When I plan a trip into an area that’s “new territory” for me as well as the book, I know it’s going to be an adventure. So I try to prepare for it. Prior to my trip to Oregon City for the taping of my interview for “The Author’s Forum” on public access TV, I spent three hours online literally tracking my entire trip on maps and figuring out the best ways to get from Point A to B and everything in between. I would be making 11 stops, only one of which I had driven to before and that was from a different direction.
Our snow had cleared, but the temps last weekend were mid-30s on the coast and colder everywhere else. According to the weather reports, there was supposed to be a couple of days before the next batch of storms. Let’s hope.
So here’s how it played out.
First stop Corvallis. I took Hwy 126 over the Coast Range and headed up 99. It was snowing, going over the mountains, but not sticking. Thank goodness! I felt like I had lucked out and then there was no precipitation heading up 99. As I got close to Corvallis none of the directions were making sense, so that’s when I realized I was on 99E instead of 99W. Great! Lost already!
As we entered town, I turned on a busy looking street and saw a familiar sounding cross street. Whew! Then I could follow my directions to Browsers Bookstore. Although it’s a used books bookstore, they bought a copy. Then I headed for Grass Roots, which I recognized as having been in before when I visited a friend in Corvallis years ago. Since the owner wasn’t in, I left info and a book for him to look over.
Second stop McMinnville. I followed my directions right to it. Yes! The owner, Sylla, bought two. Still no precipitation. I then headed east along 99W to Newburg where I turned on Hwy 219 towards Wilsonville Road, which would take me directly to Wilsonville.
Third stop Wilsonville Public Library. Where, Greg, true to his word on the phone bought not one but two books—one for circulation and one for their Oregon history collection.
Fourth stop Oregon City. I headed to I-5 and then onto I-205, which made short work of getting there. Lots of construction due to one bridge being closed and renovated (incidentally, it’s the bridge designed by Conde McCullough). The worst traffic so far on this trip was along McLoughlin Blvd in Oregon City around where I-205 crosses over and dumps lots of traffic. My lodging, the Rivershore Hotel was on one side of this intersecting mess and the rest of the town on the other. When I first got off the freeway, I spent 20 minutes on Washington Street driving first one way a couple of miles then the other trying to figure out where the hotel was. Finally, I ventured onto McLoughlin and braved all the intersecting freeway traffic again and found it.
The Rivershore Hotel is well named as it is on the Willamette River and I was on the fourth floor. Loved it. The rain had started, and I didn’t want to budge. But I had an appointment at 5 p.m. at the Friends of the Oregon City Library Used Bookstore. So I ventured out. I learned which lane to get into and once I was in the downtown, I could follow my map and discovered a couple of through streets to get everywhere I needed to go
You just never know which venues are going to work out. This Friends group’s used bookstore just happens to be planning an exhibit of old photos of the McCullough Bridge that is currently undergoing restoration and my book will tie in perfectly. So Karin, whom I met there, loved Crossings: McCullough’s Coastal Bridges. She bought eight copies and wants me to return in September to put on my PowerPoint program. Who knew!
I had a wonderful dinner, good night’s sleep, and great breakfast, so was ready to tackle the day even though it had turned windy and rainy.
I arrived early at the Willamette Falls Media Center where the recording studio was located for my 11:30 a.m. interview. I knew interviewer Dr. Veronica Esagui had another one scheduled before me. While I waited my turn, I could see a large screen showing the interview in progress but without sound.
When it was my turn, Karen, the one-person crew, checked the camera height, did a voice check after we got the mike on me, and did close-ups of a couple of props I had––a book and a photo that I had brought. I chatted briefly with Veronica before we started and then we were on.
It was just like having a pleasant conversation in somebody’s living room, only with three large cameras watching and listening. A red light indicated which was in action. Veronica had previously asked via email if there were any questions I really wanted her to ask and I had only one. It had to do with the five bridge celebrations and what part the book and I played in them. Otherwise, I didn’t know what she would be asking. Most questions were what I expected, and on the unexpected, I fumbled through. At one point, we had to stop because the tape had run out and had to be replaced. I had to repeat part of an answer and that seemed a little stilted. Other than that it was relaxed and easy, and I think it will be okay.
From time to time, I showed photos from the book to help answer questions. After the interview, I stayed around until all those pages I had shown were scanned into a computer. Later, during the editing process, they will be added at appropriate places to the taped interview.
When I left the studio about 1:15 p.m., the weather had eased and it was only sprinkling as I drove the short distance to the Carnegie Library in its own square block park. The library is functional but has outgrown the building; much of its collection is in storage. . The librarian, Nancy, bought one copy. The building is a classic Carnegie Library and what a setting. Unfortunately, I forgot my camera on this trip and don’t have a photo. (The other photos used in this blog post are courtesy of the venues.)
Now that I could find my way around Oregon City, it was time to leave. So I got back on I-205 briefly to cross the Willamette River and headed to Lake Oswego. I followed Hwy 43 and went right to Graham’s Books & Stationery. Gosh, I was getting good at this. Graham’s, a family run business that’s been around 50+ years, had stationer’s products plus lots of lovely gifts as well as a good selection of books. Kathy, my contact, wanted four copies of the book.
Then I headed north to the Sellwood Bridge and crossed the Willamette again to Milwaukie and followed my directions directly to the Ledding Library. This is getting too easy. The librarian I was planning to see had been called away to a meeting, so I left a book and info. (Before I even got home, she emailed that they wanted the book and for me to send an invoice.)
The sprinkles continued as I headed south on McLoughlin Blvd to the Gladstone Public Library. Since the street it was on didn’t connect to McLoughlin, I had to turn on another connecting street and do a little hunting, but it wasn’t hard to find. It was quite a small building, but the town of Gladstone has plans to build a larger one. Mary Nixon, the librarian, bought a book for the library and one for herself. My kind of librarian!
When I came out of the library, the sprinkles had turned to a downpour. It was about 4:30 p.m. by this time and this was my last stop. So sitting in the library parking lot, I ate the last of my lunch, which I had been nibbling on since leaving the recording studio and put in the first disk of an audio book. I was ready to hit the road. The downpour continued, so I gave up trying to wait it out and headed back to McLoughlin and merged onto I-205 when I got to nearby Oregon City. Next stop—home.
It was a downpour all the way and heavy traffic until after Salem. The worst part was being totally blinded by the water thrown up by trucks when you got behind them and then again when trying to pass. That lasted until I turned off at Eugene. I was very relieved to get home just as the light was fading at 8 p.m. The downpour lasted all the way to Florence.
Even though the downpour was no fun, I still feel I squeaked through weatherwise. That night and the next couple of days, heavy wet snow fell on many of the roads I had just traveled. Glad I got home when I did.
Bottom line: Sold 21 books and have a few venues that will continue to need books to sell in Corvallis, McMinnville, Lake Oswego, and Oregon City. The interview, the reason for the trip, will be seen on public access TV in the Portland area the first couple of weeks in May and Pacific Publishing website and on YouTube probably about the same time—only those last two will continue beyond two weeks. All in all a successful two days.
Crossings: McCullough’s Coastal Bridges can be yours for $24.95 plus $4.99 shipping. Order from Pacific Publishing at http://www.connectflorence.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. It is also available on the coast in bookstores, museums, and gift shops; in Eugene at the airport, the historical museum, and several bookstores; in Portland at Powell’s and the Oregon Historical Society; and in Made in Oregon stores throughout the state.
Judy’s PowerPoint presentation with book sales/signings:
March 29, Thursday, 7 p.m.—Coos Bay Public Library, Coos Bay (525 Anderson Avenue).