May 29, 2006

Finally Home!

After 37-days and some 4000+ miles later, my wife and I finally drove into the overgrown yard today at around noon! We travel in a 34' motorhome and tow a small Saturn that we use for transportation when we arrive at a place where we will stay for a few days.

The most "white knuckle" drive was one lasting about 4 hours, and which crossed from Ouray to Silverton, CO. The narrow 2-lane road rises to more than 11,ooo' before dropping down into Silverton. In some places the grades are 5% to 6% (perhaps understated), and the fog line - when present - marks the boundary between the edge of the road and a dropoff of perhaps a thousand, or more feet in places. Average speed up the inclines - as well as the decline down the other side, was no more than about 15 mph in first gear, and the engine speed topping out at about 4,000 rpm.

I'm not aware that any RV'ers read this, but if you are one, and planning a trip out west this summer, I have the following observations:

- Oregon has the most expensive gasoline. This is caused primarily by the socialist legislature in that state which imposes a tax (about 13 cents a gallon) to subsidize service station employees. It's against the law for a driver to pump his own gas in Oregon. I believe that New Jersey is the only other state to forbid drivers to pump their own gas.

- Oregon has the most courteous drivers. However, semis are required to keep in the right lane on interstate highways while maintaining a 55 mph speed. Imagine a few hundred tailgating semis in the right lane and you in the left, attempting to get to an exit ramp!

- Of the eight states we drove through, Idaho and Utah (through major cities) had the worst interstate highways.

- The wind in the Columbia River Gorge is hard to fight in a motorhome.

I'll get back to genealogy in a few days. Still have to mow grass, and clean and prepare the motorhome for another trip later this month.

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