The Block Island Times
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Travels with Dodger

By Ray Torrey | Apr 16, 2013
Courtesy of: Ray Torrey

Hello to our Block Island friends:

It is Tuesday so time for an update. Last Wednesday we left the quiet Sierra foothill of Sonora after calming our nerves over a few cocktails due to negotiating about a hundred miles of hairpin turns the day before. Down into the wide, fertile San Joaquin Valley, through a hundred miles of fruit, vegetables and nuts and up into the famous wine country of the Napa Valley. Sue and I had spent a long weekend in San Francisco two years ago and we opted to give the city a pass. I have been booking our hotels by phone or internet a day ahead and had booked an "economical" establishment off the 101 in Santa Rosa, Calif. It looked okay from the outside but, without going into detail, Sue was ready to bail on me by the morning. I saved myself a trip back to the SFO airport by pledging to reform my cheap ways. Dodger is a great companion but doesn't talk much.

The next day up highway 101 through some gorgeous spruce and giant sequoia forest we spent the night in Eureka, Calif. (At a Best Western which has become our new fall back standard.)

On Friday back on 101. More incredible redwood forests, we pulled off into a special grove and walked a couple of miles with Dodger. There was no one else there and the experience of being among those giant trees, some thousands of years old, 30 feet in diameter, was daunting. After lunch in Grants Pass, Oregon, we spent the night in Medford.

Saturday we drove north to Crater Lake National Park. The temperature went from 59 to 31 degrees when we reached the park at an elevation of over 8,000 feet. Seven feet of snow on the ground and still snowing. We did not get a good look at the lake or its volcano. Continuing northwestward across Oregon we arrived at the coastal town of Reedsport for the night.

Up the wild Oregon coast in the morning we stopped and explored the famous Oregon Dunes, ten times the height of our Block Island dunes. That evening in Portland we had a great dinner with Sue's brother-in-law, Tom Gaffney. Off again on Monday we went up the interstate to Olympia and, after a wrong turn which cost us 90 miles (I knew I should have bought a GPS) we headed north along the east coast of the Olympic Peninsular and reached our destination, Port Townsend, Wash., a sweet town on the tip of an off-shoot peninsular, laid back with a fine restored Victorian downtown and good seafood.

This morning we took Dodger out for a run at the local dog park and then sailed on the Washington State ferry to Whidbey Island (fare for one auto and two persons, $10.75.) A tour around the island then over the bridge at Deception Pass and down to Seattle to spend the night.

Stay tuned.

 

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