Escape From Nampa

Yesterday morning at 0845 we attained escape velocity and left orbit around Nampa. Our trajectory was plotted with infinite care and we were properly flung west on I-84 toward Portland. Initially, our navigation system stopped functioning using specific destination detail, but it would accept input for the general area of our desired landing zone which was OK in the beginning.

Diane assumed the pilot seat for the first 256.38 miles. We had stopped for nourishment in Pendleton, which is as close to geographically half way as it gets, and the weather began to change. The facility of choice was Subway which was conveniently located next to a much needed Starbucks because Jim and Donna forced us to drink non-caffeinated coffee for two days. Had we only known …

After procuring our standard fare from Subway (messy chicken sandwich for Diane and a sausage/egg, non-drip sandwich for me) and Starbucks (caramel machiatto for Diane and white chocolate mocha for me) we escaped Pendleton and entered the traffic pattern headed west.

When we reached a stable velocity I retrieved our “eating on the fly bibs” from the front luggage compartment then did my best to unwrap Diane’s messy chicken sandwich in such a manner that as little as possible would contaminate her lap as she piloted us west. No matter how hard I try, however, some always escapes. This generally due to the gravitational pull of large objects we encounter in our flight path which make it necessary to jig and jog around them.

Everything went well until the weather changed. We knew it was going to happen because of reports sent back by the faster scout-type craft. When the first drops of moisture hit us, followed quickly by a gust of wind from the south, Diane felt it was time to change pilots. We stopped at a rest area and searched for someone to take her place but there were no takers so she finally agreed to let me try. At this point in time she had piloted us safely, through mild summer weather, for the above mentioned 256.38 miles. Now it was up to me to navigate the infamous I-84 corridor through the treacherous straits of the Columbia River Gorge.

The wind shrieked past our vehicle, the rain beat upon it, more adventurous pilots flew past us without a care that this was the first rain in months, but I remained steadfast in my mission and piloted us safely for the next 150 miles. By this time our fuel gauge was listing firmly to the left near the “E” so it was time to obtain some more. At this point we were out of the Gorge so the cross winds were gone and the rain had lessened to a reasonable drizzle so Diane was comfortable with resuming the task of pilot and I took over as navigator, our normal fair weather positions.

The traffic patterns in the greater Portland Area were horrible causing numerous areas of concern for us. Most of it was at a standstill as people jockeyed for position to enter the freeways north to Washington which were also not moving. Using our superior navigational equipment, and the fact that all the traffic was going in different directions than we needed to go, we found ways around it. Even so, it took the better part of an hour to complete our transit across the Portland Traffic Jam to a more comfortable position on Higher 30 West across from St. Johns.

Upon arriving home, Breezie was exiting our yard but returned immediately when she realized someone was opening a door. She meowed her welcome over and over and over and over and wouldn’t leave us alone until we had scritched every inch of her tiny body.

We were left on our own until Jennie finished work at 8:30pm then brought the entire Walters clan up to greet us. It was a joyous time to see all the kidlets again. Now all we need to do to complete this is to see the Cate kidlets. That’s going to happen this morning because Aunt Jennie is taking Gilligan shopping for her birthday and Diane and I are going with her. My main reason for going is to get the proper electronical parts necessary to resurrect our computer network which suffered a catastrophic failure during our absence.

Diane’s brewing coffee now so I feel the need to end this and partake.

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