But I get ahead of myself. Here's the route we took. Now this isn't the fastest of routes on the best of the days and conditions, and tonight it was neither. This 164 miles took us nearly seven hours.
Now the first "delay" was a planned one, as we stopped for dinner. Having seen all the billboards for the prime rib and crab all-you-can-eat buffet at the Spirit Mountain Casino, we decided to stop there and have dinner early, because we figured we wouldn't get to Seaside early enough to have dinner, most places closing relatively early there. Dinner was about $40 for two people, and the selection was impressive-looking enough, but I can't say that I recommend it. The fish was overcooked. The sushi was poisoned with wasabi -- that is, Lisa, who would otherwise have been all over it, couldn't eat it because she hates hot spices and wasabi here is really horseradish powder dyed with yellow food dye, to which she has an adverse reaction. Speaking of yellow dye, she ate half of a slice of pecan pie before saying she felt sick and that she figured the pie was dyed as well. Her guts griped her all the way out here to Seaside.
But dinner wasn't the least of our problems. The pickup truck's throttle started sticking. This wasn't so noticeable on the open highway, but in stop-and-go traffic in towns -- of which there are many along our route -- it was terrible. Lisa stopped a couple of times and did things to try and make the throttle stop sticking, with only limited success. This of course made her worried and fretful, and I can't blame her. She wants to use this pickup to drive to Tempe for Westercon, and only has a few weeks to get the problem corrected.
And on top of bad digestion and balky vehicles, we hit a stretch of heavy fog on US-101 that coincided with a repaved stretch of road -- so recently repaved that the center and fog lines haven't been repainted yet. From our point of view, the road had vanished! We had to slowly pick our way along until the road markings reappeared. Moreover, US-101 along this stretch of coast is not built for speed at all. On a sunny day, it would be a lot more entertaining than after dark in the drizzle and fog.
We got to the hotel around 11:30, after stopping at Safeway to get some small groceries and some cash for Lisa to spend tomorrow. She'd planned on using her WaMu card at a Fred Meyer store in Tillamook, but to her surprise, the Fred Meyer stores here on the coast have US Bank ATMs, not WaMu/Chase. Despite Oregon being seemingly blanketed with WaMu branches, apparently there are none on the Oregon Coast. So at the Safeway in Seaside, I bought groceries and took $80 cash back and will get the cash out of her bank account later. She needs the money to hit the dealers room at SeaPac tomorrow.
My Priority Club Platinum status is working again: they upgraded me to a suite, with a separate living room area. The high-speed internet is wired and works without complaint. We have a riverside room on the third floor. I have nothing to complain about, except that the "office" work desk is in the bedroom, rather than the living room, which makes it difficult for one of us to work and the other to sleep. Still, we have lots of room here -- the suite is at least twice the area of our trailer in Mehama, albeit the trailer is far more efficiently organized.
Anyway, I need to get back to checking messages and find out how the models I left running before I left Mehama finished, and then possibly even get some sleep.
The weather isn't good -- cloudy and drizzly. Maybe I won't need the sunscreen even if I do get out of the hotel room this weekend.