Thursday March 15, 2012
Today was an awesome travel day. I traveled from Truckee, through Reno, parts of northern California, all of Oregon (including an great pit stop in Portlandia), and finally somewhere near Tacoma, Washington. I got as far north as I could in hopes of making it to Crystal Mountain in Washington tomorrow. It is a lot later than I planned to get here, I sure hope I can get up in the morning. I still have about 2 hours to where I want to be.
Today’s drive and activities have reinvigorated me about this trip, a second wind. I had lost my momentum and thought I might be running out of Winter Carnival Juice. After I left Truckee and got north of Reno I entered back into California. I saw parts of Cali that I would have never envisioned as California. Of course there are the big cities, San Fran and LA, the impressive works of nature called the coastline, and the gorgeous forests. Today I saw giant expanses of open ranges, farms, meadows, and nothingness. I found myself in the middle of nowhere. Before today I would never have thought that anywhere in California could be considered the middle of nowhere. I am sure that is just my naïve, childlike, east cost impression I formulated from The Brady Bunch and Beverly Hills 90210. I am more than happy to have seen these areas.
At the Cal-Ore border I was welcomed the best way that Oregon knows how, by a dark, ominous, scary, Wizard of Oz like storm cloud. This cloud formation obliterated the idea that a sun may have ever even existed. I could see it coming from an hour away, little did I know it was just hovering over the Oregon border waiting for my arrival. From that point on in the drive it was a mostly miserable, rainy day. This was quite the opposite welcome I received from California, a beautiful rainbow.
As scary and gloomy as the drive was there were also some amazing parts of Oregon I saw today. I drove around and through some lake areas east of Eugene. There were giant lakes I could see on my left intermittently through the tree line. On the far side of the lake were snow-capped mountains. All around me were head high piles of white snow lying at the base of an evergreen forest. It felt like I was driving through a town called Christmas. Once I got through that area I entered what might be a legitimate rain forest. It was bright green everywhere, giant vegetation overhangs, a couple waterfalls, and a screaming river on one side. Somewhere else in Oregon I witnessed a beautiful miracle of nature. I am pretty sure I witnessed a brand new baby goat learning how to walk. Either that or I saw a drunken baby goat.
And then for the icing on the cake called Thursday I stopped into Portlandia to visit my long lost friend Nate.
Portlandia is just how I always pictured it. TV and Fred Armisen didn’t lie to me. Nate apparently lives on the corner of Hipster and Doofus Avenues. I haven’t seen him in years, possibly since my wedding. It was so great to see him and meet his chick. They welcomed me into their home for a fantastic evening of conversation, laughing, and home cooked food. They fed me a delicious meal of lasagna and something he claims was a salad. He also assured me that all the ingredients were not only local, but were all grown within 50 yards of his house. I only eat the best and freshest these days. The lasagna was delicious, I believe it even had ingredients I don’t like, but it was still scrumptious. The conversation and good times were even better. I hope to hook back up with them later this weekend for a day of riding back down closer to Portlandia.
As great as it was to reunite with Nate, meet his chick and her sister, the highlight of the evening was definitely meeting Andy the dog. Andy the dog makes Eddie from Frazier look like a schmuck. He does tricks for treats. When he’s not doing tricks he simply sits around being adorable. They play a cool game every night with Andy that I am stealing and taking home with me to teach our dogs. Be prepared Wifey, I’m coming home with canine expectations. 😉