Random thoughts from the road *Corrected*

Mr. Bookworm has kept a death grip on the computer, and this is my first chance at it in a couple of days.  I’ve had a few travel related thoughts percolating in that time, so I’ll jot them down here in quite random order.

There is no doubt that Oregon is great for out-of-staters because of the absence of sales tax.  It is amazing how nice it is not to pay an extra 8% on every purchase and to save 40 cents per gallon of gas.  Gas would be even cheaper in Oregon if the Oregon legislature hadn’t outlawed self-serve gas.  I understand that the original, paternalistic thinking was that citizens could not be trusted to take care of their own cars and needed the professional help of a gas-pump expert.  As it is, all that these guys do is — wow! — pump gas and clean the windshield, two tasks I’m perfectly capable of handling myself.  I also think it should be up to me if I want to drive my car into the ground without their pump expertise.  Without these legislatively mandated useless services, I suspect that gas prices in Oregon would be under $3.00 $4.00 (Thanks, Gringo, for catching that typo.)

I recognize that the way in which the white settlers and the US government treated Native Americans was heinous and is a blot on America’s moral record.  Having said that, I find irksome in the extreme the Native American worship that characterizes every musuem and natural site here in the Pacific Northwest (and elsewhere in America too).  The fact that the Native Americans were treated horribly does not change the fact that they were humans, too — with the same strengths and weaknesses as other humans.  I’d find much more interesteing a rounded portrait of Native American culture, instead of this bland, hagiographic reverence that simultaneously teaches children to despise their own culture and beliefs.

It is amazing how much more friendly people in small communities are than people in cities.  Oregonians have been delightful.

John McCain is invisible in rural Oregon.  To the extent we see political signs, they are for Barack Hussein Obama or Ron Paul.

I traveled extensively in my 20s and enjoyed it.  As I get older, I enjoy it less.  Organizing a family of four is tiring.  Hiking when you have bursitis is tiring too.  Despite the pleasures of the trip, fatigue keeps threatening to trump the whole thing.  I still cherish as my vacation gold standard the trip we took to a luxury resort in Hawaii, where we had a room of incredible comfort, and nowhere to go, and nothing to do but relax and have fun.  Being at a resort also reined in Mr. Bookworm’s inability to retire early.  I liked shutting down the energy by about 7:00.  He’s on a10:00 energy shut down, by which time even my after-burners have given up.

The price of the room doesn’t always dictate the comfort of the bed.  Two nights ago, we stayed at a shabby hotel that was nevertheless immaculately clean.  It had the most comfortable bed I’ve slept in on this entire trip.  Last night, we stayed at a fairly pricey B&B.  It was immaculately clean, charming and sat right on the beach.  It also had the worst bed (and pillow) on the trip. so I am feeling tired, stiff and crotchety.

Random enough for you?

I am looking forward to my return to blogging come Monday, although I have to say that DQ has been so interesting, and so provocative, that I’m going to have (as my son says) “ginormous” shoes to fill.