“It was an Elan. A delightful little thing famously made of Kleenex and unicorn farts.” ~ Sam Smith
DAY EIGHT– Just a note before I begin today’s post…Brad Baum sent some photos from yesterday so I have updated that post with them. Check it out again.
Today was a gloomy cold day with fog almost all the way up the coast. Here is a photo from the one place I stopped which was clear.
That shows why it was a great disappointment because I have driven the Oregon coast before and it is really beautiful so I missed out on seeing the scenery hidden behind the fog. The thing is, that is the main reason to take Highway 101 instead of the interstate, so on the one hand I feel a bit cheated yet on the other hand, the part of the coast that I had not seen before in California had great weather so maybe it’s OK on balance.
On the map, the road looks pretty straight because the scale removes all the wiggles and the vertical doesn’t show at all on a map or on the computer with Google maps. It was the little sharp curves that got my attention today, not because they were difficult for me, but they apparently were difficult for cars and trucks with Oregon plates as well as expected for the RV’s. The speed limit was usually 55, occasionally 45 and the locals would drive about 5-10 under whatever was posted even if the road was perfectly straight and level. Then, to top it off, the double yellow lines went on forever even in places where a passing zone would have been in other states. If one has a long day of driving as I did, it makes the wait for a legal place to pass a frustration of the highest order, so when one would appear it was foot to the floor. The Elan was positively exuberant when asked and usually I could find a clear road ahead quickly.
But several times I found the car or cars that had been poking along suddenly woke up and made it difficult to get by. One time I had to step on the brakes hard as I was running out of passing lane and the SUV was much bigger than I was. It seemed to me there was a passive aggressive thing going on. As long as they were setting the pace whatever they deemed it should be was OK, but as soon as someone (Me) thought the pace should be the actual speed limit, or a bit more, they were offended and aggrieved. I also saw this at a crosswalk. The pedestrian has the right of way at a marked crosswalk, of course. But in Oregon, people step out into the street even if there is no break in traffic and the cars slam on the brakes. Now, I walk a lot and know that the cars will always win in a collision with me so I tend to defer to them and wait for a break in the flow. Not in this area, they step right out and if a car a lane over continues, clearing the crosswalk, they yell curses and give hand signals. No it was not me! I found this cultural difference very interesting.
Impressions from the eighth day:
• Seven hours on the map doesn’t necessarily translate to seven hours on the road. With all the slow traffic and the signals every block in the towns, it took me almost eight and a half hours of actual drive time.
• My thanks to Brad for the accommodations, the lively conversation, the tour of his collection and the guide through the back roads, as well as the photos of our cars together.
• Despite the weather, I was pretty comfortable as long as I was in the trees. Once out of them, the wind driven fog right off the sea was mighty cold. And on Cape Perpetua on an exposed ridge the wind was particularly violent and raw.
• I stopped in Newport at a diner and had a nice warm cup of soup, a ham and cheese sandwich and a big slice of strawberry/rhubarb pie that recharged and warmed me nicely. Yum!
Hi, I’m Ross and I’m a tripoholic. I love driving especially in my old cars and then writing about the adventure that always follows. I’m old enough to know better but that doesn’t stop me. If you like stories of the road, every word true no matter how far fetched it may seem, then grab a beer or a cup of coffee and join me!
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