In early spring of 2007 I decided to quit my job, sell my house along with nearly everything else that I owned, and to live out of my car while traveling the country. These are my stories (and pictures) of life on the road.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Bye Bye PNW

Wow, I can't believe how the time has flown on this trip! It's been just over 3 months now since I've left Iowa and I've driven 10,000 miles. The little Saturn has performed like a champ though and hasn't given me a bit of trouble. After spending the entire summer in the PNW it's finally time to say goodbye and begin my trek back east where I'll meet up with Sarah for a few days in Denver (where she's attending a wedding) before driving back to Iowa together.

I spent all last week in Portland working and neglecting my blog; but thankfully the neglect was a result of having fun. I'd already worked at this shop for a few days in the end of June so it was nice going into it knowing what to expect and things went smoothly. Terica, a service writer at the shop, decided she'd show me Portland and I got the whirl wind tour through out the week and it was a blast! Everything from an airplane ride over the Columbia Gorge to fondue to drag shows to Voo Doo Donuts and to flaming drinks and deserts. Although I've stayed with some great people during my trip and had a lot of fun with them it was great to be able to hang out with someone my own age. It's really the first time since I've left Iowa that I've had a real friend to hang out with and to spend time with; it was really nice. I got to see a lot of things in Portland that I never would have gotten to see on my own.

I even got invited to her roommates wedding in Cannon Beach, which was actually held right on the beach. After helping set up the chairs I hung around and made sure no one messed with the stuff while everyone else got all fancied up. As I sat there reading my book the violinist came down and started warming up so I had my own private violin player right there on the beach, which was very cool. The wedding was nice but the reception afterwards was even more fun since it included free food, booze, and dancing. Since it was a Sunday afternoon and everyone needed to drive back to Portland the reception was over about mid-afternoon. After it was over Terica and I drove up to Astoria to explore the area a little bit more. Despite the fact that I dropped on of my new cameras into the water it was a pretty fun little trip. We got to see a bunch of Sea Lions and climb Astoria tower for an amazing view of the area. It was pretty late by the time we got back to Cannon Beach to pick up my car but thankfully I didn't have to be to work in the morning so when I got tired on the way back to Portland I just pulled over the car and went to sleep. I ended up staying in Portland through Monday so I could talk to Jim and Liz a bit before I left (the people I was staying with) and I headed out of town Tuesday morning.

I started heading towards central Oregon and it seemed that as I crested a hill I'd found that I'd suddenly left the woods and entered the high desert. I stopped next to a small river last night and woke up just as the sun was lighting the top rim of the small canyon I was in. I looked at it for a minute and then went back to sleep for another hour before continuing on my way. As I passed Prineville reservoir I couldn't resist slipping the kayak in the water and going for a nice paddle. The sun was shining, it was warm, and the lake was calm as could be, absolutely perfect weather for a paddle. The lake was nearly deserted and I found a nice little beach to do some swimming, exploring, and napping before heading back to the car. Tonight finds me just east of Bend, Oregon in the badlands.

Tomorrow I'll likely be out of Oregon, not to return until at least next summer. I just wanted to thank everyone who made my little PNW tour possible and very enjoyable. The people and climate are tough to beat. Let me let everyone one else in on a little secret here. You know how the northwest is really rainy and dreary?

Well it's not!!

At least not in the summer it isn't. Rain is an oddity during the summer months, the sun shines a lot, it's not humid, and they think 85 degrees is pretty hot! Most days the temperatures stayed in the 70's; though there was one week the temps did get well into the 90's but that seems to be the exception. Everyone that I met seemed to be pretty proud of their weather and they told me how nice it was during the summer. This was always followed up by, “don't tell anyone though”. Apparently that's a little secret they don't want to get out, so don't tell anyone I told you.

1 comment:

Edith said...

Al is has been raining here everyday for a week. Today is the first sunshine we have seen. Glad to hear your last week has been great.

You've reached the end of the page but that's not the end of the stories. If you want to read more (and who wouldn't!?) then click on the archive links to the right hand side of the page. They're listed by month; the adventure starts in May.

The February archives aren't actually from this trip but are previous adventures I've had, which are worth reading as well.