22

The drive from Silverton over to the Oregon Coast along 22 was the most twisting, turning road yet, along a stream, gradually growing into a river by the coast. Don’t think I ever exceeded 45MPH and was often around 20. It was a fun drive, except for the most dangerous moment since leaving Michigan.

The drive confirmed one growing judgment re driving abilities. Most drivers are good, safe drivers. That said, professional truck drivers are the best. Moreover, the larger the truck, the heavier the load, the better. The only incidents involving semis were those occasional trucks pulling into the passing lane trying to pass a slow-moving truck going uphill then slowing down to a crawl, traffic backup behind them. Automobile drivers are the most varied, some being extra cautious around me, some cutting me off or stopping short. Motorcycle drivers are careful, except those fools who decide to pass me on the right when I slow down to turn right. Fifth wheels and travel trailers have been consistently safe but not driving as crisply as the professionals. RV drivers, probably because they are larger, weigh more and are more powerful, tend to go too fast on tight turns. Several times, an oncoming RV has wandered into my lane by as much by the driver’s wheel. This happened on 22. With no place to go on my right, I slammed on my brakes. Thankfully, he steered hard right, and somehow, we missed each other. I would much rather see a truck loaded with logs than another RV coming around a bend.

As for my own abilities, adding a back up camera to the trailer had an unexpected benefit. While driving, I can see how my trailer is tracking on the screen. There are two bars showing how the trailer is pointed, keep those bars in my lane and I’m doing fine. This feedback has improved my performance, stop paying attention or go too fast and I wander, there it is on screen. Gradually, I am learning to keep my truck and trailer centered.

There are fewer flowers along the coast. The spring bloom is running behind. The skunk cabbage is in bloom, yellow candle like flowers rising from a bed of large green leaves, one bush with white rising flowers, and some trees. It has been cool and wet. I spoke with a woman who said there has been 30 inches of rain here in the last two months. The year-to-date totals are running 20-30 inches ahead of normal. The road crews are out fixing crumbling roads and slides.

Driving across Oregon is a series of rises and falls, like a roller coaster. Oregon was formed by a series of lave flows running down to the coast. Due to the northward movement of the North American plates and the subduction from the Pacific plates pushing inland, Oregon is slowly rotating clockwise, with wedges lagging, opening cracks, which water exploits to create ravines and valleys.

As predicted, rain started around 1 when I arrived near Tillamook. It continued all night, taking a break in the morning, and expected to pick up again. Wednesday and Thursday will be nice, then rain again. Oregon is wet.

The picture was my welcoming committee at the campground. There are numerous fat rabbits, and at night, other critters roaming the campground.

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