Thursday, June 22, 2017

from Sheridan to Eugene, OR

Friday we left Sheridan to start the next leg of our adventure which brought us to Eugene, Oregon.

A quick stop was made at Murdoch's (per Shirlee's suggestion) to purchase bear spray. Murdoch's is like a Rural King for ranchers.

After a very windy drive, we stopped for the night at a Walmart in Idaho Falls, Iowa.

One can meet the most interesting people in a Walmart parking lot. Amongst the dozen or so RVs at this particular one we met Amy and Wade from Nashville. With their two young sons, they are full timers and home schoolers. The road will be their home for a couple of years; with all the online educational material, it is working well for them. They told us they were part of a network of 1400 home school families traveling around the U. S. Their next destination was the Tetons for about a week.

Saturday we continued on toward Boise, taking a detour to visit EBR-1 Museum and National Historical Site (world's first nuclear power plant.)

(Captain owes ABN about 1 1/2 hour visit to an art museum. I have to say, the "Sheldon" type tour guide was a bit entertaining.)

Another stop at Craters of the Moon National Monument.

At this point we were off the interstate and the drive was a bit boring.

We found the "Aggie" in Boise.

Like, Captain, Dennis is from College Station, TX, a graduate of A&M Consolidated High School and the nuclear engineering program at Texas A & M. We had a most delightful dinner with he and his wife, Donna. If you are a fan of competitive jump roping, you may have heard of their son, Justin, who is a world champion.

After another night in a Walmart parking lot and a sometime interesting,

and sometime boring (like mind numbing) drive,

we landed at Deschutes County Fair and Expo RV park in Redmond, OR.

Parked next to us was a 1984 Airstream motor home.

We hope The Wanderer is around for another 20 years and will still be creating adventures.

The drive to Eugene was spectacular!

This is what brought us to Eugene, Oregon; increasing our solar panels from 1
to 4, we are now able to boondock for longer periods of time.

We had to leave The Wanderer in the care of the fine folks at AM Solar while we stayed overnight in a Hilton Garden Inn. This process took a couple of days, so what is one to do in Eugene, OR for a couple of days? Wine tasting, of course!

But first, it is important we eat before wine tasting (ask ABN about that.)
Funky spot near University of Oregon Campus with to die for waffles.
Knowing we are in a premiere area for pinot noir, we set out to find one we love. So far, we have not found one to rival our friends, Mike and Valerie Thompson’s 31Fifty Pinot Noir  out of Russian River in California. (But we are still looking.)

We had Tipsy Tuesday at the lovely Pfeiffer Winery in Junction City, OR.

In a funky, artsy area of Eugene we found Tacovore and the best tacos that we have ever eaten.

Our choices.

We returned for lunch the next day before leaving town.

As we travel throughout the country, we are acutely aware of its vastness and diversity. Some observations we have made in Oregon that differ from home in the southeast: one cannot pump their own gas, you must wait for an attendant (we paid $2.70 per gal in Bend); all the restrooms we visited (so far) in restaurants and bars were non gender; the last day of school was June 21; bags are not automatically given out when shopping, the clerk will ask if you need one; and we see more U.S. flags flying at homes and businesses.  The differences make traveling incredibly interesting.

So far we have found Oregon to be beautiful and friendly. We will be exploring more of this state in a few weeks.

We are now fully charged and headed to Glacier National Park. Cell and internet service will probably be sketchy so be not concerned if we do not respond to messages for the next week or two. 

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