A Fortunate Pacific NW Detour - If you remember from a previous post, the original plan was to continue north from Las Vegas and enter Canada after spending some time in Wyoming and Montana. For those of you tracking my progress on Google Latitude you may be wondering what I'm doing in the Pacific Northwest. Well, here's the deal. I left San Diego without some essential camping gear. Knowing my wilderness-focused friends near Bend, Oregon could help me out, I figured I would head their way, borrow some gear, and stay for a short visit. The first thing I saw was this incredible view from their back deck. Welcome to Oregon.
I quickly learned Danielle's boyfriend, Nick, was an expert in the kitchen. Notice the look on his face after I asked him for the tenth time if there was anything I could do to help. I gave up and sat back to watch the magic. Nick whipped up a perfectly dry, very cold martini and a potato risotto and grilled steak that would give Morton's Steakhouse a serious run for its money. After dinner I took a beating on the pool table and retired to a hot shower and a real bed. Many thanks to Nick, Danielle, Brody, and their three very well-behaved dogs!
Kudos to Radio Shack Curt - I mentioned above that the detour to Oregon was a fortunate one. Here's why. While on the way to the Bend area, Stella developed the dreaded Vanagon Syndrome, an intermittent loss of power at full speed that was starting to happen at the most inopportune times. I limped into the Bend area to meet my friends and magically (read: intermittently) the problem stopped. Well, having recently become familiar with the lack of urban sprawl in the Yukon, I figured I would take advantage of my proximity to Portland and Seattle and address this issue. After some much appreciated help from my online "buddies" in the Westfalia community I determined that I could potentially fix the issue with a $2.80 15 volt 22 microFarad tantalum capacitor from Radio Shack. I have no idea what I'm talking about, but I'm really good at following directions. Long story short I was lucky enough to hook up with Curt at the Portland Radio Shack who went above and beyond the call of duty in pointing me in the right direction. Like all things Westfalia-related this capacitor can be tough to find. So I went back to check on Stella who was patiently waiting in an industrial area of Portland. I hopped in and took a gamble on being able to scab onto someone's wi-fi in the area. Success! What a country. I logged onto an electronics supply website and ordered ten of the mysterious capacitors. I needed one, but come on, they're only $0.75 each!
Next stop Seattle - By now you're probably asking, "where's all the pictures of pristine, natural beauty you promised us?" I'm getting there. These are just some intermediate stops to visit friends along the way and to make sure Stella can survive the Yukon. Which brings me to the next stop - Seattle. My good buddy Craig set it up for me to ship the capacitors to his charming sister's house tomorrow. And since I spoke with Kris about a visit as I headed north it works out perfect. Ill be having lunch with Kris tomorrow, waiting for the UPS guy, and then it's on to Canada.
Speaking of Pristine, Natural Beauty - I was able to click off this photo of Sasquatch as he made away with my beef jerky. Bastard.
I'm hoping my investment in Boingo.com is going to start paying dividends. Internet access has been a challenge so far. I'll try to keep you all up to date on how things are going. After four days into this adventure I have to say my only regret is that I'm sans chat. Otherwise, I'm living a dream.
Standby for pristine natural beauty!