Sunday, December 13, 2009

Christmas Vacation: Pacific Northwest

by 13 Stoploss

1445, Friday, 11 December: Left Orange County. Took two hours and forty-five minutes to get through Los Angeles in the rain. Did 75 MPH through the pass, and cruised through intermittent rain up the grapevine. Got into Sacramento at 21:15.

0845, Saturday, 12 December: Very little visibility through Redding. Pouring rain north of Redding and through the Shasta's. Thankfully, no ice or snow, and I was able to drive a confident and consistent 75 MPH through the mountain twisties in the rain. After this trip, I may never go back to 2WD.

Late Dinnertime, Saturday, 12 December: I'm in love with Portland. Can't wait to go back.

2107, Saturday, 12 December: Welcome to Fort Lewis, Washington. Visitor's Center wanted my driver's license, Mrs. 13's Driver's license, my vehicle registration, and proof of insurance. What happened to just showing one license and writing down the license plate number for a visitor's pass to tape to the window?

0926, Sunday, 13 December: NCO enlisted housing overlooking a lake. Coffee.

1048, Sunday, 13 December: It's snowing!

2309, Sunday, 13 December: So, I haven't been on "post" yet and I'm not even sure which post I'm on--but this place is strange and beautiful in a quiet and relaxed way. In 24 hours, I haven't seen a single ACU or "soldier." I had never intended to go back to the Army, but this place kicks serious ass compared to Fort Campbell. For starters, there's more than just two hick towns full of Wal-Marts...

Around lunchtime, we drove up Mount Rainier looking for snow, but there wasn't any... we finally turned around and on the way down, it started snowing pretty heavily. Supposed to head into Seattle tomorrow, but it rained and snowed all afternoon and now the roads are black... so, we'll see.

1100, Monday, 14 December: Let's go to Safeco Field and the Space Needle!

1545, Tuesday, 15 December: We're in Oregon. Daytime traffic in Portland and Beaverton sucks. Weather was so rainy, visibility on the freeway was difficult. Couldn't see the taillights of the car in front of me at 75 in the left lane. But we made it safely and are ready for fun!


Sisu said...

Now, had you been here last week, you would have frozen off dangly bits, but there were gorgeous, blue, cloudless skies...a rarity around here at this time o' year.

13 Stoploss said...

That would have been lovely, but cloudless sky and sun are all I see in SoCal anyway. I'm a bit relieved to have cold rainy/snowy weather--I know that when I leave, I'm going back home to temps in the 50's-60's with very little chance at rain.

Anonymous said...

Welcome to Seattle! Here is a link you might find interesting from today's Tacoma News Tribune--apparently an old blood pressure medication works wonders for war/trauma-related sleep disorders. Much less toxic than booze or other "sleep aids". Enjoy our beautiful state!

Nice pics!

Anonymous said...

Pic #4 is awesome! And #5 is definitely your kind of shot. You should play with that some more. Wondering if #4 is in B&W....

"...What happened to just showing one license and writing down the license plate number for a visitor's pass to tape to the window?"

Don't know what happened but it changed things here too. Military at DMAFB (retired included) have been told to remove the little stickers in the corner of their windshields. EVERYBODY is stopped at the gate and with no ID you've gotta go to the little bldg off to the right and jump thru more hoops than ever before.

Back in the day if a girl on base (Vandenberg AFB in my case) was dating a guy from town all she had to do was ask her Dad to call the gate and put his name on the list. Easypeasy. And it was pretty handy when an unwelcome suitor appeared. All you had to do was tell the guy at the gate NO and there was no way Mr Unanounced was getting in ;)

They've had an incident or two at DMAFB which required deployment of those huge concrete barriers - it stopped the intruders and pretty much ruined their vehicle(s). Apparently the barriers and the spikes are no longer thought to be enough. I doubt we'll know what triggered the new rules 'til somebody writes a book about the Obama Administration. Or until somebody leaks the story.


PS to mamaworecombatboots: thanks
for the info, gonna pass it on to my son.

Sisu said...

Well, you do have a point. Blue skies not so big a thrill for you as it is for us. But Rainier is gorgeous on days like those as is Elliot Bay in Skeedaddle. Great pictures! Enjoy your time here.