In a motel in Ashland, Oregon, where we’ve been visiting friends and having an excellent time.

The trip started out on a quite negative note – our first flight (CFG-GRU) was over two hours late, making us miss our connection to Dallas. We usually never book connections so close, in order to forestall this sort of thing, but our travel agent, who’s aware of this, was on vacation and we changed (temporarily) to another agency. Turns out all flights in the chain were a few hours late except for that most important one, which we missed by30 minutes. So the airline had to put us up in a hotel and, early the next day we went to San Francisco on the red-eye flight starting at New York.

To cap this, when we went to get our rental car, we were informed our reservation had been canceled by the travel agency – strangely enough, not by ours, but by yet another one we never use. After some negotiations with the manager we were informed they were all out of compacts, but we could get a larger car at a slight price increase. OK, reasonable enough…

…but when we got to the parking garage the attendant pointed at an empty lot and said all those cars had already been rented out! So back to the rental office… where after some more waiting we were issued a Buick Lacrosse GNX (GLX? VGX? VGA? something like that). With leather seats and other knicknacks, and most usefully, a GPS locator, which proved invaluable in our sidetrips.

We drove straight up Interstate 5 to Ashland and stayed at a motel near the intersection with Route 66. Ashland is a marvelous little town – lots of greenery, nice shops and very friendly people. We leave today for Corvallis, which lies northwards, but I’ll give some more details tomorrow.