Tag Archives: Driving

Not laboring on Labor Day


Weekend of 04-Sept-2023 – Friday, 01-Sept-2023 through Monday, 04-Sept-2023

I didn’t really labor, over labor day. I’d spent the last few weekends in the woods exploring, and felt the need to relax and recenter myself a bit before the coming few backpacking adventures. I had three big backpacking trips lined up – two days in Goat Rocks, then three days in the Alpine Lakes, then four days in the Wallowas.

It’s important to balance rest and adventure, so thus – a weekend of rest.

I didn’t stay in the whole time, of course. I mean… I’m kinda antsy, so laying on the couch wasn’t quite in the cards… though I did try to maximize the couch time as best I could, to give myself some legit rest time before the next few weekends.

I started off with Brunch, because clearly Brunch is the best way to start a long weekend… as evinced by the capitalization of Brunch.

Then a long roadtrip, driving south past Salem, around Bend, to Mt. Hood, and back to Wilsonville. I stopped to fly the drone a bit, stretch my legs, and even swing the sword around. I explored, appreciated the rumble of the engine, saw a beautiful sunset, and alternated between listening to music and embracing the silence.

Saturday I rested, hit the gym a bit, and went out to dinner. I couldn’t tell you exactly why, but Labor Day weekend marked a turning point for me in Wilsonville… I felt the drive to explore some nearby restaurants, and Saturday felt like a Mexican day… which found me staring down a massive plate of enchiladas paired with a margarita the size of my head and a delicious bowl of fried ice cream for the little sweet tooth I have.

Sunday and Monday brought more relaxation and more fun meals – I painted one of the figurines that I’d bought ages back, walked to the grocery store to pick up some steak, and even did dinner with my neighbors – finally watching Stand By Me with them! Such a great movie… and definitely helped prepare me for backpacking (and avoiding leeches)!

An excellent weekend.


Saturday, 26-Aug-2023 & Sunday, 27-Aug-2023

Okay let’s start off with the most important part. I saw a SUPER cute chipmunk.

Just look at ‘im! Grabbing the grass and eating it! Ahh!

Okay now that we’re past that.

I finally backpacked out to McNeil point! With people, even!

That’s a pretty hefty accomplishment for this year – two trails that I’ve wanted to backpack for years, effectively since I moved to Oregon, complete! Paradise Park, which was absolutely stunning, and now McNeil Point, which… spoiler alert… was also absolutely stunning!

I’ll admit that the sunset wasn’t quite as intense this time, nor were the flowers in quite as intense of a bloom, but… I adored the rocky landscape and amazing adventure of McNeil. Not to mention getting to do as a group – I went with Jess and her friend Stevie, the first time I’ve been backpacking as a group in… ohh, I can’t quite recall how long.

It was excellent, without many stories to be told aside from the enjoyment of the mountains and the excitement of completing a trail long aimed for. We hiked, we camped, we ate and chatted, and read and explored.

It was a good weekend.

Camping and hiking up on Rainier!


Friday, Saturday, and Sunday – 21-July-2023, 22-July-2023, and 23-July-2023

I’ve never really been up to Mt. Rainier.

I think I know why – but at the end of the day, it was just a confluence of circumstance that had kept Rainier out of my target-list for places to go adventuring. When Jess asked if I’d be interested in car camping and doing some day hikes around the Rainier National Forest… well, no time like the present to explore a new spot, right?

I had Friday off, while Jess didn’t, so I spent some time packing up and relaxing. Blueberry bacon pancakes, coffee, more bacon… yeah, it wasn’t a bad start to the day.

After Jess was off work, we packed up her truck and headed North. Through the highway, into the woods, and onto the back roads we went, braving the challenges of finding a good dispersed camping spot. More of a challenge than we were expecting, interestingly, as the area that’d been recommended to us… was actually houses. In the woods. Banjo noises thankfully not included.

We found a good spot, though, and soon enough camp was set and stars were being gazed upon.

In the morning – bacon and veggies and coffee!

Then – A hike up to Noble Knob.

Yuip. Yup Yuip. I may have picked the hike based on that name alone, but you can’t prove it so it’s fine.

It was a nice hike. Long, but not too steep. Dusty and warm, but not too exposed or brightly sunburnt. We found a lake, we swam, and I even flew the drone around a bit. We chatted, spent some good woods time together, and even met a couple with their two Malinois who were heading in to watch the sunset. Watching the pups play was definitely a nice bonus to the evening!

Dinner, more stargazing, and a beautiful sunset… What more could I ask for?

The next day brought with it another quick breakfast, a medium-length hike out to the Rainier viewpoint (on the aptly-named “Rainier View trail”, along with another drone flight and some good reading on top of the hillside. Then a drive home, some excellent burgers and onion rings from a roadside fry-shop, and a quick stop to grab some equally excellent roadside flowers.

Yay adventures up to Rainier!