Nearly half-a-million people came west over the Oregon Trail between the 1830's and the late 1860's - farmers, ranchers, trappers, miners, and a whole host of individuals who wanted to live and perhaps make their fortune in the new lands of the American northwest. The trail began in Independence, Missouri, and concluded in Oregon's Willamette Valley. Most of the hardy pioneers made the more than 2,000-mile journey in long, slow-moving wagon trains, a trip that would take months to complete.
Yesterday I made roughly the same journey, from Kansas City, Missouri, to Portland, Oregon, in less than four hours. Thank you, Alaska Airlines, for your non-stop flight between those two happening cities. Southwest Airlines is also now flying non-stop between Kansas City and Portland. That old Oregon Trail ain't what it used to be!
My flight had about ten empty seats, which is a rarity these days. Alaska runs a smaller jet on the route, one with just rows of two seats on each side of the aisle, but I wasn't lucky enough to partner up with one of the empty seats. The large fellow next to me wore a Duck Dynasty ball cap that said "Now We're Cooking in Peanut Oil!" Not having ever seen the show before, I was unsure as to what the reference meant. The guy was also carrying a cammo backpack. I thought about trying to initiate a conversation, but the only opening line that I could come up with was "Hey, Bubba. That Trump feller shore is one dumb sum bitch, ain't he?" Figuring that might make for a rough flight, I opted to read instead.
Scott, Molly's husband, picked me up at the airport and brought me to Salem, the capital of Oregon and home of three of my six grandchildren. We stopped by the house where each of the kids showed me their rooms, and the family dog, Pixie, treated me like her long-lost best friend. It was so good to see Sebastian, Judah, and Willow again. I will be with them three days - and we WILL have lots of fun!
It's cool and rainy today which means that most of our fun will have to happen indoors - but we will make it work!