Saturday, June 19, 2010

Logging Roads

So there is a running, or should I say driving, joke in my family about getting stuck on logging roads. As you all know, I hail from Oregon, where there are frequent mountains, and trees. Hence lots of opportunities to get stuck on skinny roads, usually through mountains, that may or may not have lots of Semi's driving on them pulling loads of logs.

When I was about 10 years old, my family and I went on a trip to Southern Oregon to see some of the sights and just get away for a few days. Please keep in mind this was long before the times when a GPS and portable DVD player were common place on long family trips. I fondly remember our entertainment, and that was playing through the two "Best of Huey Lewis and the News" cassette tapes my dad loved. And our navagation consisted of my mom reading a map. It was about a 5 hour drive from Salem, where we lived, and somewhere along the way, my dad "discovered" a short cut....or so he thought!

We ended up going about 2 hours out of our way on said logging road. It was very scary for all, especially a 10 year old girl, who has anxiety anyway, who kept looking out the windows at the steep cliffs we were dangerously close to or looking up to see huge Semi's pulling logs coming towards us all too fast, because they knew the road well, and we didn't!

Needless to say, we survived and even enjoyed our vacation. But that is not the end of the story. Another time, when Brad and I were newly dating, we went home to Oregon to see the family and meet my newly born nephew, Dallin. So this would have been when I was about 26. On this trip, my whole family, in two cars this time, took a day trip to a couple of fun cities in Oregon including Bend, and Seaside. Now these two cities were quite a drive from Salem, and quite a drive from each other. The trip from Salem to Bend was easy, as we had done it many times. From Bend to Seaside on the other hand was not as familiar to us, and again, dad thought he found a short cut. Still no GPS for our family at this time. So again we got stuck on a logging road, for and hour or two. This time it was much more funny to the family though, because we could relate it to the first experience and so we made it a lighter situation.

Well, like father like daughter! This past weekend Brad, Chase and I went to Merced California for a 90th birthday party for my Grandpa/Christensen Family Reunion. Merced is not in the fun parts of California where everyone thinks of. No beach, no Disneyland. It is actually in farm country, and getting there coming from Utah by way of a huge portion of Nevada involves quite a distance through the Sierra Nevada mountains, and lots of logging type roads.

Now Brad and I learned a valuable lesson on this trip. Despite having the luxury of traveling with a GPS this time; said GPS, or Jenna as we refer to her, has settings. One of those is chosing between the shortest distance to a location and the fastest time. Jenna was set to direct us the shortest distance, and she didn't take into account that less miles may not mean getting stuck on logging roads!!

As we were coming out of Reno, Nevada I started to wonder because instead of staying on the major freeway we started taking little 2 lane highways through random cities and lots of farmland, forests and the like. But I didn't really get concerned until I noticed we were in a National Forest, and the switchbacks were getting steeper and the road was getting skinnier. Finally I stopped and asked a nice man who was taking pictures of the beautiful view from the top of the mountain we were on if we were headed in the right direction. Unfortunately he confirmed my fears. We were going to get to where we were going, but it would take a long time, be difficult, and there was no easy or timely way to turn around. So we kept going.

We finally made it off of the logging road, and to a bathroom, which the pregnant lady was very grateful for, and after a few more re-routes, we made it to the family BBQ that had started at least an hour earlier, that we were expecting to have plenty of time to arrive to!! It was an adventurous trip to say the least! Thanks dad for teaching me at a young age how to handle driving on a logging road!