Saturday, June 23, 2018

Random thoughts about driving 101 up the coast of Oregon

Traveling North on US 101 in the Beast

US 101 is the "main drag" that takes you up the coast of Oregon.  It is all we've seen of Oregon this trip, and the driving has been both hair-raising and fun (and that's just from my viewpoint as the navigator).

First of all, "Oh, Wow!" is a common phrase in our driving as we come around a curve and see this:

or this

 or even this

101 is also a bicycle route, and you often see bikes on the shoulders.  It's hard to describe the terror you feel when you're riding in a giant RV, go around  a curve, and there's a bicycle on the shoulder coming toward you and a semi truck coming up in the lane toward you, trying to avoid the bicycle rider.  Glad both Chuck and the semi driver were good at what they do.  

Other things we've noticed:

Upon arriving in Oregon, the first sign we saw said "Got Weed?"  and pointed to a cannabis dispensary.  Not something we've seen every day. 

We've had more drivers turn in front of us or cut us off on this road than anywhere else.  Don't they realize that a 40,000 pound RV could hurt them?  Maybe they got some weed.

Signs, Signs, Everywhere a Sign

Oregon road signs are apparently designed to use as few words as possible.  Instead of "speed limit" signs, their signs say SPEED 40.  If they really want you to pay attention, they use a bigger sign.  If they really, really want you to pay attention, they use a bigger sign and a radar display showing you how fast you are going.  If they really, really, really want you to pay attention, there's a police car next to the radar display.  People tend to travel at the speed limit.

When they have a curve speed limit, they mean it!  There were some tight, tight curves.

Other signs we've seen: "ROCKS,"  "TRUCKS," "SLIDES," "ELK," "CONGESTION."  Often, they skip the words altogether and just put a graphic in for you to figure out for yourself.

We do love that the signs for the state park campgrounds have "VACANCY" or "CAMPGROUND FULL" signs.  

In the towns we drove through, the stoplights appeared to be timed so that the tourist traffic would have to stop at each and every light through town.  Then the pedestrians wandered through the stopped traffic instead of crossing at the crosswalks.  

There is so much beauty and so many cute little towns, I could spend every summer here for several years and never see it all.

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