Portland was about a 120 mile drive east and we timed our arrival so we wouldn’t be in the middle of rush hour traffic. The trip went smoothly. We were in Vancouver to visit our friends Debbie and Mark. We were able to park the RV in front of their house and run an extension cord out to the rig so we could have electricity. We ended up blowing a fuse so had to be plugged into another outlet (one without the garage refrigerator) and all was good. This was the first time we’ve “driveway camped” and it was wonderful. Mark said we were the perfect guests…we brought our own accommodations! We were together, but not living together. We enjoyed our time with Deb and Mark very much. Deb was a big help to me through a very difficult time. I’ll get to that in a minute.
We didn’t spend any time sightseeing in Portland. I had been there to visit Debbie a year or two before and Ralph is not much of a city sightseer. We did travel up the Columbia River Gorge in the car and had a wonderful day sailing on the Columbia River on Mark’s Santana, Yesterday’s Girl.
While in Vancouver, Simon, my cat, got sick. Deb called her vet and got us in almost immediately. The vet was wonderful and laid out my options…none of which were good. Simon had been suffering for quite a while, so I decided it was time to let him go. I had tried to prepare myself over the last year or so, but to have to make that decision so quickly was very hard. It was a rough few days afterwards, especially since we are all so close in that metal box (RV). I swear I saw his ghost in the same places he would sit or sleep; on the back of the sofa, in the sun on the dashboard, at the foot of the bed. Simon was 14 years old and a rescue cat. He was always so skittish. I attribute that to his rough childhood before I adopted him. He sure had a good life with me. And even got to travel! I miss him. It’s so hard to let pets go. Debbie was so supportive and I appreciated it greatly.
Our day of sailing was perfect. It was 75-80 degrees, clear and sunny. We sailed up the Columbia with a spinnaker sail and tacked back and forth with the wind on our nose back to the dock. Afterwards, we had fish and chips at a waterfront restaurant. Deb’s friend joined us and they did all the work. It made me miss my sailboat that I had on the San Francisco Bay for 15 years. Sailboats are a lot of work…I think I’m more of a powerboat person now. I used to call my sailboat my “Winnebago on the Bay” because of the tacky brown plaid upholstery inside. Come to think of it, the RV is just a boat with wheels! All the same systems, DC power with batteries, holding tanks (fresh, gray and black) that have to be filled and dumped, etc. But with the sailboat, believe me…wind power is a hell of a lot cheaper than gasoline!
We took a car trip along the Columbia River Gorge all the way up to the small town of Hood River. We visited all the waterfalls along the way and had a late lunch/early dinner in Hood River. Again the weather was perfect. I had heard that September-October is the perfect time to visit Oregon and that sure was the case during our time there. We couldn’t have ordered more perfect weather.
Then it was time for us to head south. I really hated to leave. It was really nice to visit and connect with people we enjoy so much. But alas, it was time to go. We said our thank yous and goodbyes and headed down to Sisters, Oregon.