Travel, Food, and Slices of Life

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Stop and Go Go Go

I grew up in the New York metropolitan area so I understand about rush hour. When I moved to Nashville in 1975 I laughed at the local complaints. At that time the population was 500,000 and it took me maybe 30 minutes to drive the 15 miles from my house to where I worked downtown. When I returned to Nashville in 1989 the area had a population over 1 million and it typically took me about an hour to drive home in the afternoon, altho the morning commute was still reasonable.  I must have found a good window in the traffic flow.

When I took Sam and one of his buddies to Boston on a college road trip I added an hour to the travel time in order to make our scheduled tour at Boston University. We were late. The traffic was slow and bumper to bumper for 30 miles west of downtown Boston. No construction. No bad weather. That was normal.traffic 30 miles from Boston

After all these experiences, driving in Huntington was sweet. We experienced “rush minutes” when we were second in line at a traffic light. And so, when we considered where to move for this retirement life, we wanted rush minutes and McMinnville so far appears to be similar.car-traffic-light-stop-lg

However, Graham had a workshop to present at a regional meeting of one of the professional forensic organizations. The conference was being held in Vancouver, Washington, which is a northern suburb of Portland, and according to electronic mapping, only 1.5 hours away.I-5_entering_Washington,_Interstate_Bridge

We drove up early afternoon on Monday and sure enough, it only took 1.5 hours. Sweet. We now can estimate that time to the airport, which is about the same distance just east of Portland.

Today, I needed to pick him up. We had planned that I would leave around 8, hoping to miss most of any morning traffic, but we got a call that the new dishwasher will be installed today after noon and so, needed to be back in plenty of time. So, I left at 6:30.

I considered it an experiment to know how access to the airport might be if we ever need to go during peak traffic time. Well, although there was traffic the whole way. it moved well. I arrived at the Vancouver Hilton at 8:10, only 10 minutes more than the original drive in light traffic.  portland_focus_map

Today may have been an anomaly. I will trust my new local friends to provide warnings and advice. But if this is the way things get here, I think we can handle it!!


McMinnville is located about 35 miles southwest of Portland via State Route 99.



The Road Taken…..

It was a good day to explore. I dropped Graham at a professional conference in Vancouver, Washington, a suburb of Portland just north of the Columbia River. Instead of returning the tried and true way down I-5 and then Oregon Route 99 to McMinnville, I perused the map and went astray.

The next river crossing to the west required me to drive about 30 more miles on I-5. Then on U.S. 30 that follows the Columbia to the coast,DSCF5538 but I then headed south on Oregon Route 47. It wiggled and waggled through part of the Coastal Range, complete with “Snow Area” signs. I thought how my back road driving to farms throughout West Virginia and in Ohio and Kentucky helped me become comfortable with curving mountain roads.  DSCF5546The mountains were covered in evergreens and then I came across a clear cut which made me sad until I recognized that all the trees were young. DSCF5540

Out of the hills I started seeing more farmland, and the further south I drove I noticed more and more land was planted in grapes. There is more to explore…so much more to explore.DSCF5549