Shaken and Stirred on the Hood River

A long train running on the Washington side of the majestic Hood River

I’ve been thinking a lot about our cross country trip this week. These thoughts were spurred by the arrival of Kerry’s parents who just spend the last three weeks driving on a very similar route across America, from Berlin, Connecticut to Guerneville, California. They drove her little Toyota Yaris all the way across, as a favor to us, and took the opportunity to see this country too. I find it really interesting and amusing that, although the route was similar, the places they stayed, ate at and saw were almost completely different. (They also got 45mpg to our 23mpg…gotta love the Yaris!) I guess their dramatically different route makes sense, since we are from different generations and have different interests, and how amazing that there was so much for us each to enjoy at every stop. We had the pleasure of nearly a week together, talking about and comparing our trips, and marveling at all what the other saw going across.

So, with those memories fresh in my mind, I wanted to take this chance to pick up where I left off last. We were leaving Walla Walla, Washington and driving across Washington, then down into Oregon and West to Portland. We drove along the majestic Hood River for nearly the whole three and a half hour span and it was an awesome site. The river is very large and is flanked on either side by very imposing and steep cliffs. Trains run along either side, creating a vision of a colorful moving streak from my distant perspective across the river, as you can see in the photo above.

About an hour into the trip, I received a text from my friend and ex-girlfriend that stated “your nightmare has come true. there was an earthquake in NY.” Disconcerted, we quickly tried to find news on the radio as I asked her for more details. She had been evacuated from the building that she works at in lower Manhattan and she had definitely felt the earthquake, but was fine. She had remembered that one of my biggest fears about living in a mammoth city with an ancient infrastructure, was that we would have a big earthquake. I envisioned the bridges collapsing, the underground electrical system exploding, the delicate water system bursting….chaos, essentially. I vowed to escape the city before it happened. The timing of the earthquake, which thankfully ended up not being all that I had feared due to its epicenter distance and its small scale, was very ironic. I touched base with some friends during the drive, and checked FB to get a sense of what my NY friends were saying about it, and was relieved to hear that everyone was shaken up, but totally fine. It made for a very surreal drive along the peaceful river. At the end of the drive, we came to Multnomah Falls, just outside Portland, and we walked at the base of each of the falls, taking in the beauty and the quiet. I remember feeling very thankful to be exactly where I was at that moment in time, and very relieved that NY had come through an earthquake well.

Power lines flanking the river at the start of the drive

Vineyards along the river on the Washington side

Birdlife on the Hood River

One of the stunning waterfalls at Multnomah Falls outside Portland

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