I work twelve hour shifts, three days a week; those three days being Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. I start at nine in the morning and get relieved at nine at night. So, Sunday night before we left on Monday morning, I got home and did whatever laundry I could prior to leaving. I did not sleep until almost midnight. The drive to Portland, according to the Mapquest map we printed out, suggested a drive time of around ten hours. Knowing the way that I drive, I figured we could come in under that. It was my intention to arrive in the Portland area around three in the afternoon, therefore our departure time had to be before five in the morning. This, of course, required us to be awake and somewhat coherent to walk out the door, and I allotted an hour of uptime in order to bring myself to a state of being capable of driving. Todd, on the other hand, stayed up all night playing Super Smash Brothers Melee on the Gamecube that I bought last week. He and Jody are absolutely insistent upon breaking that game apart and collecting as many of those trophies as possible. They’re getting pretty good at it, and usually if we play in versus mode, I’ll get my ass handed to me more often than not, but I’m starting to get back into the swing of things and learn as I go. I used to play the original Super Smash Bros on the N64, but this version is far superior than the original, not to mention all the neat little features and new characters you get to unlock.
We each packed a single backpack of clothes, enough for the intended three day-two night stay in Beaverton. I had planned on staying in Portland proper, but given the fact that most of the WNOHGB-ites lived outside of Portland, I opted to stay somewhere where perhaps I could depend on these three (
Southern Oregon is something I’ve never experienced before. I gassed up in Eureka the first time up, but this time, I was taken aback by the scenery to not realize that I needed gas right in the middle of Grant’s Pass. Grant’s Pass is up past Crater Lake, deep in the mountain range. I pulled over to this little podunk gas station and I experienced two things: mini-serve and hostility. Mini-serve, for the uninitiated, is something like full-serve at a gas pump, except it’s not. Simply put, you’re not allowed to pump your own gas in Oregon. This is something I’ve never experienced, because well, I didn’t gas up on Oregon last time through. I got out of the car to self-serve and the guy at the pump asked me what kind and how much. I just said, with the startled expression on my face, “Premium, and fill ‘er up.” All right, no problem. I did, however, really need to stretch my legs. So I got out of the car, stretched, grabbed my jacket and my ballcap (both of which were San Francisco Giants paraphernalia) and put them on as the winds gusts started to kick up and it was an overcast day. As he gets done filling my gas tank and bringing my the credit slip to sign, two hicks pull up in this beat-up old Volkswagon Rabbit, with a “permanent disabled” license plate on the front. The driver pokes his head out of the car, with his grizzled looks and unkempt hair and ratty red ballcap with a tractor logo on it, and through missing teeth (I shit you not), asks me which way I’m headed: north or south. I replied, “North,” and proceeded to sign the credit slip. The guy then retorts to the both of us, the mini-serve guy included, now that Todd had come back from the bathroom, “I wouldn’t do no business from nobody from San Francisco and California.” I did the only thing I could think of: I laughed. It was right out of a movie, but then I guess art imitates life. I simply had no idea, and I’m not even sure right now if the guy was simply being jovial in his own way or whether or not he was just being the stereotypical asshole. Either way, it was an unnerving experience, as down in the Bay Area, you just don’t find too much intolerance, jokingly or otherwise. We got back on the road, and made it all the way up on that tank of gas and pulled into Beaverton at just after 1530 PST.
The check-in process was incredibly simply and when we got to our room, the first thing we did was flop onto our respective beds and relax and revel in the fact that we had a room that came with a mini-fridge and a microwave oven. The possibilities were endless, and we were looking forward to making full use of the amenities soon enough. I gave
Day Two coming soon.