Kevin Standlee (kevin_standlee) wrote,

Halfway Home

We checked out of the hotel this morning and before turning south we went back out to Mehama. Here's what the last part of the drive looked like.



Lisa stopped at the hardware store where her cousin works to have a few final words with him before we left to head homeward.

Leaving Mehama, we went south on OR-226 through Lyons and stopped at Substation Road to photograph the most overbuilt-looking electrical lines you're likely to ever see.


The towers on the left are ordinary high-tension long-distance electrical transmission lines running from the Detroit Lake hydro-electric plant. They were used to feed into the massive lines shown here. The asphalt area used to have transformers to run up the voltage.


These massive lines run only a short distance, apparently from nowhere to nowhere.


Lisa says they were part of an experiment to test the effects of EMF from million-volt AC lines on animals that were raised in the fields under these super-high-voltage lines. We're unsure why the lines have been left in place; it seems like they would have sufficient salvage value to justify removing the now-unused towers and wires.

After a stop for breakfast in Albany, we continued south on I-5 to Eugene where we made a fruitless stop at Cabela's outfitters still looking for a new heavy coat for Lisa. Then it was back off the freeway and onto OR-58 and into the mountains. We stopped at Oakridge intending to buy some snacks a the grocery store there when the store across the road caught Lisa's eye, and we walked over to Willamette Mountain Mercantile, which is actually a bicycle shop, but also carries coats and other workwear. Here Lisa finally found a nice heavy coat, albeit not with a removable liner and in black instead of yellow, but it was made in the USA, which is a rarity these days, and it is warm and has a hood, all of which are good things.

After buying some soda from the grocery store, we loaded up and I noticed the clouds forming in the mountains above Oakridge.


Leaving Oakridge, we started getting the rain again, heavy at times, as we ground our way up toward Willamette Pass. I was happy for the cold and the wet, however, as it kept the minivan from overheating as we climbed. Earlier in the day, we stopped at a rural truck scale and checked our weight. The U-Haul tipped the scales at 1700 pounds being dragged behind my van. Fortunately, Lisa loaded it well and it has been quite stable and manageable, although I'm a bane to other motorists because I've tended to go relatively slowly and never faster than 55 MPH even when the speed limit is higher.

We stopped at the Pilot station in Chemult and refueled. Doing the numbers, I found that I was getting a miserable 13 MPG on the drive from Brooks (yesterday) and Chemult. Mind you, much of that was with a fully loaded trailer and hauling up-grade to the pass, but it was still a significant drop-off from the more-typical 19-20 MPG. Lisa noted that our tires seemed a little low, so I checked them, and sure enough, all four tires were a bit low, two of them fairly badly so. The area around the air pump at the Pilot was busy with a fellow repairing his motorcycle and isn't well placed for a towing vehicle anyway, but the pump attendant directed us across the street to the Chevron station, where we filled the tires to 38 lbs and I bought something from their mini-market to justify using their air pump.

Lisa drove from Chemult to give me a chance to eat my lunch. We pulled off at the Collier State Park Logging Museum to change drivers again, and we took the opportunity to shoot a picture of the (relatively) new building.


This is the cookhouse, which was newly-constructed when we came through in 2012. It wasn't open today, and the shades were drawn, so it's unclear exactly what's inside it.


This interpretive sign gives some idea of what the cookhouse might be like. If you've ever eaten at the Samoa Cookhouse near Eureka, California, you also will understand the general idea. Mind you, given the work the loggers were doing, they needed that much food.


Lisa took this photo of me and travelswithkuma to give some idea of just how large this saw blade is.


I am beset by Bears large and small outisde the restrooms at the Collier Park.

Approaching Klamath Falls, we stopped for a fuel top-off at the Pilot north of town so that we are confident about having more than enough fuel to get home tomorrow without needing to refuel again. The Holiday Inn Express had lots of room for me to take up three spaces parking the minivan-plus-trailer combination, and there were no difficulties with check-in. To our amusement, we were given exactly the same room we had a week ago coming the other way.

Tomorrow we go home. Lisa was already feeling better as we got nearer to Klamath Falls and the nearly incessant rain began to fade out and the sun shone through again. We're returning to the dry lands again before Lisa starts to mildew.
Tags: kuma bear, lisa, oregon, travel, weather
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