The first part of the drive, through the high flatlands of Idaho and the southeast corner of Oregon is desert, but not boring. The colors of the land and the constantly changing sky kept us busy snapping pictures and planning colorways.
As the road got closer to the river, we were entertained by tugboats and trains
and--the last hour--sunset on the water.
See more pictures of The Great Portland Road Trip
Possibly the most exciting part of the day was getting from my niece Ane's house in St. John, where Rachel and Robin were going to spend the weekend, to my daughter's house in Beaverton, where I was going to stay. Being a great fan of bridges, I wanted to go back across the St. Johns Bridge--my camera battery had died by this time so I don't have my own photos of it.
I told Karl-Heinz, my German-speaking GPS unit, to give me the shortest route from St. John to Beaverton, and boy did I ever get it. He gave me a winding, narrow, mountainous track that went through thick woods in the deepening gloom past no houses but instead parked cars with steamy teenagers and monsters with hooks instead of hands breaking into them, and two cemeteries, and a bar and roadhouse, and then he told me to turn into a drop-off that looked like a cliff and I was afraid to turn down it until I saw a car coming up and bravely took the plunge telling myself I was in a 4x4 after all and then came out two blocks from Sharman's house and there on the street were her husband with the baby and my truck that they're borrowing and it was OK after all.
On Friday I hung out with my daughter and her kids. Then on Saturday we went to the Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival.
We were immediately sidetracked by a wolfhound show taking place at one end of the fairgrounds.
"If that's a dog, then I'm Tinkerbell"
Trusty may have to get a brother.
Click here for more wolfhounds
The Wool Show
My budget for OFFF was $100 in cash. This worked with the Great Basin Fiber Fair, so I was pretty confident it would work at OFFF. While my daughter and her husband took their kiddos to find food, I started looking around for
Before I even made it into the booth I had already collected almost $100 worth of gorgeous, Tina-dyed rovings, and I hadn't even started on the yarn. So much for the budget. Luckily these guys take plastic.
Tina gracefully held my sock for a group portrait, but that Woman of Incredible Mystery asked me not to post her likeness online. Also not in this picture is Woman of Incredible Mystery #2, Kaci.
While I was standing in the middle of the booth with my arms full of loot, Kaci wanted to know if I had ever been surrounded by that much Blue Moonishness. Nope. I realize now that the stash in my closet is a joke.
In fact, everyone's Blue Moon stash is a joke. Click here to see what I mean. The inside dope is that Tina has hired a new web designer, and we can expect to see the new products online very soon.
There was more going on at the show: The Standing Stones playce Celtic music, including harping, whistling, and singing. I bought their CD. There were animals; Robin bought Ane a brown baby alpaca fleece. And there were more vendors (only I had already spent all my money at Blue Moon.)
Click here for more scenes of the show.
We didn't see much of Robin and her family at OFFF. By the time they arrived, my grandkids had pretty much lost it. Robin's lot stayed and shopped (Ane got an alpaca fleece) while we headed for my daughter's house.
However, the baby went to sleep in the car, which let us make one more stop: The Moonstruck Chocolate Cafe in Beaverton.
I bought a box of Halloween chocolates for the grandkids to share and admired a case of novelties while waiting for the best hot dark chocolate fudge sundae I've had in my life. Don't worry, I took sundaes out to the grownups waiting in the car as well.
Sunday morning found me up again even earlier (it was probably oh-dark-hundred hours) to take a longer but less thrilling route back to Ane's house. I collected my Idaho family members and we headed back up the Columbia River like the inveterate adventurers we are.