As I commented before , after leaving work early and enjoying a leisurely lunch at the local Shari’s, where despite showing that I intended on remaining for a while and going at a slow pace by bringing inside two substantial books and my laptop computer, the waitress rather foolishly decided to bring all of my food at the same time, which was particularly irksome. Sometimes I wonder if waitresses intentionally try to sabotage the service experience by almost daring someone to show their gallantry by tipping well despite the bad service simply to avoid appearing ungracious and ungenerous. At any rate, I did not want to arrive at the rented house near Cloverdale south of Tillamook too early, and so I took my time before leaving. As it happens, I need not have worried about being too early at all.
I knew from looking at the maps the general idea of where I was headed. I traveled west on US 26, passing a very slow tractor that refused to drive in the slow lane where he belonged, and then traveled along the Wilson River Highway (SR-6) towards the coast. The drive was an enjoyable one, for despite the occasional rain and the poor quality of the road, the scenery was beautiful and the villages and countryside was certainly pleasant to behold. It did not take too long to get to Tillamook, at which point I headed south. It did not take very long either to find Sand Lake, and I had thought that my journey was nearly done, but I was not to be so fortunate. Knowing the address of the house I was looking for, and having a landmark of a Vacasa sign to look for, I was a bit distressed that try as I might, I could not find any numbers close to the ones I was looking for, nor could I find the particular landmarks that the directions gave. Following the road to its conclusion, and trying all of the long driveways off of the road did not help matters either, and one loop wound back into Tillamook itself right where I had departed South.
More than a little bit irritated at this point, after having wasted a lot of time, I sought to follow the advice of the directions given by the rental agency to travel some seventeen miles south of Tillamook. But what did they mean by seventeen miles. Did they mean seventeen miles from the city center, or seventeen miles from the city limits, or what? As it happens, it ended up being seventeen miles from the city limits, approximately, and following a sign that said there were woods in four miles, I found myself reaching the southern limits of Sand Lake approaching some habitations, and this time I saw the range of numbers on the houses to be in the right neighborhood. Thus encouraged, I went on and found the house and the other landmarks described, and wondered to myself if the time I had wasted wandering around rural Tillamook county would mean that I would arrive later than the rest of my party, subjecting me to ridicule for being able to wander around with such ease . As it happens, I need not have worried about that either.
I was the first person to arrive and had to search all around the house before finding the box where the house key was located. After arriving inside I put my belongings away and claimed a private room for myself with an octopus theme, probably resembling my style of hugging at least a little, and it was not too long before the ladies of our party all showed up together. I helped bring the provisions in, and once more I was impressed at the logistical capabilities of this particular family. I tend to be the sort of person who, aside from my fondness for heavy books, tends to travel lightly, but this is a family whose supply capabilities are legendary. Given the combination of their willingness to engage in a great deal of cooking, their ability to acquire, store, and carry large amounts of provisions, and their sensitivity to the dietary needs of their friends and family members, they are the sort of people I would trust if I had an army to keep myself, themselves, and everyone else as well-fed as possible. It is an admirable skill to possess, and coming from a background of scarcity as I do, it is a skill I appreciate greatly in others.
We ate dinner late, wondering if the menfolk of the party would arrive. Indeed, it was quite late by the time we finished eating and I wondered for a while if I would be the only guy within our party. This was not necessarily something I would object to, but I would find it more than a little bit puzzling. As it happened, though, around 10 o’clock in the evening the rest of the party arrived more than a bit sleepy, and they ate some and then mostly napped on the various couches in their clothes while a couple of the ladies and myself played a game of Upwords where we tried to limit the words to ones that could be found in the Bible before we ran out of space and letters that we could use to make words and before I went off to sleep, having been glad to enjoy a pleasant evening although more than a little bit irritated that for me to get anywhere requires epic journeys and large amounts of seemingly pointless wandering. Why can’t I just get where I want to go? Why does everything have to require such stubborn persistence to go anywhere?
 See, for example: