Friday, June 27, 2014

Before and After Oregon

Quick update on our travels from Yosemite to Mt. Rainier (and beyond!)

---From Yosemite, we stopped by San Francisco to see Dave’s lovely cousin Jess, who had graciously received our passports that we had forgotten at home. The Mission District where Jess lives was TOTAL SENSORY OVERLOAD after a few weeks disconnected from civilization.

---We escaped the city and headed toward the Redwoods on the northern California coast. It’s hard to appreciate redwoods to the same level of awe as sequoia, because redwoods aren’t as large as sequoia at their base, where we walk around. But the forest surrounding the redwoods is amazing… huge ferns, dripping mosses, and quiet.

---After camping north of the Redwoods, on to Oregon! We drove by Crater Lake, but there’s not much hiking in the area. I don’t think you’re even allowed to hike into the crater. The lake was SO blue and SO still and SO beautiful. Best picnic ever!

crater lake
---We stopped at Smith Rock for sport climbing. I totally, absolutely loved the rock and the place. Smith Rock gets its own posts.

asterisk pass @ smith rock
---Sadly left Smith and decided to pass on a few other hikes in Oregon. We are already more than 1/3 of the way through the trip and still have Washington, Montana, Idaho, Canada, and more Wyoming on the radar. Plus, the hikes are snowed in at higher elevations, anyway.

mt. hood
---Stopped by Portland for lunch (cities = small doses) and Hipster Watching. We ate at the little waterfront park, which is full of runners and homeless people and very few Hipsters. Went a few blocks toward the city center and found all of the ironic facial hair and ugly eyeglasses we could ever want.

hipster mum on skateboard
---Continued to Washington and the Gifford Pinchot National Forest and Mt. St. Helens National Monument. Got an insane stack of maps and information from the forest service folks (thanks guys!). We did a short little cave walk through a basalt tube. Not very beautiful (it’s basically a pitch black, 100% humidity, 42 degree subway tube). But different.

into the dark...
---Thereafter, Mt. Rainier, which should really be called Mt. Rain-y. Weather was upper 40s and raining. I didn’t actually see the mountain, and the short walk we took through snow the consistency of a slushy was uninspiring and awkward. So, we hung out in their amazingly beautiful visitor’s center and caught up on pictures and journaling and generally sitting still for once.

not my favorite hike, let's say
And that’s where I’m writing this journal entry. Who knows when and where I’ll get to post it…


Amazingly, I'm posting this the day after writing it.  At 3-something hours, this is the longest I've been on the computer since leaving Ithaca.  I have a headache and a stomache and want to go outside.

We're currently in the little town of Forks on the Olympic Peninsula of Washington, in a lovely quiet public library.  Waiting out the rain (all of our gear is SOAKED).  Doing some trip planning (i.e. trying to find hikes that are not under 2-10 feet of snow).

And from here, every step brings us back east...  and back home!

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