Finished up with my client in Bend around lunchtime and headed West to Springfield. Mark Plaia had pulled together some of the Central Oregon guys for dinner and we all met up at his place and talked shop for a bit before going over to the local Italian restaurant, “Metro”. The food was outstanding! Thank you all for meeting with me!
On the morning of Saturday, August 4th, at 8:45am, I left Las Vegas for Bend, Oregon. This trip almost did not happen as the night before I was doing a pre-trip check and discovered a leak at the thermostat housing where it attaches to the block. I removed the housing to replace the gasket with a thicker one and when I reinstalled, I ended up stripping the hole on the block. Luckily, I had a Helicoil kit on hand so I drilled and re-tapped the hole and it all bolted back together nice and tight. Problem solved.
Since I would be working in Bend that week, I had packed the usual business attire and brought along my laptop computer. Both fit snuggly in the front compartment. My entertainment options for the long haul included XM and iPod. My route would take me north on Highway 95 into Reno, Nevada, then cut over to Interstate 80 Westbound via Highway 50. From there, I continued up Highway 395 into Northern California until I arrived into Klamath Falls, Oregon. Starting out on 95 North was wide-open road through Death Valley. It was unseasonably “cool” at 90-95 degrees – a nice relief for a car with no A/C.
Once I reached Susanville, California, I had driven for about 8 hours. I missed a planned turn 30 miles prior, which would have taken me up Highway 395 and into Oregon, so I had to re-route. After a quick dinner at McD’s and re-fueling, I decided to take Highway 139 into Klamath Falls. Prior to departure, I booked a hotel room figuring I could make it there before nightfall and get a good-night’s sleep. Klamath Falls would be another 190-miles. Surprisingly, this “detour” ended up being the highlight of the day’s drive as I had the entire Northbound lane to myself – there was not a single soul in front or in back of me. The occassional state trooper and campers passed along Southbound lanes here and there. Just a gorgeous drive!
At exactly 20.59, I arrived at the Oregon border. Just over 12 hours have passed since I embarked on the adventure. It would be another 30 miles before I got to Klamath Falls, where I had a room and a cool shower waiting for me at the Best Western Olympic Inn…