Trees, Ferns, Rivers – Welcome to Oregon

Welcome to Oregon sign

Here we are!

Day Three California to Oregon – 

We woke up, got the coffee going, packed up everything and started driving. Within an hour, we crossed the State line. Oregon, Yeah! We stopped at a rest area – it had a river, right there at the rest stop!

California doesn’t have rest stops like that. We can’t remember the last time we saw a river with water flowing downstream, fast (except for last night). A walk down to the waters’ edge seemed necessary, through the tall grass we went, it was beautiful.

Welcome to Ashland sign

We didn’t really see much of the city!

We continued driving through incredibly beautiful valleys surrounded by green hills, trees everywhere; simply gorgeous. We stopped in Ashland for gas and coffee. Did you know that you can’t pump your gas in Oregon? We could get used to that. 

Jim found a little coffee shop. When we say little, we mean closet sized. Little did we know, tiny drive-through coffee shops are everywhere in Oregon, just stand alone shacks selling coffee. Jim is encouraged.

a stand-alone coffee shop

One of those stand-alone coffee shops

Welcome to Oregon!

We were driving along; I had my legs up on the dash and happened to run my fingers down my shin and felt a lump. There was a bump there a few weeks ago, but I thought it had long since healed.

I pulled up my pants leg and – think I screamed (Jim says, yes, you did). There was a small red thing stuck to my leg. I tried to brush it off, and it wouldn’t come off. Jim said it looked like a tick – I started panicking.

He got off the highway as quickly as he could and started trying to pull it off. I couldn’t watch – it just disgusted me too much. Just to be clear, in general, I don’t have a big thing about little bugs, but this was disgusting and horrifying to me. I think it was because it was stuck in my leg and I had unknowingly touched it.

Jim had to try several times to get if off. (He’s not a tick expert either.) Then he told me we should check everywhere again. Oh, my God! He found two more on my back! Thank God I couldn’t see them. 

Greenery in Oregon, trees, bushes, and grass

Typical greens in Oregon

Awful Visuals and Great Visuals

For days afterward, I had that visual in my head – the tick stuck in my leg, engorged and red, the ugly little bugger. Of course, given my personality, I was sure I had Lyme Disease already. Great way to start the summer, eh? I was worried about it for days and did read a bit about what to look for as signs of Lyme Disease. Of course, there were no ticks on Jim. Great, they like me: I’m so happy.

After that drama, we did have a lovely drive through Southern and Central Oregon (when I wasn’t thinking about ticks.) All those trees, even with some clear cutting, it was incredible.

This scenery was why we wanted to come to Oregon, we wanted to see green, lush plants everywhere, and there they were! So many rivers and streams the whole way. We’ll take this scenery, despite the spotty cell service any day.

six foot hedge growing at side of the road

It is everywhere, what is it?

Time to Eat

At one point in the middle of a canyon in the mountains, we saw signs for a casino. We decided we should stop and eat our breakfast of berries, yogurt, and homemade granola in the casino parking lot. We did go inside for half an hour; it was small but quaint, and we soon had enough.

Back on the highway and we realized that almost everywhere we drove – through the mountains and down into the Willamette Valley, we saw the same bushes growing along the road. It seemed they might be some kind of berry, but why were they everywhere? What are they? We’ll have to find someone to ask.

large yellow and orange blooms


Our New Home

We arrived at about 4:00 pm to our first house sit in our new life: 20 minutes west of Salem (an hour south of Portland) in Dallas, an old city of about 15,000. Down the block from the house, we noticed an aquatic center. We thought it strange at first and then realized, right, they can’t swim outside for more than a third of the year, at most. That’s different.

The homeowner greeted us with joy and excitement, and we knew instantly that this would be a great house sit. We spent the afternoon getting to know each other. We took the dog for her walk on an excellent walking trail running along a creek under shade trees. There wasn’t a lot of water, but we never see any streams, so it was nice. 

a gently rolling hill covered with grass

It’s green almost everywhere

Our host informed us that she never eats dinner, a policy thing. So we drove around checking out the town and found a local Mexican restaurant for dinner. We returned for our first night of many in Oregon.

It was going to be our longest house sit so far, and we were looking forward to it! It would be two stays broken up with three weeks in Colorado. The summer was starting to look real good. Day three – we were settling into Oregon.

What’s Next Meet the friendly creatures!

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