A couple of months ago, Greg said, “Hey Boo, (he calls me Boo sometimes), how would you feel about driving down to my parents’ place in Palm Springs in February instead of flying? That way, we can take the dog with us.”
My first thought was, I hate traveling by car. It takes forever and it’s uncomfortable. BLECK. Of course, instead of saying that out loud, I let Greg go on and on about how awesome it would be to take Juno to the ocean and how much we needed to get away from everything and just spend some time with each other. He had a point. We’re married. We live together. We are ten months into the grieving process and some days we barely see each other or speak because we’re both trying to keep ourselves as busy as possible to avoid the pain that rides around on our shoulders. It’s been months since we’ve had any kind of meaningful conversation about where our life without Cora will go from here. The more he spoke, the more I knew we had to do it – even if it sounded about as fun as poking myself in the eye with a fork, repeatedly.
And so we embarked on Juno’s Epic Adventure. We drove. We stopped to see majestic beaches, eat seafood, sleep in sleezy Motel 6’s (because they accept pets), etc. Did I mention that we drove? Oh, and did I also mention how FAR Palm Springs is from Kamloops? Oh yes, we drove…A LOT. I also had to contend with Greg’s INSISTENCE on looking at me, every hour on the hour, and saying, “This is the farthest south that Juno’s ever been.” I’m not kidding…the entire trip until we made it to our destination. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh!
Oregon is pretty. I know, “pretty” doesn’t do it justice, but epic, surreal, majestic, breathtaking – all of the words that are used to describe really scenic places – have all been used before, so I am trying to simplify it a bit. Oregon is, as I said, pretty.
My top memories of Oregon are:
- Motel 6. What a bad choice that was. Three Mexican guys walked into our hotel room during our first night in Oregon because the front desk clerk thought she had moved us to another room and gave them our key. The same night, the couple in the room beside us had a huge domestic dispute and Juno barked at them every four minutes. That was an interesting night. (Of course, it wasn’t half as interesting as that time I opened the door, buck naked, in the middle of the night in Mexico, to yell at drunk people…right Molly!!!!)
- Dutch Bros. Coffee bars. Little, stand alone, coffee canteens that you just drive up to and hot chicks make you delicious coffee creations. And, yes, I say hot chicks because they were all model-quality and sweeter than pure Maple Syrup. The coffee was the best I’ve ever had and the service was always stellar and with a smile. Greg LOVED getting coffee there! LOL
- Beaches. Never seen anything like them in my life and I’ve seen quite a few beaches. There was a ton of sea foam on the beaches and it was always windy, so Juno spent most of his time chasing foam as it rolled down the beach and then trying to eat it. He also tried to drink ocean water. Priceless. After that, he didn’t want to drink out of anything except his bowl and he eyed every source of water with suspicion. It made us howl with laughter.
- Orick. A tiny town on the coast that had exactly ONE streetlight and the only building that was open was a run down gas station with an ancient pump and an old man RUNNING A SKILL SAW in the middle of the night. His wife was inside, behind the counter, laughing uproariously at Wheel of Fortune and she didn’t even look up when I asked her for the key to the bathroom. I kept thinking that Orick was just like the small towns we see in horror movies where the town residents trap tourists and harvest their organs so they can raise money to build a new water tower. Needless to say, we hauled ass out of there the second our gas was pumped and paid for!
- Everywhere along the coast, there are signs that say Tsunami Hazard Zone and Tsunami Evacuation Route. Instills a great feeling of safety…
- The lighthouses. Everywhere you look, there seems to be another lighthouse. My fave was the Heceta Head lighthouse. It had the lightkeeper’s house restored (at the top of a cliff set against a temperate forest) and I could have happily moved in and lived in bliss while overlooking the ocean every day for the rest of my life…of course, I mean if there was a derby league nearby that I could play for!
- Greg’s rendition of Steve Miller’s Abracadabra. He changed the chorus to, Hormone, Hormone, Hormonal…My wife is hormonal. And guess what phrase repeated itself in my head for the next two days…
Here is Oregon in all it’s prettiness:
I’ll get to the California part of the adventure soon.
Have a good day, my friends. I wish you all enough…