Tuesday, April 26, 2005

A road trip is something every person should experience at least once in a lifetime, it allows you the opportunity to see parts of the world you would never see when you are jammed inside a cabin of a 737. I decided to take a road trip up the Western United States, through Oregon and Washington, north of the border to Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada some 900 plus miles. This however would be no ordinary road trip; this would be the road trip with an added feature, insert a seven-year old to the equation and you are bound to add a little intrigue and being the gamblers that we are, we took it one-step further, we added our seven-month old to make it an unofficial Olympic event. Let’s just call it the cross-country freestyle event.

I have always dreamed of traveling the byways and highways of the United States, but would always find myself searching the world wide web for the best airfares, calling Hertz and searching for that special hotel rate you know the one; the hotel that won’t break you when the vacation is over. When I expressed my desire to do a road trip, it was greeted with cheers and jeers from friends and family alike, my first idea was to try driving to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania but with an infant that would be suicide, so I picked British Columbia. I Map quested the trip, added synthetic oil to the car and hit the road. Carmen, Brooke, Rebekah and Me, Stanley E. Roberts, on the road heading to another country, Canada. A fifteen-hour trip that would take four days!

I had a secret plan, the plan was to travel five hours then take a break, our first stop would be in desert community Weed, California, I made reservations at the Motel 6 on Interstate 5, so that we could rest up before we made the trip into the state of Oregon. Now, we departed Burlingame at 4:30 pm on a Thursday, it took us 8-1/2 hours to get to Weed, a whole workday. Why was the short trip so long, you ask? Well, traffic leaving the San Francisco Bay area during rush hour on a holiday weekend was part of the problem, restroom breaks were another. The “are we there yet” syndrome from the seven-year-old, Rebekah had not begun yet, because I had nipped that in the bud by explaining to her that this going to be a long trip and she appeared to understand… So I thought!

Friday morning, the first thing I hear is, “how long it is until we get to Oregon” from Rebekah, I am sure if Brooke could talk, we would have been hearing this question in stereo, (there is a God)! I diverted her attention by showing her a most beautiful view of snow-covered Mount Shasta. We drove for about thirty minutes more, when we came across a familiar sign, the Black Bear Diner just ahead in Yreka, this would be one of many stops before our midway resting point in Beaverton, Oregon just outside Portland, at the home of my long time buddy Clarence Small, his wife Amanda and their 11th month old son, Quentin. While on the road, it was time for a diaper change break, so we pulled into the Rogue River Rest Area, while Carmen did the diaper-changing thing, Rebekah and I did some exploring and found, to our surprise the Rogue River, we took our shoes off and waded in the cool, I’m sorry, cold water. We hiked back to get Carmen and Brooke, so they could do the same, what should have been a brief stop turned into an hour of water fun.

We made several more stops in Oregon before reaching our first destination, one which was the Wild Safari Animal Park in Winton, for a quick drive through the park. Rebekah got a chance to ride an elephant as my heart raced wondering if this would be the moment, the what appeared to be tame elephant would decide today was the day he would try to escape from his two legged captors, with my child strapped to his back. Anyway, back on the road again with the obligatory stop at the Golden Arches for Rebekah and Subway for the grown folks. Our next stop would be Beaverton, Oregon, (thank God)! I never realized Oregon was such a large state, it never looked that big from the airplane. The sight of Oregon was like manna from heaven the minute we crossed the border the gas prices plummeted, the traffic cleared up and I did not see a highway patrol officer the whole time. When we finally arrived at my buddy’s house, we rested for two days. Well, almost rested, I have a job to do, so off to some of the restaurants we go. Hey, would expect a restaurant critic to arrive in your business with two kids and a mommy! My secret plan to take over the world has begun!  Posted by Hello