Thoughts on Oregon Driving

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a blog about driving in Texas. They have short ramps and high speed limits. Now let me tell you about driving in Oregon. They have long ramps and low speed limits. But that doesn’t mean people obey those limits.
We can drive across Oregon to see Grandson and family via two possible routes. One route is the interstate highway where the speed limit is 65 on the wide four-lane roads. A few sections are through the mountains where the hills and curves require slower speeds, but most of the way is flat and relatively straight. In Texas, those same roads would be 80 mph. The worst part of this route is going through the heavy traffic of Portland. We seem to get always get there during rush hour. The best parts of this route are driving down the Columbia River gorge and past the IKEA store. I like this route best, but Hubby doesn’t.
The other route is mostly flat and straight through the sagebrush steppes of eastern Oregon. It’s a very nice highway with a speed limit of 55 mph. The scenery doesn’t change very much across here so driving 55 feels like we’re traveling in a covered wagon. It’s worth the risk of a speeding ticket to drive 65-70 mph like everyone else. If you don’t, you are a traffic impediment and might get run over by all the Oregon and Washington cars. I don’t like this route although it has some pretty desert scenery. The rest stops are few and very far between.
For those who have never been to Oregon, every gas station is a full service station. The Oregon legislature wanted to increase jobs in the state so they made it a law that drivers cannot put gas in their own vehicles. It’s like the old-time full service stations. A person comes to the car and you tell him/her what you want and how much to put in. The person fills your car for you. I wonder how many jobs were added with this law? Whatever the total of gas stations in the state times two at most. Usually only one or two people are filling cars and sometimes you have to wait a while for attention. Seems like an odd way to increase jobs because I doubt they make much more than minimum wage. We usually stop at a truck stop on the Umatilla reservation where the state law regarding gas pumping is not in effect and we can fill our own vehicle. For now, we’d rather do it ourselves.
Driving in Oregon leaves me a little uneasy. Around Portland, all those tree-hugging, crystal-consulting people sure seem to be in a big, aggressive hurry. Not only do you have to watch for drunk drivers, you have to watch for stoned drivers. People seem to enjoy scrambling their brains so pot is legal in Oregon. What’s this country coming to?

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