Monthly Archives: September 2017

A sunrise over the roses

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A sunrise over the roses

A Crater Lake adventure!

Sarah had planned a glorious adventure: We would drive down to Smith Rock to climb for a day, then spend a day at Diamond Lake exploring, and then hit the jewel of the trip – a sunrise exploration of the Crater Lake rim.  From the rim, we’d stay nearby, explore Crater Lake, relax, take a boat ride, and have a great time.  We’d packed the car, made trip itineraries, and Ollie was safely at camp for the week.  All we needed to do was drive… 

But then weather interfered.  Specifically, fire interfered and encroaching wildfires causes us to cancel our plans and head back to the safety of Portland.  That wouldn’t keep us from our adventures though!

 

Thursday, 31-August-2017

 

Last night we’d watched the sun set over Portland, while eating enchiladas cooked over the camp stove.

Clearly the only way to follow that up was with a sunrise adventure to the Portland Rose Garden!

 

We woke up crazy early… not something that Sarah and I willingly do very often.  But today was a special day, and nothing would keep us from doing our best to stick with the original plan that Sarah had put together.  So we woke up early, filled a pair of thermos with coffee and cocoa, and drove out to Washington Park.

Our target was watching the sunrise over the International Rose Test Garden – we’ve been many times, but we figured that it would be gloriously illuminated by the dawn, and would almost make up for missing the dawn over Crater Lake.

Well… we enjoyed ourselves!

We didn’t quite enjoy the sunrise – unfortunately the morning broke cloudy, and so instead of a beautiful sunrise, we got more of a slow illumination from darkness to cloudy soup.  Not the prettiest, but still very fun to walk around completely on our own.

What we did get was each others company.  Which was easily worth all the effort.

See, Sarah and I are goal-oriented people.  We always want to be going, doing, building, or working toward something.  Today, we knew that there wasn’t going to be a glorious sunrise – we could see the clouds, and could tell that the day was going to break slowly.  We didn’t have anywhere to be, anything to do, or really any projects to be stressing about.  The week was a vacation, and we had promised ourselves that we wouldn’t run around unnecessarily.

We sat.  We sipped cocoa and coffee.  We talked!  We talked about simple things, about first-date things.  She told me about her grandparents house, and I told her about my middle school projects.  We talked and laughed and couldn’t believe how, when our families were from completely different parts of the country, they still had the same basic rooms.  About how, even though we went to vastly different middle schools, we both had a crazy project that really just proved how much free time our parents had (A tree leaf collection for me, and an insect collection for Sarah)

After dawn had fully risen, and we’d explored the garden to our hearts content, we saddled up and headed to the Oregon Zoo.

Actually, I think we went to breakfast first… drove home, biked to a little French pastry shop, and then drove back to the zoo?  That sounds right, I think…

Anyways, we went to the zoo.

It was fun!  We’ve been once before, and this wasn’t honestly much different… but it was fun, and we enjoyed our chance to just frolic and relax together.  We didn’t see the penguins this time, but we did get to watch an elephant show, which was pretty spectacular. We looked, we giggled, we split a hamburger, and then we went home.

It was a good day.

Dinner in Portland – a sunset visit to Mt. Tabor

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A Crater Lake adventure!

Sarah had planned a glorious adventure: We would drive down to Smith Rock to climb for a day, then spend a day at Diamond Lake exploring, and then hit the jewel of the trip – a sunrise exploration of the Crater Lake rim.  From the rim, we’d stay nearby, explore Crater Lake, relax, take a boat ride, and have a great time.  We’d packed the car, made trip itineraries, and Ollie was safely at camp for the week.  All we needed to do was drive… 

But then weather interfered.  Specifically, fire interfered and encroaching wildfires causes us to cancel our plans and head back to the safety of Portland.  That wouldn’t keep us from our adventures though!

 

Wednesday, 30-August-2017

 

Our original plan for today was to drive around Crater Lake, do some swimming, and then make Enchiladas for dinner over the campfire.

We couldn’t quite do that.  By this point, Crater Lake itself was under an imprenetrable shroud of smoke from the nearby fires, so even if we had been there it wouldn’t have been a pleasant swim.  Most of the road was closed anyways, so we couldn’t have gotten down there if we’d wanted to.

So instead, we trekked up Mt. Tabor here in Portland, made dinner, and watched the sunset.

 

The original plan, as I mentioned, was to eat Enchiladas tonight.  Since we’d already been packed up for the trip itself, it wasn’t anything special to adjust plans and instead carry all of our cooking gear up to the top of Mt. Tabor.  We did forget the fuel canister though… so while Sarah was setting up, I trekked back down to where we’d parked the car to grab the fuel.

By the time I got back to the summit, Sunset was nearly on us.  More spectacular though, was the array Sarah had created for us; She’s set out a picnic blanket, electric tea lights, a vase of flowers, and a whole cookset!  I mean, everything.  The skillet was set up, the enchiladas prepped, and all we needed to do was relax, have a drink, and wait for dinner to heat up.

It was gloriously amazing, and definitely not an evening I’ll forget anytime soon.

Driving toward Crater Lake

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Driving toward Crater Lake

A Crater Lake adventure!

Sarah had planned a glorious adventure: We would drive down to Smith Rock to climb for a day, then spend a day at Diamond Lake exploring, and then hit the jewel of the trip – a sunrise exploration of the Crater Lake rim.  From the rim, we’d stay nearby, explore Crater Lake, relax, take a boat ride, and have a great time.  We’d packed the car, made trip itineraries, and Ollie was safely at camp for the week.  All we needed to do was drive…

 

Tuesday, 29-August-2017

After our evening adventure, we slept in.  It was glorious.

We drank Dunkin’ Donuts, we ate breakfast, and even made sandwiches.  It was awesome.  And best part – we woke up to a glorious sunrise over Smith, thanks to the campsite we’d snagged, and the fact that we’d been too tired to actually set up a tent.  We’d slept under the stars, and could roll over and see the sunbeams shining onto the rock.

Or… in theory we could.  I didn’t have contacts in.  So I couldn’t see anything.

Also, there were forest fires that made everything hazy and thick with smoke.

 

That last part was the big theme of the day, unfortunately.  Thick, cloying smoke that messed with breathing and vision and plans.

 

We had debated staying at Smith an extra day, but since we’d burnt most of our energy on the epic the previous day, and since the smoke was already wafting in from the nearby fires, we decided to travel South, pressing on toward our destination of the evening: Diamond Lake.

As we drove though, the smoke didn’t get better.  It actually kept getting worse… we stopped in Bend to catch our breath (literally, in Sarah’s case), and pick up some nasal sprays to try and make the air breathable.  They didn’t work so well, unfortunately… but having lunch in an air conditioned (and thus filtered) cafe was definitely a pleasant reprieve.

 

The final decision came when we stopped for gas in a town called Crescent.  While filling up, we heard some subtly pertinent news – specifically, that the highway ahead of us was on fire.  And closed.  But mostly the fact that it was on fire.  That’s subtly pertinent when on a roadtrip.

We turned around and went home.  Cooked steak in the kitchen, drank some beers, and got annoyed at the Northwest for being on fire.