Friday, July 13, 2012

Oregon, with you I am in love!

 The next day Tim, Emily, the kids and I went to their friend's log cabin/house/mansion on 10 acres right outside bend.  Tim bought some special cut 10 oz new york steaks, kielbasa, shrimp and chicken drumsticks. We barbequed all day in their Traeger (which is apparently some awesome smoker i've never seen or heard of before). Tim is a chef at one of the resorts close by so he really knows how to cook! He had some special combo of herbs and spices. Oh. My. Goodness! It was SO good and SO much food!!

On their 10 acres we took their gigantic greyhound named Dixie for a "walk". This included taking out this go-cart-like ATV out at full speed and watching the dog run along side of us! HaHa! What a trip that was!

I wish I had taken photos so I could show you how big Dixie is and how MUCH food there was!

The next day Emily and I took the girls to the river.  FINALLY, I got to jump into A river! It was freezing cold and the sun was covered by a huge nimbus cloud. It didn't rain but it sure looked and felt like it was going to! The sun came out shortly afterward, the girls made friends and were running around having a great time! It was a glorious day under the sun!

They're so cute after a long day!  ;)

The next day Emily's parents arrived.  She said they had a big van, but MAN! They can fit 14 people in that bus of theirs. They arrived with what seemed like 10 family members! Grandma took the girls to Sun River with everyone else while Emily and I went to run errands!

First stop R.E.I.! Time to buy a tent, sleeping bag, backpack and comfortable shoes! ... but where do I start? What kind of backpack do I need? wheels? no wheels? big? small?? Geeze it was so overwhelming. We asked a guy in camping section where to start. He totally helped out and mentioned that I might want to check up stairs where the luggage and such was.

Upstairs they had a few backpacks that seemed very wrong for what I wanted to do. They also had some backpacks with zippers made to be locked and smaller backpacks that detach for day time use. After weighing out my options and unzipping the few ideal women's backpacks I found one with all kinds of cool pouches and compartments. It seemed perfect! Except, it didn't seem to fit quite right.

I took it back downstairs so the same guy who helped adjust the straps, Velcro and other elements that control how high or low the pack sits on your back.  He also explained how to pack. Put the heavy things closest to your back and along the lumbar and try to keep the pack to 30-40 lbs.  Great tip!

Next stop, sleeping bags! Given that I have no idea when or where I will be along the way it was hard for him to recommend something "ideal".  He said if I was going to be in cold weather all the time I would probably want to go with down.  The thing with down is that it doesn't dry very quickly so, for someone with my plans, it's probably not the best way to go.  We ended up finding an awesome lime green mid-weight mummy bag. I fit in a medium but I got a large to give me a little extra room so I don't feel claustrophobic and I have extra room around my neck the way I like it.

This is what I look like trying on sleeping bags!
(Maybe this is what they were talking about in church with Alisa when two people randomly prophesied butterflies and rainbows to me! haha! Most likely not.)

Now to find a tent. Do I want a one person? two person? how expensive? how heavy?  This got narrowed down quickly.  They only had one or two, one person tents. A two person tent seemed unnecessary since I'm traveling alone and it's more weight to add to my 30-40 lb limit. Plus they're more expensive. So for about $200 it looks like "half dome" is my choice! It's a cute little tent that literally looks like half dome. It only uses two small, lightweight poles for the frame and you crawl in and out of the vertical part of what would be half dome.

For good measure I went and found a pair of lightweight running shoes with good arch support.  These will be my everyday shoes while traveling and carrying the pack.  I found some awesome Brooks for about $100. They had a few different colors: bright blue and white, mostly dark purple with grey or ugly reddish and nasty brownish.  I really liked the bright blue and white but thought these would attract too much attention. So, I got the dark purple and grey.  $700 later, my shopping was finally done!

When we came out of the store it was raining warm chickens.  Okay, maybe not chickens but HUGE rain drops. We ran around the Old Mill in Bend to try some delish organic coffee! It was pretty mind blowingly awesome!  Well worth getting rained on for sure!

After that went to meet up with Emily's family at Sun River Resort where they were staying.  Tim was about to get off work and took the next day off. Party time, right? Right. We snatched up Emily's older brother and we all had brother sister time at a local pool hall.  How fun!  Sorry Emily but me and my brother are way better than you and your brother at billiards!  ;)   All and all, another great night. I think by this time we all finally understood each others' personalities which made the night much better. I feel like some times my personality throws people off where they have to take a minute and figure out what's really going on in my head.  I guess every one is a bit like that though.     

Next day: sun, sun, sun and more sun! We all made it to the water park! It's totally made for kids so they had a 1ft kiddy pool, a sand box, a 4 ft wading pool, two water slides, a lazy river, an Olympic pool for doing laps, a jacuzzi and some other random areas each with their designated purpose. It was fun laying around and swimming with the girls who had life vests so they weren't so dependent on us.

After a few hours of that and lunch it was time to say "goodbye".  I have fallen in love with Oregon.  It must be one of the most gorgeous places on earth. The tap water is so clean and pure, the stars and bigger and brighter than ever, every where you look you are surrounded by beauty.  In July there are snow capped mountains in every direction nestled among immense amounts of pine trees, juniper, blue skies with friendly silver-lined clouds passing by. The people that live there are very active in town. There are many bicyclists, backpackers, people rafting, canoeing, paddle boarding, jogging and enjoying their lives. The trip was everything I hoped for and much more.  I'm now headed back to Sacramento to stay the night rather than driving 20 hours in one shot. 

Cheers to peace, natural beauty and much, much LOVE!  ♥ ♥ ♥

Film shots will hopefully be coming soon!

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