But it wasn’t a smooth ending or exit. Clearly, Oregon and I did not want to part ways.
We awoke on December 27th ready to spend two days on the road before arriving in Point Arena, California. I had an appointment set for the 29th to see a potential burial site for myself. I gotta think ahead (hopefully very, very far ahead). At Better Place Forests, instead of buying a burial plot in a cemetery, you buy a tree—or rather, the rights for your ashes to be buried beneath the tree. Unlike most traditional burial grounds, you are free to also bury your pets’ ashes there as well. Not that there was ever a question about this, but yes, my pups’ and my earthly remains will be together after all of our spirits shed them.
I was excited to finally see the Forest after reading about it for years and to take a lovely drive down the coast, much like Tucker and I had done four years prior. But alas, the state of Oregon still wasn’t up to snuff on their plowing. The main artery to the coast that I had tried on Christmas Day was still covered in snow. And given that the driveway was icy, I was concerned about the rest of the city roadways. Having driven across the polar vortex in February of 2021, and in plenty of winter conditions during my lifetime, I theorized that if could get to an interstate, I’d be fine. But getting to the nearest interstate, I-5, and taking an inland southern route didn’t seem possible either. I knew I wouldn’t make it over Grants Pass on I-5, just north of the California border. That was notorious for shutting down in the winter.
My landlord, who was driving northbound from the Bay Area along I-5, called me first thing in the morning to tell me he wouldn’t be there to see me off. He had gotten just north of Grants Pass when he slid off the road, hitting a snowbank. He had popped a tire and was waiting for a tow truck at a nearby hotel. No one had plowed.
So, by 1pm, with only three hours of daylight left, I made the call to stay another night. The truck was packed, but there was no need to risk my life just to be on time to see where I might want to be when I’m dead. I also had been giving myself a lot of extra time to make it there, so if I waited a day, rather than two short days of driving, it would be one long one.
My friend’s Christmas package arrived as we waited, so instead of having it forwarded to California, Tucker got to one more Christmas gift to destroy. Because that’s the point of all toys.
It’s a much prettier drive anyway, in my opinion.
Tucker didn't care either way, as for him it's more about the scents than the sights, but he seems to enjoy both.
As the sun took its leave beneath the horizon, we started up our trusty steed once more and continued southbound, past the manmade sign letting us know we were back in the Golden State where redwood trees reach for the skies and the bluffs show off their character as they stand against the ocean.