Road trip, Day three

Right, we’ve made it down to Oregon of all places. Down from the bleak vastness of the High Chaparral to the lush lower reaches of the Columbia river valley. Past four major hydro-electric dams and tens of square kilometres of those next best thing to useless twirly things.

When it comes to describing the good old US of A, the word ‘vast’ is so inadequate. ‘Huge’ is a vapid description of something so big that merely being humungous can only go halfway to describing a hundredth of the open country we’ve passed through. Towering waterfalls, highways so straight that their vanishing point disappears half way to the horizon. I thought Canada was big, but we mostly snuggle close to the 49th parallel to keep warm in winter. The US is, how should I put it, more three dimensional, spreading down from the 49th Parallel to the Mexican border. It’s almost like dipping a toe in the total perspective vortex.

Gas, or petrol is about a third cheaper then back home and doled out in US gallons, which are smaller than Imperial measure, 3.785 litres as opposed to 4.546. Which has made the conversion in my headometer run a little slower than usual when checking out the prices. I’m sure there’s an ap for this function, but I haven’t downloaded it yet. Growing up when I did, we had Imperial to Metric conversion drilled into us until it became second nature. Even now I can freely convert from pounds and pence into the old pounds, shillings and pence. Funny the way some things stay with you, isn’t it?

Hotels are good, the food is okay, but our southern cousins do have a predilection for frying everything, so the cuisine is not up to Parisian standards. Although their steaks are bloody wonderful. If there’s one thing the yanks do really well it’s a steak. Not burgers, but thumb thick slabs of juicy pinkness. The aftereffects of consuming a 10oz include making my stomach hug my spine as it goes ‘thank you – thank you’. So I’m in pretty good humour.

Short drive starting today, down to the West coast to begin the northbound leg of our trip. Listening to some of the locals talk about distance the other day, I noticed that they talk of journey times, not in miles or kilometres, but in hours. But in a country this size, it makes perfect sense.

2 thoughts on “Road trip, Day three”

  1. I always had you down as a smart cookie, quite capable of modest amounts of mental arithmetic.

    Your Imperial gallon is very close to 20% more than a US gallon. So just add one fifth to the US dollar price per US gallon and you have the US dollar price per Canadian gallon.

    Your Canadian dollar is (today) around 0.785 US dollars. The 1.2 times 0.785 comes out at 0.943.

    So the Canadian dollar price of an Imperial gallon is close to numerically 5% less than the US dollar price of a US gallon.

    I hope I did not get any of that upside down. Have a great trip.

    Best regards


    1. Yes, but in practical terms, we have higher gas prices than the USA, so it works out a lot lower. Exchange rate is CAD$1.3 to 1US$ as charged by banks and credit card agencies. Even with that loaded exchange rates, with price differential etc, I saved CAD$10 (9%) on a my last tank of gas. I blame the BC Carbon tax (6% per litre)


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