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  • Writer's pictureInger and Jeff Latreille

Other Worldly and Familiar

~Wednesday, December 29, 2021~

Day 563 (Travel Day)

Woke up to more rain which is a much needed blessing with the many months of drought. The Sierras are getting record snowfall for December, fantastic for the reservoirs and ski resorts, but still have a long way to go. Leaving in the dark at 6:00 a.m. with not enough sleep, and without my caffeine-fix, I took a 3-hour siesta while Jeff took the wheel as we headed up to Lake Oswego, OR to see my sister and bro-in-law. Even though we were together for Christmas, we were really looking forward to extending our visit in their hometown, to spend some good quality time with the 4 of us.

It didn’t help that I was feeling a few side effects from my recent Shingles shot (a little nausea, fatigue and a really sore arm). But with a snow-covered landscape as our welcome scenery most of the way, I quickly forgot about my aches and pains. A prominent feature in its own right, the Lake Shasta area stood out even more today, looking a bit surreal and unfamiliar due to the very low lake levels.

It sort of reminded me of a bathtub ring in appearance. But it also was beautiful in a way with the variety of colors and textures.

Now about that coffee. A Starbucks was calling our names along Highway 5 in a town called Weed. Thank you Tim and Tracy for your sweet “coffee” Christmas gift. With 7 hours of driving ahead of us, it was the perfect pick-me-up. I took the next 4-hour shift so that Jeff could get some much needed shut-eye. One thing is for sure….you can always count on Highway 5 to stay well-groomed and open no matter how much snow falls. I was surprised to see so many travel trailers and 5th wheels along the way. Maybe they’d all been waiting for a better weather day (like today) to continue their journeys.

As we approached Lake Oswego, it was nice to be back in a familiar town but in a different light since our last visit was the summer of 2020. This town sure knows how to get festive for the Holidays. After hours of highway driving, Sadie always knows when we’re about to get out of the car when the rumble of the diesel truck grows quieter. And she could barely contain herself with the fresh snow all around. We made good time arriving before the dinner hour. Tracy was already in the thick of cooking a delicious beer cheese soup, while Tim offered up wine. But it didn’t stop there. As if the soup and bread weren’t enough, Tim went to the task of preparing some delicious seared salmon on a bed of rice to go along with Tracy’s roasted brussel sprouts. Delicious food and special family time….what could be better! Knowing we’re soon headed back on the road, I’m trying to appreciate every moment with these guys. Just as we were all calling it a night, the snow began to fall, begging Jeff, Tim and Sadie to take a closer look. Hoping the white powder lingers at least until morning.

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