Well, we left Longview at 1:30 PM on Thursday. We traveled the hour to Portland think we would beat the 3:00 PM traffic jam but just before we could get out of Portland traffic slowed to a crawl. We also slowed to a crawl around Wilsonville,OR. After that it was full speed ahead.
We took a cutoff for Klamath Falls at Eugene and found ourselves on a beautiful mountain highway which crossed the Cascades. It was a beautiful drive. Irene fell in love with Oakridge, OR, population 3,000 at about 5,000 feet elevation. Cute - quaint, little Mayberry town!
We crossed into Purgatory, oops, I mean California at Merrill, CA. We pushed on and after 9 hours on the road we arrived at Cedarville, CA. We checked in around 11:30 PM. The room was old fashion in a western hotel but very satisfactory, except it had no AC. The overhead fan barely moved the hot stifling air which allowed us to sleep. We awoke the next morning at 5:15 AM in time to sit on the bench in front of the motel on main street and see the sun come up over the Warner Mountains and the high sierra desert. You have not seen beauty until you have seen the sunrise on the high desert!
We packed the car, checked out and drove around Cedarville. That takes all of about 10 minutes. We saw the Slaughter House I used to work in - the double wide mobile home which served as the parsonage was gone and the land was empty. It was a bit sad. We saw the Post Office Irene would occasionally clean and I saw the little town market where I worked to supplement my pastoral income.
We saw the buildings that was once the Surprise Valley Baptist Church. Sometime after my successor left the church the buildings were sold and turned into duplexes. What a tragic thing. The town had not changed in 25 years. Yes, a couple of businesses were gone and a couple had sprung up. The town was a little overgrown with desert grass but untouched by time. It was surreal.
We left Cedarville around 7:40 AM and headed to Susanville, CA. What a change! They now have a super Wal-Mart, Payless Shoes, Walgreens, Taco Bell, Jack in the Box, Burger King, and Taco Bell. All new in the last 5 years. The town population has almost doubled from 7,000 to about 17,500. There is now a Federal Prison in Susanville.
We drove to Reno and decided with fuel costs and timing we needed to drive straight through for Modesto, CA, which we did. It was a long haul. We arrived at my parents house about 5:00 PM Friday night.
I am going to stop here. More to come along with pics when we get home and have them developed. Thus far we praise God for His grace, safety, mercy, blessings, and goodness. Irene and I have had a great time talking and laughing together. The Buick has run like Secretariat (34 MPG!). Fi Fi has traveled like a champ!
See ya soon! Love you all!