September 22, 2011


It seems like whenever I've reached the end of my strength, energy, or patience, God creates a situation to give me a boost. Today was such a day. I was beyond tired, worn down, dragging my feet, and not expecting to make it much longer. I need a break. And though one is not visible as of yet, other things, it seems, can pick me up and get me going again. Things like incredible beauty and a visit with friends!
This morning we delivered a load of pears in Vancouver, WA. Vancouver is just across the state line and the Columbia River from Portland, OR. As we crossed the river into Washington, sunrise was just finishing up its show. It was looking like it would be a really pretty day on the Columbia River.

if you look close you can see Mount Hood in the haze on the horizon
 We had to wait a little while to unload because some of their equipment was broken. But after a while they had it repaired and were able to unload the pears. They use a conveyor to pile them into wood crates. These pears were for juicing.
Afterwards, we skipped back across the river to Portland to washout the trailer, and then another jaunt across the river for the third time today to hop on US14 and head east towards Pasco, WA.
I know I've shared again and again about driving along the Columbia River Gorge. Its just one of those scenic drives you never get tired of. At least I don't, and so I hope you don't get tired of seeing it.

Mount Hood viewed from US14 near Vancouver, WA
 You can't drive along this river and not gape at the scenery. Whether its foggy, windy, raining, sweltering hot, or icy....it doesn't matter. There is always something to admire. And my favorite spot is a break in the trees that provides a spectacular look at the gorge and all its glory.
The pavement and the railroad twist and wind along side by side, sharing the space on the banks and matching each other tunnel for tunnel, though sometimes the railroad tunnels aren't as dressed up as the roadway's. But I actually like them better in their rawness. I'd like to go in one and see it's insides.

The entire morning was very enjoyable. We are tired and drained and don't have a break anytime in the immediate future, but something about the morning seems to have energized me a bit. I think it had to do with the beauty of the day, the delights of God's creations...

...and probably a big boost to my mood was a visit we had about half way to our reload.

As it turned out, the farm girl of Critter Farm, her husband, and her faithful farm dog, Roxie, were finishing up what sounds like a marvelous vacation at a delightful little spot along our route! I can't wait till she gets home and posts about all their fun! It sounds like it was just what I need! I'll just have to experience through her blog posts. Anyway, they were out there camping near our route, and since our paths were crossing, we couldn't just drive by and not say hello. Plus I had to meet Roxie!
It was a  very short (basically long enough to let the girls out to potty and hug Danni and Roxie) but wonderful little visit. I just think the world of Danni and her husband and her critters! She is such a delightful lady! And as if her great company wasn't enough, she is so thoughtful. She brought Malcolm and I a couple of cool drinks to enjoy and a baggie of cookies for Roxie to share with the girls. We were touched by their thoughtfulness and generosity!
We couldn't stay and visit near as long as I would have liked. The sooner we get over here to the Pasco area to load, the more likely it is we might have a few moments to park and sleep before delivering. And when I say moments, I mean mere moments, if that! So we rushed our visit and then hit the road in a hurry. But Danni certainly boosted my spirit and energy just in those few moments of shared time. Her energy and enthusiasm is infectious!

If your not familiar with her blog, you MUST visit, and be sure to check out her most recent post about her hen Honey, and the little vacation she's taking while the Critter Farm owners have been on their own excursion! Honey had me and Malcolm chuckling and breaking out in grins even in our tiredness of the morning.

 After our visit, we skipped over the river to the Oregon side to finish the last leg of our trip. And on the Oregon side, we passed beneath the rocky hillsides that seem so steep you'd think nothing could be there but grass and rocks. But on occasion we see some surprising critters there, and this morning there were a number of them grazing on their favorite rocky slope, and Malcolm spotted them in time for me to manage to grab the camera and get off a shot, though it came out a bit furry.
 We'll skip back across the river again here in a bit and load in Washington. Let's see...that makes 5 crossings of the Columbia River today! And actually it will be 6 by the end of the day, because once we're loaded, we'll cross it again and head south. We'll deliver in Sacramento in the morning, and then its another sunflower load bound for Fargo, ND!
I don't think we've worked this hard in years! We're both feeling it too, weary doesn't begin to describe. But the payoff will be well worth it. I just hope there is a bit of a break somewhere in our future. I'm not sure I can keep going at this pace for another 5 weeks! And that's how long we plan to stay out before taking another home time leave!


TexWisGirl said...

those river shots are just beautiful!!! i am so sorry you are so fatigued. i worry about your safety and hope both of you can get rest. and danni is a sweetheart to think of you. i met her through your blog and appreciate her love of critters. :) be careful, sarah!

Deanna said...

What incredible beauty!!!! Love this post!! And catching up with another Blogger - too fun!!!!

Michaele said...

Wow! You sooo deserve a break. You two are amazing! I must say, I was pretty hung up on how pears could be hauled loose in a semi trailer. Neat how you got to see your friends if even for just minutes. Hope you get home soon.

MTWaggin said...

So glad you got to stop and visit Danni and the girls looked like they enjoyed it as well! Weren't those bighorns a surprise, I'm betting it is at about the same spot that I saw them coming home in May. Only I didn't get the photo! LOL Take care and try to find some rest you two.

Carol in Colorado said...

Keep those pics of the Columbia River going. I think that is one of my favorite areas of Oregon. Following the River from Pendleton west to Portland is such a speculator view. One of my favorite bridges it the one out of Astoria crossing over to Washington.

Glad you got a chance to visit with Dani. Hope you get a chance to rest soon.

Peggy said...

Your photos and post almost make me miss riding in the big truck with hubby... almost as I really am content finally being here on the homestead with the critters. If you ever get to the east coast I hope we get a chance to meet. I am enjoying your mom's blog and exchanging emails with her. Hang in there and your break home will be here before you know it!

Shirley said...

Such beautiful scenery, thanks for sharing it with us. Looks like Danni was a big hit with your girls, I hope she realizes that she will always have to have cookies for them now! Another 5 weeks away from home is tough. Hope all your horses are doing well, Sky sure is looking good in that sidebar photo.

Danni said...

Aw, Sarah, it did my heart good to see your smiling face again. We (Jim, Roxy and I) *loved* that our paths were able to cross again with yours.
Now...where did you say our next meeting point was? Looking forward to it!


Louise said...

Girl, I'm tired just reading about how busy you are. But, hang on, because it will make your time at home all the more precious. Those bighorn sheep are amazing. They have to have suction cups on their feet!

thecrazysheeplady said...

I never get tired of your pictures. But I get tired thinking about all you guys do. Whew!

Meagan said...

Y'all are just running, running, running these days! Whew! It'll be worth it in the end, but I know right now you must be worn out! Hang in there! Loved the pictures of the river - so beautiful! AND, glad you got a quick visit with your bloggy friend - those are always special no matter how long or short! LOVE YOU!