The change in time zone marked the Oregon border. We stopped just over the state line at a rest sop to stretch our legs. For the countless time on the trip I came out of the rest room to Sherm chatting with a fellow motorist about the bus. A 35 year old orange bus does catch one's eye- the first other bus we saw since Massachusetts (there was one on the Cape we saw occasionally) was broken down on the highway in Idaho.
It was a young guy this time, a photographer turned trucker named Ryan. When he found out this was our first air cooled he said, "Welcome to the club!" He was sincere, so many people can be stuck up about stuff like that. Although, know that I think about we haven't met any stuck up VW owners on this trip. Every person who came up and said, "I used to have a bus!" was awesome to talk to. Maybe its because any traveler who is willing to talk to you is probably on vacation.
Before we parted ways Ryan gave us an awesome gift, his old C.B. radio! When we were going through long stretches of road between towns with no cell phone reception, I really wished we had one. He also warned us of "the cabbage patch" ahead, the last stretch of mountains until we reached the Columbia river.
Neil - the trusty little bus he is - chugged right along with Sherman at the helm. Despite the ups and downs, and twists and turns, the mountains were beautiful and lead us to the equally as beautiful Columbia River. We didn't talk much all along the Columbia. I don't know if it was from the amazing views along the river, or the fact that we were so close to west coast.
The past few weeks have been a blur. We saw so much, discovered so much - and there is so much left of our country to explore. Our road trip was coming to an end, but its just the start of life on the west coast. We came here with nothing but our bus filled with tools and art supplies, and the hope that the grass was greener on the other side, but we got here with the determination and enthusiasm to tend to our own fields.
With an apple I will astonish Paris.