Oregon: Hippies, Yetis and so much more.
In Portland we were invited to stay with a friend of mine, Terra, from Gainesville, who moved back to with her husband Portland to be closer to her family after having kids. We explored downtown Portland first; Ben had been once before on a work trip to Portland State University so he showed me around the campus area. One thing we learned quickly was that they have a very large biking lane between the curb and the parked cars – we nearly parked incorrectly but fortunately someone noticed our out of state tags and set us straight. We went on a hunt for a farmers market but after walking in circles and not having any luck with Google Maps we decided that we should throw in the towel and make other plans for our afternoon. On our way back to the car we passed a very full city block of food trucks that smelled absolutely amazing - ranging from Ethiopian to Soul Food and back again. Terra and Stephan live in the Alberta Arts district. Knowing them, it was likely a fun, unique part of town, so we headed there to get some lunch.
|Portland the city of roses|
|Salt and Straw Ice Cream|
|Quirky art around town|
|Dahi Papri Chaat from Bollywood Theater|
|Our Indian street food feast|
|Chicken Kati Roll... mmmmm....|
|Half of our Pine State Biscuits (we forgot to take a picture earlier)|
|A section of the test rose garden|
|I took this one for my mom, her favorite color is yellow.|
|Rose archway lining the path|
|This section is just a fraction of what was there|
We left Portland the next morning but not before indulging in an egg sandwich AND donuts from Tonalli's Donuts & Cream. I've never had Voodoo Donuts because I'm not interested in a 45 minute wait for a fried piece of dough, but man I dare say that the Tonalli's Donuts were the best I have ever had.
On our way out we took a spin through the Columbia River Gorge and stopped to see Multnomah Falls - the second tallest waterfall in the country. The falls were pretty spectacular. There was a story about how a wedding party was on the bridge having photos taken when a rock fell off of the top of the falls and splashed the entire party – which would likely make for amazing pictures. After that, we headed through Hood River and thought we'd stop for a beer (are you noticing a theme here?) but I missed the exit and probably all the same because IPA beers aren't really my favorite.
|The view from the Columbia River Gorge|
|The Vista House at Crown Point|
|Inside the Vista House|
|Random beautiful flowers in the bathroom at the Vista House|
|The rock that disrupted the wedding pictures|
|Looking down from the bridge|
|Steak and Gorgonzola Nachos|
After that we headed to the Deschutes National Forest in search our third dispersed campsite destination. We had one area that we targeting, but the lake it was on was all dried up so we kept driving until we found another area on the Deschutes River. It was tucked back off the road a ways. We could see a house off in the distance but the real winner was that there was LTE... glorious, so, so glorious!
|Our view of the river.|
Later that same night I awoke to hear something else, something larger with a soft foot, not hoofed like the last one. I'm a pretty sound sleeper so it was weird to be woken up in the middle of the night like that. I laid in bed listening as it walked slowly, and close enough that I was scared. The nylon walls of the tent distort noise in a funny way, amplifying things you might not hear otherwise, but I knew that this was closer then I was comfortable. I again wondered if Ben was awake. The moon was not bright that night so there was very little light. I heard the creature get a little further away then I heard Ben reach for keys again. Again he re-locked the doors and flashed the lights, then armed the alarm to beep the horn. The creature paused but did not run. I waited, taking breaths as quietly as I could, repeating the prayer for protection in my head over and over. We finally heard guest number two head down the bank of the river and away from our camp. I laid awake for a while after that waiting for my heartbeat to slow back down. The next morning we peeked out of the breeze area and saw four or five deer having breakfast. We got up to look for footprints of our second visitor but with no luck. Most of the ground was covered in pine needles not leaving much soil for very good tracks. If I had to guess I would think it was a bear, likely heading down to the river for some water, but who really knows? Perhaps it was a Yeti? Regardless, we decided that we should pack up and get on to Crater Lake National Park.
|Crater Lake with you can see the observation deck over to the left in the trees.|
|The blueness of the water is due to the depth, 1946 feet at the deepest point, and clarity of the lake.|
|Ben on the deck of the Crater Lake lodge.|
|Phantom Ship Rocks off in the distance. Neon green moss in the foreground.|