 – and there was no price difference between cash and credit, as many stations have. It was an Exxon station, and I’m sure it was an honest mistake. I was sure that someone was sleeping on the job for that to happen.
Note the diesel price on the sign; on the pump it was $3.35. Not a big deal, but someone didn’t finish their job. It was not a cash vs. credit price difference, but a higher price than advertised. That was a first for me.
When I stopped at a wide spot in the road for breakfast, I noticed a flock of sheep off in the distance. I took my camera and went outside to get a shot of them, and of Big Blue. To my surprise, a big, friendly Great Pyrenees came up to me to say hello. He seemed very happy to see someone, and was a very loving dog. Then it dawned on me that he was likely from the field where the sheep were, and he just wanted to say hello. To me, that was quite an experience because I’ve seen a documentary or two about that breed and how they are used to protect flocks of sheep.
The entire drive was through farmland and small towns, and I was delighted to be driving through it. The day was very pleasant, although the afternoon was a bit warm for me, and I ran the dash air when necessary.
This photo very well represents the first portion of my drive; I saw lots of green and growing crops and pasture land.
The lack of traffic was an added pleasure. I had the lonely US2 nearly to myself all day – note the photos’ empty highway scenes. I was so far north that I even saw a sign for a Canadian entry station.