Day 4/5: 438.7 miles, 1022.4 miles total
Well folks, I’ve made it to Oregon. Without incident, surprisingly (if you know me, it’s quite a feat).
It’s beautiful here. I knew the landscape would be different than San Diego, with the whole desert vs. wilderness aspect, but it’s refreshing to finally experience it. There’s been a few rainy days since I’ve arrived, and as of now I’m still enjoying it. There’s just something about how the air smells different; a bit cleaner, a bit fresher. The cold isn’t as biting as I was expecting it to be for mid-winter, and I’m enjoying the fact that it’s finally appropriate for me to go all-out with my scarves and boots. Yay!
The drive up was a long one, across windy roads that twisted through towering redwoods that often blocked out the sun. Coming from Eureka and Crescent City I had the perfect opportunity to pass through the redwood state park, and it was gorgeous. Passing through here felt like the typical American road trip thing to do, and I’m glad I did. My only regret was not stopping long enough to enjoy the view, something I’m still knocking myself for not doing. How often do I have free time to do this, anyway? I’m thinking a follow-up camping trip is in order someday soon.
When I arrived in Portland it was already dark, and the daily traffic had already piled up down Interstate 5. Nothing I wasn’t already familiar with from back home–I’m a Californian driver; I’ve got this! As I inched my way up over the crest of a hill and across a bridge (I get oddly excited about crossing bridges; it’s a thing), I gasped as the city of Portland came into view on my left. It’s huge–downtown is much bigger than I was expecting it to be, and I was quite impressed by the number of buildings that reached their spires to the night sky, windows glowing warmly against the cold winter air outside.
I’ve since driven around a little to try and get my geographical bearings, but there’s still so much more to explore. One of the biggest shocks since I arrived was when I was minding my own business, driving leisurely down a Vancouver highway, and all of a sudden there’s the enormous snow-covered peak of Mt. Hood out my window. I could have wrecked my car by staring at it so intently in awe (don’t laugh. A Cali girl doesn’t know much about mountains, okay?). Even now it still excites me to see it peer out from behind a grove of thick pine trees. I hope that excitement never fades, because that’s part of discovering and falling in love with a new place.
I’m trying to build myself into a routine that includes daily walks in the lovely winter air, because I honestly can’t get enough of it. The next step, of course, is landing a job, and I’m already inspired by the many prospects I seem to have.
The journey doesn’t end here! I’m excited to really explore my new home in-depth, and I’m sure to meet so many interesting people, each with their own story I get to tell on this very webpage. So keep following, and thanks for all your support so far.