I have trouble sitting still and not doing the million things and ideas that spark in my brain on a seemingly continual basis. Sometimes, even I get tired of thinking and need to just unwind and do a little of what I've termed, "free range driving." The idea is basically to see how lost I can get in the Valley and see what we can discover.
Thankfully my wife Dawn has lived with me long enough to realize when I really need this and will often suggest it without my asking. So yesterday, with a floor that needed vacuuming, a yard that needed mowing and all the other little 1,001 things that needed doin'...we jumped in the van and headed off.
The Willamette Valley has a million things to see - if you purposely go out into it with your eyes open and your camera ready. We first drove to I-5 and headed north of Salem to the Newberg exit and headed west. I've traveled these roads a lot over the last eight years that we've lived here, but I always hope to find a road that I haven't discovered yet. Thankfully there are lots of those and we found a few.
It wasn't a long trip. We drove through Newberg, Yamhill and Carlton before making our way to McMinnville and then on 99 to Rickreall before heading home.
What do I get out of it? First I get to visit with my wife after a super hectic week. Second, I get to slowly exhale as I watch the calming green hills, orchards and assorted farm animals pass by. It only took a little while, but the relief I felt was long-lasting.
Try it for yourself next time you need a break and let me know what you discovered.