29, 30-April and 01-May-2016: Mike and Liz come to visit!!!

29, 30-Apr, 01-May-2016
My friend Mike, co-conspirator to many of my adventures in Boston (and without) lives in California. Just a quick hop on a plane away… I’d gone to visit him on my road trip, and then for his birthday, but hadnt been set up enough in Hood River to really host. By the time I was set up, he was neck-deep in grad school… now that we found a weekend that worked for both of us, it was time for some epic adventures!
On top of Mike and Liz (his awesome girlfriend) visiting, there was a nice weather window on Mt Hood… one that was a bit too nice to be passed up by a certain mountaineer that I know and love.  I wished Sarah luck with coffee and kisses as she rolled out to Mt. Hood in the mid-evening, an hour or two before I went to pick Mike and Liz up from the airport.
But with or without Sarah, staying in Portland was a heck of a lot easier than driving back to Hood River at 11:00 at night… so we all went back, relaxed, and spent a bit of time (and a bottle of wine) catching up before bed.
Its not normal for me, but we actually woke up pretty early on Saturday morning… I think 8:00 or something? Either way, we headed out semi-early, making bacon and coffee first, of course.
Ollie was with us for the weekend, since she’s not quite old enough to try Mt Hood yet, so our first stop was to drop her off at home (Hood River home) before… Wind Surfing lessons!  Which are awesome, cold, wet, and fun! If you’ve heard anything about Hood River, it’s about wind sports; wind surfing, kite boarding, paragliding, all of it. Thanks to the Columbia, we’ve got some stellar wind that holds really constant: perfect for sails.
So we took a lesson – it’s only been ~9 months since I moved here, so right on time… right?
The lesson was good – we went with a place called Hood River Waterplay; partially because of good reviews, but mostly because they were the only place that was open this early in the year.  I actually caught on pretty quickly, though we did learn just as quickly how important it is for a wetsuit to be whole, and not full of holes… the one I had was nice and new, and I was toasty-warm the whole time.  Mike… well, Mike got an older, more ripped up one, and he was blue-lipped way too soon.  But we still held out for the whole three hour lesson, alternating between carving waves and getting swept downriver by the current, or knocked off the board by random gusts of wind.
Once we’d had enough, we left to wander around Hood River.  I picked Ollie up from the house, and then we all got lunch at a place called Horsefeathers.  Burgers, beers, followed up with a nap at the house ‘Till Sarah arrived finished up the afternoon.  The evening was a quick show-off of the Insitu production building, then a ridiculous dinner (salmon, potatoes, pasta, corn, wine, beef, scotch, everything) followed by hanging out all night by the fire.
We start out (not surprisingly) with a nice and slow morning; breakfast out, chilling, the whole shebang. Then hiking!  We started up a route called Munra point, but unfortunately it didn’t work out due to the trail, so we moved back to the parking lot, and a really nice waterfall trail that left from the same trailhead.  It was beautiful, with great views and just the right amount of exposure and elevation gain…  not to mention the good pictures!  Ollie even did really well off-leash, not running off or falling down any cliffs or anything!
The trail took us straight into Portland, where we got all fancy dressed up!  Dinner at Pok Pok Noi (holy shit spicy) and drinks at Migration Brewing (tasty!) and dessert at Pix (delicious, if a little sparce on options).  Forget our leftovers, but it’s all good.  Sleep early, to drop Mike & Liz off at the crack of dawn (literally) Monday morning.

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