Category Archives: Parties and social gatherings

Not strictly outdoor adventures, but sometimes parties take place outside! Or near a window! Thus: it counts.

Oktoberfest at Mt. Angel


Sunday, 18-Sept-2022

Ages back, a coworker of mine had an unbelievably good smelling lunch. It was potatoes and some kind of sausage, from what I could tell, and when I asked him about it he filled me in that it was from a butcher in a town called “Mt. Angel”.

I never did make it to that butcher… but I’ve had a note in my grocery list to track those sausages down ever since. When I heard from the same coworker that Mt. Angel was hosting one of the largest Oktoberfest celebrations in Oregon… well, two birds with one stone, yeah?

I pinged my neighbors, we piled into the car, and headed over!!

First off… not sure why, but I really thought it was just down the street. Not… like, a 45min drive away. Weird, right? Not sure why I thought it was close, but… yeah. Anyways, we drove. We parked, we caught a ride on a tractor to get into the center of town. It was cool.

The Oktoberfest itself was… interesting. I can’t tell if it was underwhelming because I’m not really into huge fairs, or if I’m off my normal thanks to living under the threat of a global pandemic for almost three years… but it was strange and less than super fun being in a massive crowd of people.

Granted, the group of folks marching (yes, literally marching) through the event with their huge banners and bullhorns shouting about how we’re all sinners who need to repent (via a cash donation) or die (in a fiery hell) didn’t really help the atmosphere… but thankfully they disappeared fairly quickly.

I like to think they were either called back down to the underworld by their dark masters, or they were imprisoned in the phantom zone by Superman, but… maybe someone finally just hit them until they stopped talking?


It was interesting, fun to get back into a huge street fair, and I was able to pick up quite a few excellent beers and hunks of delicious sausage.

I’ll take it as a win, for a first foray back into a remotely normal world.

An Impromptu drive into Portland


Friday and Saturday, 26-Aug and 27-Aug-2022

It’d been a long week. Grad school applications, work tomfoolery, all of it. I’d hit the gym, ordered a pizza, and was about to pour a glass of whiskey and watch a movie while gorging on more food than is probably recommended by good sense.

My friend called – she was at the animal hospital, waiting to be seen. Her cat’d been kind of sick, and had taken a turn for the worst. The kitty was unhappy, and the friend hadn’t had dinner.

Whiskey was put back on the shelf, pizza was wrapped in a cloak to stay warm, and I was on the highway heading to Portland within 5min.

Not the Friday evening I’d planned (or the very early on Saturday morning, when she was finally seen by the Vet… almost four hours later), but you know what? Easily a better time. I’ll take the opportunity to bring surprise-pizza to a friend over watching a movie at home, any time and any day.

A Massachusetts wedding!


Friday, 19-Aug-2022

I went back to Massachusetts! My friend Allison was getting married! I’d get to dance, see everyone, and have a great time!

It was a near-thing, truth be told… Looking at flights ahead of time, this whole “gas is expensive and the world is falling apart at the seams” thing is definitely happening. Or, at least, the airlines are using it as an excuse to jack up prices? Either way – a normally $600 round-trip flight was looking more like $1,800, and my attendance at the good times, delicious food, and awesome dancing was looking unlikely at best.

Then, miracles! Two days before I had to make the call about whether to bite the expensive bullet… flights dropped! I found a round-trip ticket for $800… not the cheapest, but also not nearly as outrageous as the previous costs had ballooned to. I booked it, locked in a hotel, and launched my excited RSVP out to the bride and groom.

See… Allison is a swing dancer, and a DJ. Most of her friends are dancers, or DJs. When you combine that with excellent taste, a good palette, and a drive to rock every event attended… well, I was psyched for the wedding.

Weddings are a lot like hikes. Bear with me – the metaphor will make sense in a second.

They’re awesome, and enjoyable, and give lasting excellent memories.

But they don’t transcribe well to paper. I could type out about the food (delicious), the dancing (fun), and the company (stellar), but it wouldn’t come close to expressing the details and minutia of the event.

So I won’t type it out. I’ll just leave you, my dear readers, with this photo of myself, taken by Daniel, after I commandeered his sunglasses. Because obviously Daniel brought sunglasses.

I’ll also briefly mention the excitement of the evening afterward… we’d all made our way back to the hotel, after an excellent evening. We’d chatted, wound down, and had all retired to our respective boudoirs.

I was awoken to a distant chirping.

The chirping approached quickly, gaining volume and intensity, until the fire alarms in my room ignited into sound and light. Groggily, I threw on clothes and grabbed my wallet and room key before heading toward the stairway. Meeting Daniel and Erin on the way, we quickly learned through the grapevine that someone had lit something on fire in their room… but no one really knew any other details.

An hour, and a few fire trucks, later… we were back in bed. Fun times, but nothing too significant aside.

It made for some good groggy morning conversation at the diner the next day, though. I’ll tell you what.