The next morning at 4:00am--with droopy, yet caffeinated eyelids--we stumbled through the darkness into the black convertible Mustang. Night gave way to morning light as we motored east, then north. Soon Crater Lake lay behind us; Bend, Redmond, Madras ahead. We racked up miles on the odometer like we'd hit a jackpot, but as I shuffled through the detailed driving instructions, I ascertained we'd yet to reach the half-way point. The forests turned to desert, the sweet scent of pine yielded to the pungent aroma of sage. We cruised through the isolated, wind-blown ghost towns of Shaniko and Grass Valley which seemed as emptied of life, as water might have been from a glass.
Our trek wore on. We noted a sign, OREGON TRAIL. I mused to myself, I have some idea of what an onerous journey that must have been. We reached the Columbia River, crossing at Rufus. Lewis and Clark cruised through my mind as we continued north. The Tri-Cities of Richland, Kennewick and Pasco were now in the rear view mirror, but the small town of Warden? Not there yet. Suddenly, the unmistakable ping of a phone text. "I'm at work. I work at a Moses Lake golf course. Can you meet me there?" Moses Lake? Now, where was that? Okay, so much for the mapquested instructions. I shuffled through the various dated road maps in the Ford's door pocket, pulling out an well-worn WASHINGTON STATE MAP. Quickly unfolding it--trying to make out the information beneath the tattered folds--I sought out Moses Lake, Washington.
Let's see- "Oh, there it is!" excited to find it, although not as quite excited however to see Canada seemed to be a short distance from there. "Ahhhh, Russ" I ventured. "What is it?" he asked, tired from driving and too much fast food. "Ummm, I think Moses Lake might be a bit further north than we were going." "How far?" "Well, you know where Canada is?" I chuckled. "It's not quite that far." We pushed on. We got lost. After numerous text messages to the seller and many admonishments from the bossy VZ Navigator lady "to make the first available U-turn" we reached our destination. Success! The prized radio's new home in Russ' Old Radio Museum awaited, but first, we had to get it there.
After a fast stop at the drive-thru, we headed south, home. We drove, and drove, and drove. The cities we'd passed through with sleeply eyes 20 hours earlier, we again saw, this time with bleary eyes. When I felt my lids begin to droop, I encouraged Russ to stop for a cup of coffee. He did; I fell asleep. At 12:21am I felt Russ nudge me. "Do you have the key to the mailbox?" he asked. Yeah! I knew we were home. Russ got the mail, then we headed up the long gravel road to our house. It seemed much shorter after our long trip.
"I saw a huge owl standing on the highway," he said, as we made our way up the drive. "A what? Whoooo?" I ask sheepishly. "An owl." "You saw an owl standing in the highway?" I asked incredulously. I'd have thought I dreamed it, but it seemed too strange. Harvey, the giant rabbit, popped to mind. I found myself wondering if we were getting too old for such long trips. Somewhat concerned, I googled, Owls of Southern Oregon. What a relief to see, indeed, there is a huge owl that lives in our vicinity at the Howard Prairie Reservoir (among other areas). Perusing the page, I note: Male: L 25-28 in; W 4 1/2-4 3/4 ft...and the female can be even bigger. Wow! The Great Gray Owl, Birds of Oregon, notes, is "rare to uncommon year-round resident in the central and southern Cascades..."
Russ most likely did see an owl. What a lucky guy to get a glimpse of such a rare bird, almost as lucky as he was to find the rare radio. The thing about Russ is-he has THE most amazing luck. He has such good luck I named it, I call it-Russ luck. After all, he did find me, huh? ;)
Have a great day. Love, Sues