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I-84 west bound in The Dalles, Oregon, along the Hood River.

One of the nice things about running solo is that I actually get to drive in the daylight.  Yes I have become a daywalker!!  Normally when I am training, my designated shift is dusk to dawn.  Of course there are a couple of reasons for this, but self preservation rates right up there near the pinnacle of that particular hierarchy.  It is not always the wisest thing to have a rookie driver run the dark hours, especially when they have been used to a normal 9 to 5 job.

20121218_084959This morning was extra special for me because, over night, there had been a light dusting of snow in some areas.  This made for a very interesting display of color contrasts along the way.  The effects caused by the sunlight as it streamed past me and lit the moss covered rocks and cliffs were breathtaking.  I found it extremely difficult to capture the light just right, but then I was only using a smart phone to take the pictures.

20121218_084023Of course the other advantage to early morning driving is the nearly complete lack of traffic.  Most often, unless I’m in a city, the only other vehicles I have to contend with are other 18 wheelers delivering their goods and produce.This does allow me the chance to relax just a little more, and thoroughly enjoy the magical scenery. 

20121218_092118We stopped at one of the rest areas along the route, because Peanut had to pause for a little break to use the facilities, not me… Peanut, really.  I will say that Oregon has some nice facilities that accommodate picnics and camping.  This particular one had a warm feel, with plenty of stone work, paths, and picnic tables.  The dusting of snow, and misty morning sky high above just added to the ambience.  Peanut was none to thrilled about that cold white stuff on the ground.  He is continually complaining to me about such inconveniences, especially when I insist he wear his sweat shirt.

Overall, it was a very pleasant morning drive, one which allowed me to pause and enjoy just a brief epoch in my daily existence.  I do enjoy the scenery along the road leading into Portland, even if it is usually rather wet and rainy.  It was nice to have the snow this time. Yes I prefer snow to rain just about any day.  Soon enough, my brief occasion of solitude will be over.  I will have to pick up a new student within a few weeks. I plan on taking full advantage of this brief opportunity to enjoy my own quiet peaceful company, before relegating myself to the necessity of company.