Growing up, my wonderful stepmom always had a post-it note on the wall that said, "travel with an open-heart and light expectations", generally I've heeded this advice. Traveled with an open mind, never knowing whats in store. Well this time I kinda forgot about that sticky note... it all started when 6 weeks before we left I started calling our short winter trip "snowcation 2013", I had in my mind that this year's adventure would be somewhat similar to last years white road trip... well we didn't find fluffy feet of new snow: instead we found lukewarm hotsprings, 45 degree weather, rain, and beautiful winding mountain passes, full of good people, we snuck into a alpine lake resort, played rounds of backgammon in a mountain cabin and discovered that our cat is a pretty good on the road! There was a brief moment when I was a little disappointed that we couldn't control the weather, but then I realized I had mind tricked myself... Snowcation 2013 was wonderful... it lacked fluffy white powder but it was full of all sorts of delights.
Have a happy new year to you and yours, may it be filled with delightful surprises and sweet nothings. Remember travel with few expectations and an open-heart!
Tony and I took off Monday April 30th on a road trip. We were gone for 24 days, the furthest point away from our PDX home we went to was Lake View Arkansas. Along the way we played in the Steens Mountain range of Oregon. There we drank delicious milkshakes that hurt our stomachs in the town of Fields, Oregon (population 11... the nicest 11 people in a town ever). We also shared the Willow Creek hot springs with a bunch of naked fellas and a snake.
Next we scooted along to SE Utah, explored the beautiful 4x4 roads of Canyonlands with our 2-wheel drive RV from 1978, found incredible camping sites, full moons and canyons. Road bikes on sandy dirt roads, to find muddy water to bathe in. I rode with my feet "clipped in" to my bike as much as possible on this trip... needless to say, it was a learning experience and I crashed a lot, and got a little hurt. In Canyonlands we quickly discovered that national parks have a lot more to offer if you get off the paved roads. There is free camping, only a few people and some incredible wilderness (thanks Edward Abbey for the tips).
From Canyonlands we scooted over to the Moab area and hiked around the area for a day, searching for Arches that we didn't have to pay to see. They were easy to find and beautiful.
From Utah we drove for 2 days and slept in a truck stop on our way to Arkansas (very romantical). Tony and I both have grandma's and family in ARK. It was a delightful family trip, full of clean showers, beautiful people, potato salads, rescued animals (Frank the horny turkey) and coyote-filled walks via moonlight. We were fortunate to visit his Grandma's costume and bridal rental store, she said "take whatever you want" so we did. Two storage tubs later we have 14 vintage plastic masks, an Alf mask, safari gear for Tony and 12 beaded gowns for my girlfriends to prance around in.
After Arkansas, we breezed through Oklahoma and Texas again. Our end destination was the North Rim of the legendary Grand Canyon. Now when I have been asked if I have seen the grand canyon i proudly get to say yes! Yes I have explored 'Merica and its GOOD! (Historically I haven't seen too much of 'Merica... except for the Pacific NW, so this trip was quite exciting.
The Grand Canyon is surprisingly forested, full of deer and amazing Quacking Aspen trees that were in full Spring time bloom! Little neon green leaves that shimmered in day light.
Oh man, too much writing... we saw so much: Santa Fe, Durango, Zion, rocks, mountains, deserts and forests. SO many animals: Frogs, antelope, elk, coyotes, armadillos, snakes, pelicans, eagles, road runners and more!
Very fun... happy to be home. My bloody nose from the dry weather is quickly healing, and the comforts of a full-size kitchen and friends make coming back very pleasant. However being on the road in the Datsun Chinook was great. We are officially part of the RV gang, we get to talk to fellow RV'ers about the joys of cooking indoors atop canyon bluffs and pulling out the table to play backgammon underneath the stars of Colorado.
Here are some photos... a lot of photos. xo
So much has happened since my contract "ended"... the whole concept of one door closes, many doors open feels entirely true and validated in the last two months of life.
After leaving computer desk job in Hillsboro I started looking for volunteer opportunities to try new things. I've been organic farming and trying to get my foot into the world of education (teaching).
Specifically I volunteered at an elementary school and helped kids who were behind in reading, get better. At the farm- Working Theory Farm- I've been sowing, weeding, tilling and planting hundreds of vegetable babies. Its practically perfect weather in the NW to work outside, not hot and not cold... hasn't been raining too much, we've even had the occasional 80*F day.
This evening (its currently 11:22pm) Tony and I are shooting off for our much anticipated SW America road trip. Look out Utah, Colorado, Arizona and even Arkansas (hey grandmas!) we are coming to get you.
I am eager to share some stories from this adventure on ze blog later. Don't have much at the moment, just a quick catch up.
Yahoo for spring flowers and life cycles. I love how the sunrises and sets. Very dependable.
so life has been FULL of wonderful canadian surprises as of late, its kinda creepy how often I find myself surrounded by things "made in canada"... its been a variety pack and I'd like to share some with YOU! Did you know... canucks make great music: Timber Timbre visited portland's mississippi studios:
Basia Bulat graced The Woods:
Buck 65 being beautiful with a beauty. *sigh* only 7 minutes, I was hoping this would last forever...
A wee story: Americans: "Please divert your course 15 degrees North to avoid a collision."
Canadians: "Recommend you divert YOUR course 15 degrees South to avoid collision."
Americans: "This is the captain of a US navy ship; I say again divert your course."
Canadians: "No. I say again, you divert YOUR course."
Americans: "THIS IS THE AIRCRAFT CARRIER USS LINCOLN, THE SECOND LARGEST SHIP IN THE UNITED STATES' ATLANTIC FLEET. WE ARE ACCOMPANIED BY THREE DESTROYERS, THREE CRUISERS AND NUMEROUS SUPPORT VESSELS. I DEMAND THAT YOU CHANGE YOUR COURSE 15 DEGREES NORTH, THAT'S ONE FIVE DEGREES NORTH, OR COUNTER-MEASURES WILL BE UNDERTAKEN TO ENSURE THE SAFETY OF THIS SHIP."
Canadians: "We are a lighthouse; your call."
And a special thank you to the canadian couch surfers who rolled into town and made the last few weeks much more exciting. So very grateful for all the conversations, meals, dance parties and spontaneous adventures. (it gerry!!! can you believe it, ten years later the boy rolls back into town... woop woop)