BACK in the U.S.S.A…

Another Girl’s Road Trip from San Francisco to Portland via Weed….After 2 hours in the San Francisco traffic- my daughter and I and the dog, were finally out of the Bay Area and on our way to Redding (Whiskey Town). It was dark and gloomy by about 4.00 pm so were thrilled to arrive at our destination after a brief stop and the ‘famous’ In N Out- I think I am over hamburgers and fries now.

Redding was very much an agricultural town but we did find a cute little American Diner, with pumpkin pancakes and terrible weakly brewed coffee, but such friendly waitresses. I am a bit over pancakes and weak coffee as well!! Then we were in the wagon and out through the alpine pine forests, which had been burnt by another severe bush fire some years earlier- a weird reminder of the devastation in Australia.

We were aiming to get to Ashland the next day in the wagon- along the Oregon Trail. Ashland in Oregon is as cute as American Pie, with historic wooden buildings and a very lively arts scene. They hold a HUGE Shakespeare Festival for many months which has certainly revived the town. We stayed at the delightful McCall House near downtown, which was festooned in Christmas lights.

Christmas lights seem so much more festive in the cold weather, and I am feeling the cold, but it is a better option than the smoke from the devastating Australian bushfires. The very polite Oregonians were all busy doing late last minute Christmas shopping..oh those Happy Holidays!.

After a very delicious home cooked breakfast, at McCall House, (I am always a bit apprehensive about the food!) the wagon headed off for our final leg..Portland. We did have to do a detour to WEED which has cashed in on its name..obviously were we not the first people to smirk and giggle.

Later we stopped at Eugene- where the waitress was seriously challenged by strangers in town- then the last couple of hours the snow was sprinkling the trees and we headed into Narnia. It was dark when we arrived in Portland at 4.00 pm in the afternoon- and I headed off to the uber hip and cool Hoxton Hotel: I was the oldest person there- and I could not operate any of the whiz bang devices.. Turning off the transistor radio was challenging. No old fashioned on and off buttons..

Loading up the wagons yet again we set off for Hood River for Christmas, which was only 1 hour out of Portland. This time we had booked an airbnb which was more expensive then staying in a hotel. Airbnb has become a bit too pricey, once they add in all those extra charges..and to add salt to the wounds-my airbnb bookings in Australia have all cancelled due to the fires..

The Timberline resort and restaurant up on Hood Mountain was covered in snow and was very festive. However it was staffed by young seasonal skiers who made the table service very interesting..it was borderline rude and unusual. There were lots of empty tables but we were not allowed to sit-we had to wait for some unusual reason?

Despite the very weird service, the food was surprisingly tasty and not a hamburger in sight. Christmas Eve we cooked up a storm in our cosy airbnb-Australian style.

Then a white Christmas which is always a novelty, and we visited Columbia Gorge Hotel, for a grand meal in opulent surroundings.. sadly we were the only ones wearing Christmas hats…

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