Pacific Northwest PT1, Getting There.

by tatjannam

This blog is long overdue, I have written three false starts and decided I didn’t like the way the posts flow. I, perhaps, should work on being so anal. None the less. Portland had it’s ups and downs, and much like my adventure back in 2011, Oregon tried it’s hardest to keep me there.

The whole trip was dotted with randomness, from car troubles, frustration and of course friends and laughter.

We set out on our journey on a warm sunny morning, the first after a long bout of rain that left us aching for the road beneath our tires. We had traveled about a hundred miles before things started going wonky. The car we (My longtime friend Heather and I + her kids) drove was a 90 Honda Accord started make a odd noise from the power steering area. I called my Father who lives about 35 miles from where we were and he sent his friend Tom to take a peek. Tom found that there was a mysterious leak in the power steering area, though could not find the leak itself (this was echoed by other mechanics) We put some stop leak in and since there was an oil leak as well we babied the car for the rest of the journey. The kids of course needed breaks as well. Typically, I make the drive to Portland in a day. Though we had fun conversations in between, we had lost the Stereo outside of Pasco and had learned to occupy our own minds and even cheered at each state line, we limped into Kennewick, WA. Road worn and mentally exhausted at 10 pm that night. Taking well over 13 hours to arrive. We took a room in an econolodge and all of us slept soundly. The next morning was warm and we got on good, until we stopped in the Dalles. Where the car had trouble starting. After a few minutes of fussing with it, we were on the road again. Next stop Multnomah Falls.


Multnomah Falls, oregon

Multnomah holds a precious spot in my heart and always will. So constant yet ever changing, Wanting to stay but always reaching for a distant place, she is a mirror of how I see myself. Though I must say, that is not where I encounter my fondness. That comes in from a tender memory at a very early age. My dad holding my tiny hand in his as we stood on the side of the high bridge in front of the falls. I was so frightened, the bridge was so high, and all my doubts keeping me from going on it with my dad. It would take decades for me to cross that bridge on my own, but eventually I did. Heather, the kids and I traversed the trail beyond the bridge a ways, stopping and taking pictures at popular points. We meandered back to the car after an hour or so and took the Road to Portland………

Around 5:30 Pm we arrived at Champoeg (Pronounced Shampooie) State Park, to verify out yurt reservation and hoped we could get a camp space for the night. it was getting late and we were tired. Our reservation was good, but there was no space this evening and we were forced to go get some dinner at popeyes and look for a hotel room. while the kids finished eating and used the restroom, I decided to go out and check the car for fluids and leaks. While I hovered over the engine a transient woman approached me asking for a handout, none of which I had to spare on this trip. I’m usually not the nervous sort, but she struck me as one who has flirted with a certain drug and when her counterpart approached, I decided to shut up the vehicle and finish when I came back out with Heather. I however didn’t finish, totally forgetting about resuming my work I just started the car and drove away. About 10 minutes later we had an offer from a friend/family of Heathers to stay with them in Oregon City. We pulled into town around 7 pm, and when I shut the car off, smoke started coming from under the hood. Heather and I popped the hood (me admittedly a little more then nervous) to find I had forgotten to put the cap on correctly in my hurry to distance myself from the users back at Popeyes.  Thankfully, no further damage was done to the engine and we were able to get to the house by following Mr. Rothi.

The Rothi family, was such a delight to meet. I always like to post about the people I encounter on trips, whether they be a planned meeting or a chance encounter. The Rothi’s are no exception. I was able to watch members of the family compose a song on the piano and guitar, listen to Heathers daughter play piano pieces and of course managed to lose the keys in plain sight.  I felt very welcomed and though I personally knew none of them, you would not know it by talking with them.  It reminds you that kindness comes from so many different avenues in this world. And where there is kindness inspiration follows. …………..Thank you to the Rothi Family for having us in your home and opening your hearts with such grace and kindness! I now wish I had taken a picture of you to post here!

A special Thank you to Janie and Shawn, Mom and Dad, Tom and ALL of the Rothi Family! Without your time and kindness we would have not had such an interesting yet wonderful experience!


The car that tried to leave us in Oregon.


Multnomah Falls, OR, Bridge view


View from a highpoint on the trail above Multnomah.


View from the lookout