We got up early the next morning and packed the car. Then we drove over to Lee and Michelle’s unit to say goodbye. Michelle was still very sick, so they had decided to extend their stay for another day or two until she felt better. We said our farewells, turned in our keys at the office, and headed out to Portland, Oregon.
We needed to make good time on the trip back because we had to be in St. Louis in five days time so that Cindy could attend a conference. That meant that we would be spending a lot of time on the soulless Interstate Highway system. We drove to Portland where we got in I-84. We weren’t on very long before we had to exit the highway due to wildfires. We found no signs marking a detour route around the fire, so we decided to head further south and east in order to take US and State highways across the sate to the Idaho border. We knew that it would be much slower, but we also knew that it would probably be our last chance to see beautiful country up close.
And we drove through beautiful country. Unfortunately there was smoke in the air which gave a hazy cast to everything. The peak of Mt. Hood was obscured by smoke and fog. I have decided to not try to enhance for clarity the pictures that I took that day.
We left the Cascade range and dove into foothills region. There were fewer trees and flatter areas of land.
We never were free of the smoke in the air that entire day.
Despite our hopes, and driving later than we wished, we weren’t able to leave Oregon that day.