Friday, July 26, 2013

41 hours and Circles in the Dark

 Got up 'bout 5 in the A.M. and did my usual coffee, and surfing. Did the dog thing and then set about finishing up the loading to get moved from Tillamook to Nehalem. My 14 days at the airfield camp had expired the day before...
... luckily, they're not real fanatical 'bout keepin' track of such things. I'd likely have been better off to just push it a bit more.
 Anyhoo, got loaded and hitched and drug the rig further up the 101 to the Nehalem Bay State park, hoping for another 5 days care of the State of Oregon. 
Pulling into a place and the first thing you see is a "CAMPGROUND FULL" sign is not the best way to start off... Don't ever just take the signs word for it.
I didn't this time, and my luck was holding. They'd JUST had a cancellation so I managed to slip into an easy to get into backin'. Which gave me a few hours to take a nap before I needed to get rolling for Portland international Airport.
 Well, I was actually standing up to grab my keys when the phone rang. Guess what? uh huh... the plane was two hours late... before it even took off. Then it was a half hour faster, then back to two hours... :-/ I had the feeling right then this was gonna take a while. Being 85 miles away from the airport makes planning your arrival a lil' more difficult.
So... two hours later than the intended departure - I took off, figuring I can drink coffee and contemplate the universe anywhere. I knew my premonition was right on target when 'bout 15 miles into the run the engine coughed and the check engine light blinked on AGAIN. Same as a couple weeks back. Well, with oil pressure, Volts, fuel pressure and engine temperature all sitting where they were supposed to be I kept the pressure on the throttle and rolled on through the dark.
Twice more the engine coughed, the gauges all read good and proper... and that damned light kept glowing. 
and I got to the airport... EARLY. The run to take her there two weeks ago took most of 3 and a 1/2 hours to make a run the electronics said should take a bit over an hour and a half, because of traffic. That was mid day... This here was now 11:30 at night and traffic was thin ;) so now, I stacked my getting there early on top of the plane being late... so I tried to snooze in a waiting area... while the dogs grumped and squirmed in the back seat.
 Well the flight roared over us right on time for the delayed time... and we got back on the road 'bout 1:45 in the A.M. 
Buuuut... being as this Life is S'posed to be a fun deal  she'd heard 'bout a 24 hour Donut shop in Portland... a place called VooDoo Donuts... that we were supposed to HAVE to not miss. 
Its location was dutifully plugged into the smartphone and off we went. Luckily, it was actually a very short detour off our route to return to Nehalem.
 Well, downtown Portland in the middle of the night is a bit of a culture change for this old drifter :) and a bit of a challenge to park a wide butted one ton with a Power Cruiser sitting on her deck! I found a spot along the curb, in front of the open door to the PussyCat strip... ahem... Gentleman's Club...
We got our donuts and returned, weaving through the midnight revelers and panhandlers,  to the truck to start our roll. A girl well into her partying wanted to know alllll about my scooter. :) So... I explained what I knew while Heidi waited in the cab and She told me of all her bikes...
Finally I 'disengaged' and climbed into the cab. Had just fired up the balky diesel when three more women walked up all wide eyed at the big Red Bike on the deck of my truck... and right behind them a guy. Now... I don't mind folks liking my scooter. What can I say? I'll talk about it just about any time... but this was just plain "odd" for me! ;)
So... I shut the motor off, and we sit there for ten minutes talking to this guy and his ladies... well... it turns out that the "Guy" is Tres... one of the two fellas that Opened/Owns VooDoo Donuts! So we sit there at 2:30 in the morning in downtown Portland, parked in front of the Pussycat Club... eating our donuts with the dogs drooling over the back of the seat, talking to Tres, the baker of the Donuts, and his ladies. 
*VooDoo Donuts Tres and his Ladies*
And the Donuts were excellent! Just Sayin'. :)
At one point Tres stuck his head in the window with an expression like he'd had a great idea and asked Heidi; "Would you like some Tshirts?" to which she says; "Never turn down a Tshirt!" and he ran off back down the block to get us a pair!  
An odd little bit of color along this road...
Well, we finally got rolling... and drove out of Portland in the dark... to discover at a rather inopportune time... that buying fuel, diesel, in Oregon, in the middle of the night, in the middle of nowhere... is unlikely to happen. :(
Running on fumes and a tailwind we rolled into Tillamook (I took the long way rather than the 20mph twisty scenic rout) about 4 in the morning... to nothing but shut down fuel pumps.
Tried, emphasized tried, to catch a snooze, sitting in the cab for 2 1/2 hours in a Fred Meyer parking lot, waiting for the pumps to open up. Finally with the dawn and fresh fuel we headed back to the rig at NeHalem Bay.
... To find that there was no room at the "Inn". Ended up after a weak try to get a 30' rig pushed through a keyhole into the last available too tight spot for another night... having to roll north. 
Pulled into Fort Stevens... to a "CAMPGROUND FULL" sign... but again, our timing was good and snagged a JUST Opened up site. Took a short nap to keep moving and finally CRASHED about 10:30... and today we have to "move" again... hoping another site Opens up... 
 Getting Ready to Turn NorthEast


Donna K said...

Fun story about voodoo donuts. Popular place! Too bad you had to move from Fort Stevens campground. That is a great place and so much to see in the area.

Brian said...

Donna; Nah. We lucked out one more night, and got into another cancellation. Musical campsites around here. ;)