Thursday, June 27, 2019
In yesterday’s heavy rain and dimness, I crawled on the freeway from Lebanon and Sweet Home, on through the Deadwood Canyon, and as slowly to Highway 20 and over the Cascades. The rain began clearing after Suttle Lake Resort, and rounding the big curve that introduces a long, straight stretch of Highway 20 toward Sisters.
Occasionally over the years, I’ve been in my driving trainer’s Lebanon barn when rains hit hard. West valley rains, strong and blustery, noisy and cold, are crazy and relatively brief. Yesterday on leaving Lebanon, I assumed the drops landing on my truck windows wouldn’t last long, and boy, so wrong!
The dozen freeway miles between Lebanon and Sweet Home suffered heavy, driving, and blinding rain that made it impossible for rear mirrors to reveal vehicles coming from behind, and nearly as impossible to see vehicles ahead of my truck. Between Sweet Home and Deadwood Canyon, the rain became less severe; but not in the Canyon with lots of heavy rain. I worried about rain entering the trailer and hitting my horses, and about thunder because we’d be in very high places. It was comforting to recall that rubber tires help to insulate a vehicle against lightening strikes. This is an idea from hearsay that yesterday I chose to believe.
Years ago in an early fall drive through Deadwood, with my friend Doodle as passenger, we were surprised by a sudden heavy snow that turned quickly into an icy-slippery mess that overwhelmed my two-wheel drive SUV. We managed for the next hour or so to crawl through the Canyon at 10-15 mph. That slow careful speed got us over the next dozen miles of Santiam Pass–very busy, with drivers moving slowly. Fortuitously, that happened to be a final day before Oregonians legally could install studded tires.
After I arrived home and unloaded the horses, my friend Virginia called to make sure I landed safely, for it als0 had rained hard here. She had attempted earlier to contact me without a response. Unfortunately, cell signals are rare in mountain and canyon areas.
This year has been unusually wet in our high desert and beyond. Last evening, working around the barn, I saw bunches of new Russian thistle replacing those I pulled the day before. Since it’s still too wet to spray, more pulling ahead!
Dear Friends, Preceding the storm, our driving-training sessions were terrific. Diana