Where’s Shari?

Cindy and Shari have been discussing the possibilities of her relocating from Forest Grove, OR to Utah. This discussion actually began before Cindy, Bev and Mom ever left the island. It’s just that until now, Shari’s never really wanted to leave her local area.

However, after having been in the same area for more than 30 years, Shari’s began having a serious change of attitude. Maybe it is time to relocate.

Finally, after many long chats with Cindy, and making sure it’s ok with Mom and Bev, the decision is made. Shari’s joining the other gals in Utah. Oh, and she brings a long background of animal husbandry, cooking, and general helpfulness.

Sarah, Shari’s dog is going to finally have some playmates. Wonder how that will work out?

On Dec 11,  Shari leaves Forest Grove for the last time. She’s racing a serious storm, driving through heavy rain as she gets to first Hwy 26 and finally I-84 in Portland. As she races through the Columbia Gorge and stops for gas at Biggs Juction, the rain as finaly let up.

Now in the open high plains of Oregon, she heads for Pendleton where she’ll grab lunch before going over the next mountain range. Fighting 50 mph cross winds, she arrives in Pendleton at lunch time, stopping at the local Mickey D’s.

A half-hour later, the storm has caught up with her, and it’s now raining (well, more like mixed rain and snow) in town, and she has a high range to cross. Oh well, she’s got a front-wheel drive Saturn that is pretty sure-footed. If she can clear this range, the storm should burn itself out and let her get to Utah with no further serious snowfall.

As she ascends Cabbage Hill and goes into Immigrant Pass, the snow falls harder. Fortunately it’s mid-day, and there are several semi’s headed east. Their big tires clear the slush from the road. Now, down the east side… That’s where the snow really piles up, and finally she’s forces to actually drive in the freshly fallen snow, somewhat packed down by the trucks.

There’s still snow coming down in La Grande but finally clears up by the time she gets to Baker City. One more climb and decent at Hell’s Canyon and she’ll arrive at Ontario, where she will spend the night.

Thankfully, there’s no more major snow!

Sarah, who has had about half the back seat will be sleeping in the car tonight. She’s doing quite well under the circumstances, and the car really is much more familiar territory than a motel room.

Tuesday, the12th, Shari and Sarah pack up at dawn and head for first Idaho, and then turn south towards Idaho. Along the way, there are occasional snow flurries, but no real storminess, making it a much more pleasant drive. That night, she stops in Clearfield and Sarah gets to sleep in the room. It’s really cold outside and the motel welcomes pets at no extra charge.

Wednesday morning, Shari and Sarah leave before daylight, wanting to get through the Salt Lake area before rush hour. No problem, mon… it’s a breeze compared to the Portland rush hours.

Here’s something Shari never really considered… the much higher Utah speed limit! She’s pretty much used to driving a max of 70 on the Interstates in Oregon, but 75 regularly? That’s just hair-raising!

Driving down I-15, she encounters several little towns with the strangest of names (at least, to her they are strange). She takes off ramps regularly it the towns are close by, just so she can cruise Main St to get a feel for the area. South of Provo (the last name she’s familiar with) there’s Payson, Santaquin, Nephi, Fillmore, Meadow, Beaver… now she’s seeing billboards advertising Mesquite! That’s Nevada, another town she’s never visited.

Finally, she crosses the county line into Iron County. The names really get wierd… Paragonah, Parowan, Summit, Enoch, and finally Cedar City. Now, where’s Hwy 56? Oh, there it is… go west!

By now, Shari’s seeing quite a bit of snow piled beside the roads and covering the yards and fields. Up and over one more mountain range. Finally she drops into the Escalante Desert Valley. It’s totally white with snow… really strange to see snow on a desert.

She comes through the burg of Newcastle, remembering that Newcastle is where the mail comes in that goes to Beryl. Besides the Post Office, there’s a gas station and convenience store, and a Utah Road Dept yard. There area few houses in the area, reminding her of the community of Manning in Oregon.

Beryl Junction! That’s where Shari turns north onto Beryl Highway, where the road goes from defined two-lanes to no middle line, still paved, but more of a real country road than highway. She passes a big dairy and field after field that has nothing more than an idle pivot wheel. From her own experience, she knows these are alfalfa crops in the summer.

As she drives north, she passes 2400, 3200, and finally 4800… turn left onto the gravel road. One more road, 400… turn right, and there’s her new home! It’s shortly after noon and Cindy has been able to see her coming since she before she got to 4800. Yeah, it’s that flat and open here.

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