Sunday, June 29, 2008

Road Trip Day 1 (or how to get to So. Oregon in 10 hours)

We got a later start than we would’ve liked, thanks to Yours Truly. You see, I have a tendency to sleep late. Thankfully, we had no flight to catch, only a car to pack.

GPS Jill told us that the trip was about 400 miles or so, with a trip time of 7 hours. We didn’t hit the road until 11 and she said we’d arrive at 6:45pm. I topped off the tank and we were off and running.

Along the way, Marci received some phone calls from our pediatrician, mentioning that she got MRI results back from Riley’s recent MRI. (some backstory: Riley’s been dealing with some issues with swallowing and talking. We’ve seen specialists and tried lots of tests, but haven’t had any definitive results)

Anyway, Dr. Spanier (Tiffany. And she looks like a Tiffany), called and said that the results showed something regarding Riley’s cerebellum tonsils. Evidently these are parts of his brain that are supposed to “hang” within the skull. On Riley, they hang 3.5cm below the skull. He also has some pockets of fluid along his spine that may be cause for concern down the road.

What does this all mean? Well, we needed to ask a favor of a friend to send a CD from our house to California, next day USPS. We also needed to make an unscheduled stop in Lakewood (?), a little north of Vancouver, WA, at an Office Depot to use their internet. Dr. Spanier needed written authorization to fax Riley’s results to California, where our friend’s dad just happens to be a neurosurgeon who is familiar with the issues Riley is exhibiting.

So, we got the CD mailed, we got the fax authorization faxed, and we got the results faxed to CA. All this before we left Washington.

We got to Oregon and hit their famous Portland traffic. What a mess that turned out to be. Stop and go for the better half of an hour. That pushed us back a bit. We had also stopped for lunch about 2 hours into the drive.

We finally got out of the traffic. The kids were ANGELIC in the back, with their toys and movies. I was driving about 70 or so and going through this area with some minor construction going on. No workers around, no machines moving. We were feeling pretty good and I was telling Marci a joke.

“What has no arms and legs and hangs on the wall?”

And then I saw lights. I figured I’d better move over and as I did, the po-po moved with me. I pulled over and Oregon State Trooper Boyd came to the window and asked if he knew why I was pulled over. I didn’t. He told me he got me on laser going 74 in a 55 construction zone.

Hur wha?

He took my license and registration and came back a few minutes later with a ticket for $208. He didn’t offer to lower my speed or anything noble like other cops might do. He said they were “picky” in construction zones due to the closeness of the workers. Only, today, there were no workers. It was quite lame.

After that unscheduled pit stop, we drove on. We were in the middle of a 90 some odd mile stretch, down I-5, headed towards Eugene. We then took a turn east and headed through the Willamette National Forest. It’s a 2 lane highway and it went around lakes, through forests and was quite scenic. The trouble was, we had 164 miles to go on that and it was about 4pm or so. Ugh. Luckily the scenery was nice and I only almost got us all killed once (reaching for honey roasted nuts).

We got to a town around 7:30 or so and stopped for gas (over 400 miles on one tank!) and some food, then powered through the last 65 miles or so. We drove around a huge lake (Klamath? Crescent? Who knows?), then, with the car covered in bugs, pulled into our destination around 9:30. It’s a cool little place. I should take a picture. The kids are finally asleep and Marci’s in the jacuzzi. I hope there’s room in there for me too!