It’s been MONTHS since I’ve posted here. The more time that passes, the harder it is for me to return. I assure you, it’s not due to lack of content. Life.
This year, we travelled from McCall —> Boise —> Portland —> Oregon Coast —> and back for Spring Break. We were on our way to visit our favorite family of eight, the Prasil’s! They moved from Clarkston, WA to PDX last year and we just had to see them, their new home and neighborhood (+ I love Portland).
Many, many times, I traveled the Columbia River gorge when I worked for Biomark. Somehow it is much more enjoyable with my people (+ Pearl), the Four-Wheel, a fresh playlist, and the promise of the ocean. Green grass, moss, ferns, and flowers were all welcome treats for our eyes.
You can’t drive I-84 and not notice Multnomah Falls. I remember stopping at the falls as a child and wanted Alice to see it up close too. From there, we made our way into the greater Portland area and found our way to our friends. It didn’t take long to dive into their neighborhood delights: a cocktail at Grain and Gristle followed by a deliciously spicy dinner next door at Pok Pok.
Alice was beyond excited to reunite with some of her favorite Little 45ers. And thrilled to pop-up the camper right in their driveway. The first words she uttered the following day, “when are the kids going to wake up?”
I think the only thing we really “planned” was a visit to the Portland Art Museum to see Animating Life: The Art, Science, and Wonder of LAIKA exhibit where visitors get a behind the scenes view of the amazing process of stop motion animation. It was fascinating. We loved Kubo and the Two Strings and to see how it was made was incredible, I had no idea what went into these films! We also enjoyed The Boxtrolls and Coraline. When we arrived home, we promptly watched ParaNorman too. The other exhibits were neat too and we tried to see as much as possible before losing Alice. Common Ground, photographs by Fazal Sheikh of displaced refugees was heartbreakingly beautiful.
Next up, the Oregon Zoo because regardless of how one feels about zoos, it’s hard to deny children the wonder of wild animals. We raced to keep up with the kids and caught glimpses of animals enjoying their enrichment treats. After the excitement of a day well spent in Portland, we were hungry! Lucky for us, Dan and Ruthie know exactly where to find good food. It was on to Mississippi Avenue and Miss Delta.
The following morning we rallied the Four-Wheel camper crew for a trip to the ocean! A brand spanking new mountain bike among us, Dan guided us to Stub Stewart. At the top, the views were plenty and not one child was the least bit bored all afternoon. Riding among moss covered trees with trilliums in bloom made for the perfect “first ride” of the season.
The sun was setting when we rolled into Cape Lookout campground so we scrambled to get to the beach to catch a glimpse.
We elected to take a hike before we went to the beach one morning, even though that was the only thing the kids wanted to do. It turns out our visit aligned with the beginning of whale watching season! We packed a few snacks and some water and headed to the trailhead. The hike ended up being way longer than we thought and the trail was muddy and seriously treacherous in places. There were more than a few wide-eyed glances between the adults in the group. It was Eco-Challenge style. But the crew of kids were unfazed and we were truly rewarded with the beautiful sight of gray whales!
I love meeting friend’s parents! Ruthie’s mom and dad are exceptional and it shows, in them, their children, and their grandchildren. They did a good job. It’s cool when families find new places in life and still end up near one another. It makes me smile when people make big life decisions and end up happy and at home in new and exciting situations. It’s not easy to step away from what you think you’re building for your family in a career, a home, a place. It takes guts and you, along with the people that matter the most have to be a team. And it works. And that’s inspiring. Another trip for the memory books, thanks friends, until next time.