Thursday, August 6, 2015

The Oregon Diaries - Final Thoughts

Overall, my trip was great! I enjoyed all the wonderful, new and amazing things I saw: the mountains, the coast, the dunes, the flowers, the gardens, the waterfalls, painted hills, volcanic landscape and lush green tree landscape. Oregon surpassed my imagination of nature. The rivers were free flowing, clean and pretty. Their sound was so nice that I had to record it. I always would sit by them for a while. If I could - I would build my house near there. (Well my house is near a flowing canal!). 
I also did all the things I wanted to do and more. I walked the downtown of Portland, saw everything on my list, extra thing was the tram that I took. Then on the coast the dune buggy ride was a must for me! Except for a little time loss there, it was great! I wanted to have Tillamook ice cream and grilled cheese and I did. I drove everywhere that I could think of, or was possible. And I also got to do rafting! Despite that I could not get on the tour I really wanted, I still did it – the only regret is I have no photos because of the greediness of the Seventh Mountain people. But I have the experience in my mind forever and oh what fun it was!!

I ate everywhere I wanted to. I was not miser about it and honestly it was not that expensive at all. On average I think I spent about $15 per day – that may include all the chips, fruits and carrots I bought.
The drawbacks for me were: travelling solo and so not getting all the benefits I would have at certain places (like the buggy ride or the small hotel room); I had no one to share any of my experience with - I really missed having a loved one by my side. Kids do make it more enjoyable but then you are limited by how much you can do. But they do make it fun! Again, not much I can do there.

The other drawback for me was that I was doing everything all by myself. This can be very tiring. Sometimes I would have just like to sit back and enjoy the view. For me it was always a do or die issue…and since I am not planning on coming back anytime soon, I had to do it all.

But I did sit by the rivers and enjoy hearing the water is one other one as a last homage to Oregon.......

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

The Oregon Diaries - Day 9

Last day in Oregon. Today is the day to see all the falls! It’s a 30 mile distance so should not take long to do. Left The Dalles around 9:00 am. No breakfast – only one banana. This motel was just so so. The flush was not that great, shower was too small and did not drain. Coffee was there but the quality was hopeless.  I guess I got what I paid for….

The drive towards west was confusing. Even though I know I have to go on Hwy 30, it was really confusing as it merged into I-84 once in a while and goes into Business 30 in some places. Ugh! I will not miss these stupid road confusions of Oregon.

Finally found the Hwy 30 I want to be on – it is also marked as the Historical Hwy. Very interesting highway. It is like the Hana drive of Hawaii; very curvy and narrow with stops all along the way for waterfalls. The waterfalls in Hana drive were small, however these ones were all something else!

Horsetail Waterfalls
I was going east to west (most people go west to east as they are coming from Portland).  So the first water fall I saw was Horsetail. Really tall falling like a thin tail. It was right on the road. Perfect. Very nice falls. 

Got on the road for the next one – Oneonta Falls. This one was first through a tunnel (which was also historical). I could not see the falls anywhere so started walking back, when a lady with two little kids came and mentioned that the falls are a little bit of hike. So I followed her. The hike was interesting. It was all a dry river bed. Walking through it, itself was an adventure. And then came the huge boulder, which I also managed, but I could not manage the next one on my own. It was a huge pile of dead tree trunks. There was no way I could have crossed that without any assistance. Even getting back on the huge boulder was not possible without this one guy helping me out.  Either that is supposed to be part of the adventure or maybe the people managing that area should really make a path. Disappointed, I came back.

What to do? Traveling alone does have its drawbacks.

The next falls was the most advertised one, the Multnomah Falls. The picture of these falls are everywhere! They had developed these falls a lot. There was a gift shop, restaurant, rest room, coffee and what not. Anyway… I went to see the falls first. Beautiful falls – and really high! I would say easily 10-12 stories high. The main problem was the sun - it was right where the waterfalls were starting so it was really hard to take a good picture of the entire falls.
There was a trek going up to see where the falls start from. Thought about doing that trek as it would be nice to see it. Talked to some people on the way and it seemed it was going to be uphill trek (normal, because the falls are falling from high up!). At one point I gave up, then a lady convinced me to keep going otherwise later I might feel that I should have gone. Well okay…so I kept going. Saw old people coming down and children going up, so I thought, sure I can do it too. But after going on for so long, a sign finally said, 0.8 mi trek. Ugh! I cannot do so much, especially with my back aching the way it was. I asked some people what was up and they showed me photos. And I changed my mind. It was only a stream. One cannot even see the falls falling because they are falling at an angle and there is no proper angle to see them. What a waste of time and energy! I came down. Of course coming down was way faster than going up.

Was so exhausted that I really regretted making the trek. Had soup and salad at the Multnomah restaurant. I had the prime seat. Right where I could see the falls! Beautiful. I was looking around envying all the people with families, but later realized, most adults were not talking to each other. If there were kids, they would talk to kids but otherwise they were all busy on their phones or just not talking. How sad. Here I am, dying to talk to someone, and they have someone yet they are not talking. Life is so unfair.

Went to the gift shop and bought myself a magnet. That is what I have been doing. I don’t know what other keepsake to buy.

It’s about 1:30 pm now. Got back on the road to the next waterfall – Wahkeena Falls. This seemed to be the least popular falls. The trek was not bad at all, the falls were quite pretty. There was only one other group there who left when I got there, so I was the only one. It was so easily accessible. One could go under the falls also.
Wahkeena Waterfalls
The next fall was Bridal Veil Falls. This was a little bit of a trek 0.6 mi one way. Up and down I went, but the falls are visible only from the very end of the trail. And what beautiful falls. I say that for all, but the truth is – I love waterfalls. To me they represent motion and beauty. There were many people here. Nice! Back at the parking lot was another trail going to see the overlook. Went on it – nice overlook – although later I got some better overlooks. I could have skipped this one.

Bridal Veil Waterfall

On to the Shepperds Dell Falls. Not very far from the road. A short upward hike led to the falls. This was divided into two falls like Multnomah Falls. One tall one and then flat and then again. There was a trail going up to the starting point – but no – this time, I cannot do it!
Sheppards Dell Waterfalls
The last water fall was Latourell Falls. I think this was the best! And the tallest. A little hike took me to the falls. Just so gorgeous and completely uninterrupted view! Too good.  The nicest part about all these water falls is that they are all fresh water, and they are easily accessible and there is no one preventing you (except your common sense) to bath in these falls. Some people were coming in with bathing suits while some were playing around. Fun!
Latourell Waterfalls
Then it was the Crowne Point Vista House – a viewing point. but apparently it used to be a resting point for travelers at one point. I was driving on a nice road so could not tell, but when I looked off the viewing point, we are hundreds of feet above the Columbia River. The view is amazing!

Next I had to decide whether to do the 14 mi drive up to a viewing point from which one can see 5 mountain peaks. Well…since I don’t have to walk, I can drive 14 mi. It was around 4 pm now. It was now or never. So I did it. The drive up was just a little stressful, very curvy and narrow – but pretty drive. There was not too much traffic, so had to be careful. Just when I was on a curve, a car would come from the other side.

Got up there in about 25 mins. Then did not know where to go for the view. Walked on the one single trail there. But then it spilt and there were no indications as to where I should go. I climbed one side (plenty of stairs), but then there were 3 splits. Came back. Luckily ran into a guy who was also going and he guided me to the right path. It was straight ahead (The Sheppard Point). And there were stairs!! Oh Lord! Why does it have to be stairs? Went up the stairs. I was not going to turn back now. And so good I did not. The view up there was amazing. There were very few die hards to come to this place so it was not crowded at all. Starting from the left was, Mt. Helens (a flat top mountain, as it lost a lot of its top during the last volcano), Mt. Rainier (not quite visible), Mt. Adams – perfectly visible as a beautiful peak, then Mt. Hood (oh what a sight!! It was front and center of all the peaks) and finally Mt. Jefferson (this was hidden behind some mountains, so only the peak was visible).

Admired the view for a while and then came down the stairs and drove down also. 5:30 pm. Have to keep track of time, as I have to return the car also today. One last stop at the Women’s Forum Overlook. Lovely view of the Columbia River and also the Crown Point. Did not spend too much time there.

Now it’s time to head back to Portland. Not looking forward to the crazy traffic and roads, but it has to be done. Did get lost going to Ramada, but finally made it after calling them for directions. Checked in (why don’t these hotels put in some elevators! Carrying a suitcase even one flight of stairs is trying when one is tired). 

Went to return the car. Was a little worried about leaving it on the road, but what to do – no choice. Walked across the huge Burnside Bridge to get to the Skidmore station to get the red Max train. I was remembering 9 days ago, when I made exactly the same trek on the first day of touring. How different that was! The train took about 50 mins to get to the airport. Called Ramada to send the shuttle to pick me up. Luckily there was one more person. Didn’t feel so guilty about just a pick up.

Got to the hotel and just wanted to crash! But there is no rest. Had to clean out my stuff and make sure everything was packed as I have to get up at 4:15 am – and I will not be packing then. Sleep was not easy to come as the stupid AC kept coming on and off and made a great noise when it was on. It was always one noise or another. Must have slept though!

Got up a couple times at night, but finally woke at 3:30 am. Don’t know what it is with the internal body clock, always wakes up before the alarm (for most part). Had send text to Bhaiya to wake me up at 4:15 am and he did call!

Then it was just about getting ready and taking the shuttle to the airport at 5 am. All went smooth. I am writing this now in Las Vegas airport as I have so much time to kill. And yesterday I was too exhausted to write. 

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

The Oregon Diaries - Day 8

Have to drive to The Dalles (pronounced daals) today. Its about 4 hrs drive and I have to take one stop in the middle to see one water fall (Tygh River water fall). So got up late and packed my suitcase. Everything fit! Of course!   

Left around 10 am. The drive was straight up 97 and then 197. As 97 changed to 197, I stopped at McDonalds for lemonade and fries – perfect combo! It was a beautiful day outside so sat outside and ate. Lovely. I will miss this weather. As soon as I got on 197, the scenery took a 180 turn. Gone were the trees and greenery. It was rolling hills in a very strange rolling pattern and short shrub like trees everywhere. And the very common green/yellow shrub I have been seeing everywhere.  This looks very much like a volcanic area – which has been formed not too long ago since the vegetation is so less. Hwy 197 is even more desolate than some of the other highways I have been driving on.

There were snow peak covered mountains coming one after another. I kept thinking each one was Mt. Hood, but they kept coming…so no they were not. The drive was really beautiful, the valleys, the hills and the far away snow covered mountains…and the hills were either yellow or green (farming). Just gorgeous.

Took the Tygh White Water River exit. I did not even see any river, but by the time I reached the park, I could hear the river. It was a lovely park, so many youngsters were there having fun. The restrooms had plumbing!! I knew there was a little bit of a steep walk down (thanks to Google!), so took some water and walked down. It was 2 pm and was bloody hot! I got half way (as someone coming up mentioned that it might be enough). Going down is never a problem, its coming back up. And darn the water falls – they are not all like Niagara falls that you can walk to. Most are either up or down!

The river did not have much water in it, but still the falls were quite amazing. There were two parts to it, one cannot see both at any given time. I could see one from the top, the other part I had to walk down to. The river was muddy. The water fall did not quite look like I saw on Google pictures, so I knew that there was less water in the river or they would have been even more amazing.

The entire walk and look took about 30 mins. I was back on the road again. Wanted to go east for a little more scenic drive, but just did not have much energy. It was about 3 pm and decided to check into my hotel – the Oregon Motel. The owner turned out to be a Gujrati (my second Indian or 2.5 Indian if I count the Itty Bitty Inn owner). The room is very comfortable. On looking for things to do, besides driving, there is zipling – but that is 40 mins drive. Not doing it; and besides the last tour is at 5 and it lasts about 2 hours. I will be exhausted by the time I come back. I have another long day tomorrow, so just want to stay chilled today.

So then the other option is to do some local stuff. So decided to go to the Museum, which yet again was not a straight forward route. 

The museum was myeh – just okay. Oregon does have a lot of interesting history. I admire how tenacious people were in moving here from the east. The whole wagon thing is amazing. Really shows the adventurous spirit and determination of people back then. Or maybe they had no choice but to move. Now Oregon is thriving on lumbar, fish, cherries, wheat and not to forget tourism. There is so much outdoor activities to do here. At least in summer time, it would be criminal to stay at home. There was a little pathway around the museum, walked on it for a while. It was nice.

Next stop was the Sunshine Mill Winery. It seemed they had some interesting interior, so I decided to go. It is a really old building and they make their wine there. No tours were given, but tasting was on. So I thought why not? They had 5 wines for $7, and then you would also get one little copa to take (a little cup wine thingy).  The lady was pouring quite a lot of wine, so by the time I had my 5th one, I was a little woozy! And then she mentioned that white wines have little more alcohol content than red ones, and I like white better than red. I took some pictures, took my copa and came back to the motel. I was really feeling the kick of the wine by then!

On the way back from the museum, I noticed the Thai place next to the hotel. At about 7:30 pm I went there to get something to eat. Ordered some vegetable soup and vegetable rolls (the rice paper ones). Brought them back to the motel to eat later. Both were awesome! Best $10 spent. 

That’s it for the day. Am very tired and am just waiting to go back to Florida now.

Monday, August 3, 2015

The Oregon Diaries - Day 7

I have my rafting today!! I have to be there by 9:45 am so I have some time in the morning. Got ready. 

Reached the Seventh Mountain Resort on the Cascade Scenic byway by 10:45 am. Paid $43 for the 1 hr rafting. Cannot take anything that can wet, so had to leave my camera behind. On second thoughts I could have taken my phone. Oh well. There were four rafts on the Deschutes River. A family of four, another single girl and I were on one of them. We had a good guide. The rafting itself was sometimes a little boring, during the lull periods. I guess one cannot have rapids all the time. The first one was fun, the second, The Little Eddie, was the super soaker! We all got completely wet. Fun fun fun! The third one was a baby one. And then it was over. Back at the store they were selling pictures for $30! Incredible. Daytime robbery. Of course I did not buy them. I will go rafting again sometime.

Then it was time to do the scenic byway. The first 30 miles or so was beautiful. I stopped at a couple lakes to enjoy the scenery. Yet again, the prices of coffee etc. were so high at these places that it was not worth it. Was on my last stop near the dam, when an elderly gentleman starting talking to me.  We chatted for about 20 mins. He told me to visit Pauliana lakes and go up the hill to a scenic look like the Crater Lake. I thought why not.

After finishing the byway, I found the exit for Pauliana lake, but it seems the lakes were too far. I was tired of driving so much. So I did not go. About 10 miles from my exit was the Lava Lands, but did not realize that it was coming and missed the exit. So had to turn around and come back about 10 miles round trip. It was a national park so $5 entry fee.  In the park was a caldera (which had a shuttle going up but stopped at 4 pm, I was there exactly at 4 pm!). Oh well I have seen a live volcano so this was not such a big deal. I can still see it tomorrow if I want to.

There was also the 1 mile long lava tube to explore and a falls at about 1 mile hike. The lave tube also closes at 4 pm, so all I could do was go to the water falls. It was 4 miles further inside the park. No problem. Finally found the parking for the water falls. There was a family coming in a van, I asked them about the falls and the man said they were also going the same way. Great! I tagged along with them. They were a good family, Chinese, I think. Parents and three young boys. One thing we did not anticipate in the walk was mosquitoes. Today I was a buffet for them during the entire hike! Ugh!! 

Deschutes River is a one of the main rivers here in central Oregon. That is what the trail was on. We kept following it and suddenly the river started going faster, we could hear it also. For about 0.5 km, the river was going through over stones and it was really fast flowing and then came the water falls – which was not really that big of a fall, but certainly pretty! There was soooo much water! Lovely. And then I saw people were actually parking near the water falls also. The direction were not that great. Anyway, the walk back was equally mosquito ridden. The lady, Han, was great to talk to. We chatted all the way back to our cars.
The falls on Deschute River
Made it to the hotel by 6 pm. I was feeling like a mess – my hair was still strange after the morning rafting, my feet all dusty from the hike and of course all the mosquito bites on my legs and arms – bumps and scratches everywhere. I still had to visit the Old Mill place, so took a shower, changed into something nice and drove out to Old Mill. Really nice little area. The Deschutes River flows right there; there were all the brand name shops and a movie theater and of course, restaurants. There I asked a lady to take my picture and we started chatting. We talked for over 30 mins. She seems to be a world traveler! Rose – amazing lady. She also came to visit southern Oregon for seven days. We talked about all our travels. It seemed to me that she was really well off. Oh well – lucky her.

After goodbyes, I walked a little bit more (I was dead tired of walking and driving!). There seemed to be a lot of fun stuff to do: rent a 3 wheeler bike and load up with people and go around. There were people paddling and tubing in the Deschutes River. And then there was the cycling-moving bar where about 12 people sit around a table which is all a big bike. All of them pedal and go around the city, drinking and enjoying! A different experience.  The walk itself was nice for me. I enjoy watching people. Although I know for myself I would love to have YKH with me….but such is life.

Went to Izzy’s to have my pizza buffer. This was a disappointment. It was expensive with not enough choices for pizza and then of course I got charged for drinks when I did not know they were not included in the $8.99 buffet. Too pricey. Will not recommend to anyone.

That’s it. That is my day! Too long, too tiring but everything was good.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

The Oregon Diaries - Day 6

Today was going to be a long day also. Got up early again. Why can’t I sleep till 8? Got ready and realized I left my hair spray at the Itty Bitty Inn. That’s what happens when I go back and forth from the car. Oh well – will just have to get another one. Went for breakfast. It was an English muffin and coffee.  Good enough.

Left at 8:45ish to first buy some hair spray. Walgreen is just next door – perfect. Picked up a travel size spray and promptly went out the wrong road! Ended up going to downtown. Turned around and came back on 97. Then things were in order. Went on 97, then 126 to 26 for the John Day Park. It was about a 2 hour drive. A lot of it was pretty but I knew I would be coming back the same way (then it would get boring). Stopped at McDonald’s in Prineville to go and have a hash brown. Consistency of the McDonald’s!! The drive was quite different than what I had been doing before. It was quite bare, hills were not that high and they all seemed different than hills I am used to seeing. also the foliage was quite different.
Reached the entrance of the park around 11am. It is a huge park, I started with the west side, the Painted Hills Unit. The actual trails start after 6 miles. The scenery got really beautiful and I started seeing the red hills. Amazing!! The visitor’s center on this side of the park was dismal. I needed to go but not in those toilets!! So I held it. Picked up the maps from there and started driving. It is hard to write how beautiful the scenery was. The small and large hills – colored red and yellowish and some blackish…just breathtaking. One has to be there to be able to admire it all. I wanted to do all the trails but one as that was 3 miles. The first overlook was the best. It gave me a feeling of as if I was in a different planet. Just different.

Went to three more trails, only one was just had a hill of broken rocks that have fossils. You cannot get close to it or pick any stones, so what’s the point? All the other trails were great. The plant life here is quite different too. I have never seen such plants before.

The next section – the Sheep Rock Unit is about 20 miles using Hwy 26, but since I had time, I took the scenic route from inside the park. It took me more than an hour to get to the other side, which I did not realize I was there until the trail came. Anyway…I am getting ahead. The drive itself was very picturesque – there were green mountains in the middle also. So many horse ranches here. After I got on Hwy 19, the John Day River joined me too…such a pretty drive. Driving along the river is always very romantic for me. Very long though! But definitely good one time around. I did something that I never do in USA!! I had to stop at a rest stop and go in the nature! Hehe! One thing to mention – all inside the park, the traffic was almost zero. Part of me was worried about me driving in such a lonely area, but then the horse ranches started appearing and life was good again.

And then I started seeing these beautiful green rocks and stopped to take pictures, without realizing I was already on the other side. Well – not such a big deal, as there is only one place to walk the trails. I saw all that there was to see before I reached the trails. There were two – a 3 mile and a 1 mile. By this time it was about 3:30pm. The sun was burning down at 100oF. I tried walking a little but gave up. The headache from the heat was too much, despite drinking water.  At least I have good pictures.

Soon after, the visitor’s center came. Yes – I never miss any visitor’s center as they have good information. Saw the 20 mins video on the park. Amazing! So the formations show the life over 60 million years! Layer by layer one can go from 60 to 50 to 45 to 30 all the way to 5 million years. John Day park is a heaven for paleontologists and geologists (who knew?!). Ever since the 1880s they have been discovering fossils here and they are still finding new ones. Apparently this area used to be a tropical area before, so all the animal fossils (bones etc.) are of strange species never to be found in USA. There are a lot of plant fossils also. Using all this the scientists can create what this area must have looked over 60 million years; and also determine what caused the changes in the ecosystem based on the soil study and volcanic activity.

I am really glad I went to this park. It was a little out of the way, but worth it for me. There were not many tourists here (like there were in the Crater Lake Park), so it was quite peaceful and enjoyable. I also learned that the green rock does not have copper!! It is made of a complex of aluminum, silicon etc…it is a complex – and that complex is green in color.

There was one more stop before leaving, sort of outside the park, called the Mascal Overlook. I am glad I took 20 mins to visit this one. The high elevation of this overlook shows a nice scenic view of the Sheep Rock area. It is just beautiful. And now that I know all this has fossils of 60 million years, I respect it a lot more. A lot of other parks don’t have such history or preservation or science. They are just scenic and some do promote the preservation of a particular ecosystem.

Anyway…the drive back was not that boring, RD Burman songs gave me good company. The scenery was still good, but now I was focused more on driving and getting back. The sun had given me a headache. I wanted to eat before crashing in the motel, so starting looking for Izzy’s on the list of restaurants I had, but could not find it. So decided to go for Mexican. Found a fast food type place, Baha Fresh was right on 3rd St. near the hotel. Had a quesadilla and some chips. Filled me up!! One of their salsa was very good – it was just chilles I think – but it was not hot.

All in all another good day!

Got an email back from the rafting guys that they did not have any openings. Called him to thank him for letting me know, and he told me about another company in 7th Mountain Resort that offers short rafting tours. So called them – they picked up – even at 8 pm! So now I am reserved to go in the morning at 10 am! Yay! I really wanted to do it. So tomorrow is also all set – rafting then scenic drive. Oh lord I am driving too much in this trip!! Please keep me safe.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

The Oregon Diaries - Day 5

Have a long drive ahead of me and I did not really sleep well. Don’t know if it was the temperature of the room or the darkness. In any case, got ready and wanted to check out but Ric was not around. So gave him a call and he asked me if I had tea. I had but he had made some masala tea that he wanted me to have. And I also wanted to buy some soap – it was great! The tea was good. He gave it to me in a cup. It was tough to take it in the car but it was worth it. I started driving at 8:30 am.

Finding Hwy 42 was not hard at all. The scenery changed to mountains and valleys as the road went more east into Oregon. Lovely drive. Did not have to stop for much…just once for coffee and rest room. Also picked up a sandwich from Subway for lunch. There will be no place to eat in the Crater Lake Park. Got on to Hwy 138. Beautiful highway. I am always amazed at how well these roads are maintained.  There was some construction going on, but even that was managed so systematically. This drive was lovely…there was a river flowing right by the highway and the mountains behind it…just gorgeous. But after drinking so much coffee I really needed to go….but there was no rest area on 138. Stopped at Diamond Lake to check out the view. Had to go also, although I hate those kinds of restrooms but what to do?

Diamond lake is also a crater lake but not as big the Crater Lake. It was beautiful. The Crater lake is only about 15 miles now. I am excited to get there. It is about 12:30 pm now. Paid the $15 to enter the park and drove in. It was all very hilly. There were valleys and the look of it was very different. Later I realized it was because of volcanic soil. It looked like the parks I had seen in Hawaii.  The first stop of the Crater Lake was mind blowing! I did not expect it to be so blue and so beautiful. 

Spent some time there and then drove the rim drive. It took me more than 4 hours to do the 33 miles. I stopped at almost all the stops and took pictures. There were no major hikes. The boat ride was booked out for the day. So all I had to do was drive.

Had my lunch at one of the scenic stops. So nice to have this view! I will never forget it.
Saw one water fall from the rim drive. Almost missed one hike – it was for the wild flowers, about 1 km long. Did the hike as I love wild flowers. It started as a blah, but slowly became more and more pretty. Eventually it was so beautiful that I would have made my home there. There was a little stream flowing through and the sound of it was soooo soothing. (Turn on your speakers and listen to the sound below - for best effect, close your eyes). I am glad I did this hike. 

Soon it started raining also. As I was driving and looking out at the mountains, it seemed there was fire in the forests there. Oh no! it was quite spread out. Hopefully they can get it under control soon.

A little after 5 pm and now I am exhausted. All the driving, getting in and out, just now hit me. Now all I want is a bed! It was still going to be about a 2 hr drive to Bend. A lot of it, as since morning, was a two lane highway. It can be trying but I was in no hurry so there were no major issues. The scenery was okay – the road was amazingly smooth and good. Got to Econo Lodge after 7 pm. I was dead tired now. Got my room, brought in my luggage, took a shower and that’s it! I am not capable to doing anything else but write and watch TV. 

Tomorrow is also another driving day!