Sunday, April 23, 2006
This weather made for a perfect drive down to Eugene, OR. It was a beautiful drive, full of relaxation and happy contented thoughts. C and I snacked and sipped root beer as the green fields whipped by and the warm breeze blew around assorted articles of trash in the Saturn.
Eugene arrived quickly, it seemed; I guided the car thru the nearly empty streets and we cruised thru what we assumed was downtown then past the university area. The university area teemed with trendy-well-dressed looking kids; we decided to bypass the melee in favor of the downtown area. I parked the car, and our walk began.
As we walked around trying to find anything that looked like a main street (I'd been told the night previous that there is no real main downtown in the city), we were beset by a few sketchy crazy types. No one else was around. The place was eerily empty! Not only that, it was unnaturally quiet. A pizza shop fed us, and the stream of super-prep and super-sketch continued to parade past, coming from and going to....nowhere. Here is how I'd describe the feeling in the air:
Similar to a scary flick. You know, an entire town/village/house has been slaughtered, leaving a dead quiet hanging over everything. A couple of strangers arrive and walk around, and only the audience knows what evil lurks around the corner, waiting to disembowl the unknowing strangers. The few survivors that pass the Strangers give them very strange and lingering looks, knowing the evil soon to be encountered. However, before Evil can strike, a tangible wafting evil is discerned by the Strangers. They get a little panicked and prepare to bolt and leave before any harm can befall them.
That's how I would describe our very short time in Eugene. Granted, it was Sunday, but everything appeared to be closed! Maybe we didn't hit the fun areas? Who knows. Not my fave visit. It was decided (very quickly) that we would hit up a town or two on the way back to Portland instead of sticking around any longer. In the car, I was informed just how badly C had been spooked! (I giggled, tho my giggles were perhaps a bit more nervous than I'd like to admit).
The day gets better. Salem seemed like a nice place to stop, so the nose of the Saturn was put on the trail and off we went. About 20 miles or so from Salem, traffic on the interstate inexplicably came to a stop; no movement was discernible down the line. Quite a few vehicles were bailing off on the ramp adjacent to THE Saturn, so I popped over into the right lane in case our discussions convinced us to do the same. An opening arrived: traffic was barely moving and coming to a stop in the right lane, and I had plenty of room in front of the semi coming up (he should have been slowing to a stop, as the rest of traffic was stopped). I nosed over, and got most of the car into the right lane before being forced to stop by the unmoving car in front of me. The short fat ass at the wheel of the truck laid on his horn for a while, and got right up on my rear bumper. Ok, I thought. That's strange. We proceeded to move slowly. Again, the sh*t for brains got on his horn. I stuck my head out to get a good look, wondering what was burning up his bum. The Saturn's temp guage was rising, and I have a known hanging muffler so I thought maybe I had an issue to looking into. But none of the many cars passing me in the left lane had anything to say. Until Bitch pulled up. She rolled down her window in order to say: "I just thought I'd let you know, that semis can't stop on a dime!" To say the least, I was perplexed. I let her know that this fact was not new to me, and that I hadn't even been touching my brakes, much less jumping on them. She thought it fit to let me know that I'd cut the truck behind me off! Huh. Interesting how she had such a clear view of the 'incident' despite being at least a truck length BEHIND the rear of the supposed victim! (The left lane was moving much quicker than the right lane). I let her know that I disagreed, and we parted ways. I think my new friend should spend some time on the Borman Expressway outside Chicago. A semi moving MAYBE 5mph doesn't really need a 1/4 mile to come to a complete stop. She should get a gander at the stuff they pull and worry about her own crappy driving (it's true. She had very little proficiency).
Oof. Backups (in the middle of nowhere) continue until we get off in Salem. Where all went reasonably well. Some coffee hit the gullet and a used bookstore made some money off of us. Tho for some reason, the strange stares we had been getting in Eugene continued!
Pulling up to the apartment in Portland was a relief. What a strange day that was.
An interesting state this is.