Round The World and other travels

A frequent flyer's collection of trip diaries

This is: Round The World 2006-07

On the Oregon Trail (well, sort of ...)

I treated myself to what I think of as a lie-in, although it was probably still early by many people's standards. When I eventually came to and got organised, I made my way up to the little Club Lounge to sample their Continental breakfast offering, which was very acceptable. Soon thereafter, I was packed and ready for another day on the road - my last on this part of the trip. This time I was putting my navigation skills to even more of a test, as I didn't have a map at all covering Oregon. (Actually I had one at home, but it wasn't doing me a lot of good there )

I was soon heading south on the I-5 and realised that I was passing Olympia, the capital of Washington, with a most impressive Capitol building just off the freeway. I did an about-turn at the next suitable freeway exit and went back for a closer look. I was glad I'd done so; the buildings looked most impressive in the morning sunshine. I didn't take the tour, though, as I wasn't sure how the day was going to work out, time-wise.

After pulling over at a suitable time for a quick Subway lunch, I found the McMinnville turn-off and had no trouble finding the Evergreen Aviation Museum, new home of Howard Hughes's huge flying boat, dubbed the Spruce Goose, and still the world's largest aircraft. I'd seen the Goose in the 1980s while it was on show at Long Beach, CA and was keen to track it down again, especially as my interest had been rekindled by the recent movie, The Aviator. I enjoyed my look around this, the latest of many aviation exhibits on this trip, although there was perhaps too much emphasis on military flying for my personal taste. (I've nothing whatsoever against the military, by the way; it's just that my interests have always been with commercial travel.)

Next, I had to make my way to PDX and this time I didn't even know where the airport was located in relation to the city centre. However I couldn't imagine a freeway passing through a city and NOT having signs for the airport, so I was confident that I would be fine. Sure enough, it worked out perfectly and in no time I was gassing up the car before returning it to Avis at the airport - and a very easy process it was too. After passing through security, I had a meal at one of the concourse restaurants, accompanied by live piano music! Then it was time to put my Priority Pass to good use again, gaining entry to the Alaska Airlines Boardroom lounge.

I left the lounge and made the lengthy trek to the gate in good time but, unfortunately, the flight was showing a delay of over an hour, which eventually became two hours. I was philosophical about it; it was precisely for circumstances like this that I'd made sure I had lots of slack in my schedule. We eventually boarded around 2230.

(Link to flight log in side panel)

On arrival at YVR I had no difficulty passing through the airport, despite a most unpleasant immigration agent who made the US agents appear friendly and welcoming   "You're on vacation ALONE??? You were sight-seeing in OREGON???" Yes and yes - any OBJECTIONS???   (Thankfully, I was able to bite my tongue in time and that's not how I actually answered ) It should be emphasised at this point that everyone else I encountered during my all too brief stay in Vancouver could hardly have been more friendly   Rather later than intended, I arrived at the Four Points and was pleased with what I found at this, my first experience of this particular brand.