Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Ruthie On The Road, Update--Part One


                                            Rainbows in Hood River, Oregon~Photo by
                                            Ruth Rader       


CBS NEWS is now saying that Juno might bring less snow and blow to the Northeast than what
was first predicted.

In other words, April Fool! Or I guess, January.

How bad is the storm really going to be? I suppose that depends on where you are.

I don't have to worry about it because I live in Oregon. And today the temperature in Baker City
will rise into the middle 50's. Most of the ice has melted into the river and the only real
snow covers the nearby mountains.

I've kept the window open in my room, every afternoon for the past week. I let the ceiling fan
spin all that fresh air around.

Last year, The Dalles was involved in a big snowstorm that lasted three days. After it ended,
it took twice that long to dig that city out. I know, because I was there.

I am farther east of that city now...far away from the rainforest in the Gorge...and living in the
high-desert country.

One day, at the beginning of this month, I left Hood River (but with a tear in my eye) and headed
back onto the road to find a place to live. I spent the night at the Motel 6 in The Dalles and then
put my thumb out for a ride, the next day.

I only got as far as Biggs. Which means that I really didn't go anywhere...but a Sunday drive
down the Interstate. I tried to get out of that stop-and-go location but road workers had the
eastbound ramp all torn up. So I just sat on my backpack, spinning around the cardboard sign
and got bored and very tired.

The people at the Pilot truck stop let me shower there for free and one of the ladies from
the nearby McDonald's drove me to Rufus.

I'm not sure what Rufus is supposed to be but people do live there. It's sort of a redneck,
low-income bedroom community. After I tried all day and failed to make it out of there,
I was adopted and given a burger, fries and a little motel room for the night.

The next day, several rides brought me all the way to Pendleton. Later on that day, I rode
a local shuttle bus up into the mountains to the small city of  La Grande. That city doesn't
have a shelter but it was, at that time, substantially colder that it is now.

So the locals let me stay for three days at the bus station. I got rides from a friendly cab
driver to the store where I was able to buy my own food to eat. The bathroom was almost
always empty and the front room offered cable TV and free Wi-Fi. So I just sat in a chair,
wrapped up in my little blankey and watched re-runs of South Park. Late at night, I fell
asleep gazing at the fully-dressed Christmas tree that was still standing in a corner of
the room.

Several days later, the cab driver gave me the money to take a shuttle bus on to Baker
City. That's when a local organization there paid for me to stay at the place that I am at now.

But the adventure didn't end there...oh no...after recuperating for two days...I hitched to
Ontario, Oregon. And there is where everything took some very interesting turns...and so
did I.

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