Day 3 - May 11


We got off to a great start this morning!  We both arose quite early and were on the road at 7AM!  Stopped at one of the pervasive Oregon espresso shops for coffee and a muffin, and motored off northeast.

Since we'd gotten such a good start, we decided to reward ourselves with a detour to Crater Lake National Park.   That was the day's first mistake.  Everything is farther apart here than back east, and we figured on picking up gas at the park and continue motoring thru the park and on northward.  The increasing snow depth alongside the road should have told us something - turns out that the park was barely open for the season with no gas available and the next closest gas available 45 miles away at the other end of the park.   However, the park road wasn't open yet for the season (due to snow), a feature that the park ranger failed to mention when we paid our entrance fee.  So, as we are becoming well used to doing, we begged some gas from one of the park workers, enough to make it back out of the park and on our way south before we could continue on north and eastward again.  Seems like the theme is becoming "Hi, Mom. Send gas!".

Behind schedule now (we had our sights set to get out of OR and into WA for the night), we were zipping along nicely, enjoying sunny, warm, top-down weather buzzing along until about 3:30 - when "You don't smell that, do you?—It must be some other truck or something".    Nope, it's us.  Cruising into the only gas station in downtown Long Creek, OR (pop 240) and looking underneath, it looks like the new Alfa's rear end pinion seal is spraying oil all over, including the muffler (source of the burning oil smell).   The mechanic at the OK Garage (its real name!) had gone for the day, but the gas lady allowed us access to his unlocked but limited tools (to augment our limited tools).  

So here's where we stand:   With what we had available and not wanting to do any irreversible damage, we couldn't remove the rear end fill plug to check/fill the oil (they're notoriously hard to get off sometimes without the right tool).  So we've decided to wait the night out here in Long Creek, pop 240, for the mechanic (with lift) to help get the plug out and assay where to go from here.  All said, this could have happened in much worse surroundings - there's a wonderful little hotel right behind the garage, and across the street there's a gourmet restaurant that serves free Guinness on tap and  ..    . ..    .    

Dave here.  John just wrote that and I think he's delirious.  If you really want to get a feel for Long Creek's accommodations, see "Beer" below.

This is where we went today
Today's Map

Crater Lake National Park
Spectacular view of  Crater Lake—actually bluer than the pictures.  And nobody around ...

(Tourist Shot)
- including the services!  Here we are at the off season gas station—a five gallon can from this guy's truck (we did ask first).  Jeezes, will we ever learn!?

The best laid plans ... Nobody told us that the road OUT of the park was closed!

Scenic Road Repair
We lost the right rear turn signal, so stopped here to make a repair.

A scene taken outside the OK Garage, car jacked up, trying to get the immovable differential filler plug off.

Beer(s) of the Day

Couldn't care less who makes it

This was awful.  But it was the only thing available here in Long Creek.  God, we hope we don't have to stay here long.

Culture Feature

So why not $100?  $200?  Did they take a poll?  Convert from metric?  Did a committee decide?

Alfa Spotting!


Day 1


(Except for a bunch while still in San Francisco)

Day 2


(No Alfas, but one Fiat X-1/9 parked, but standing on its own wheels)


Day 3


(No Alfas, no Fiats, but one Corvair that looked like it might have run)






May 2001


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