Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Reason number 347 why we love Oregon

While there are many things still up in the air in our lives something of which there is no doubt is that we absolutely made the right decision to move back to Portland. Evidence supporting this from the past couple weeks:

We have gone on a couple of great hikes. Within an hour's drive we can get into the Columbia River gorge, up to Timberline Lodge and the shoulders of Mt. Hood, and deep into the national forests along the Sandy River and along the Cascade mountain range. All these areas are chock-a-block full of hiking trails from the easy-peasy to the 'you-gotta-be-kiddin'-me'. Last week we started up the Pacific Coast Trail (the west coast version of the Appalachian Trail) and then veered off to a really pretty loop past two clear reflective lakes on one high scramble up to a viewpoint staring right at Mt. Hood. (Sadly, forgot to bring the camera). Best of all, it was a nice 4 hour 9 mile hike with reasonable ups and downs. Unlike the 6 hour 14 mile WAY up and down death march in the gorge that my brother took us on July 4th…..

We are spending time on the coast. My family built a house in Waldport 20+ years ago. From Corvallis it’s less than 90 minutes and we used to go there often. But from Portland it’s 3 hours or so, which makes it harder to find the time to sneak over to (let alone from Minneapolis or China…). Now that we live here we have been trying to spend time there again. Last week we escaped for 5 wonderfully relaxing days. We tossed a Frisbee on the beach, hiked up peninsulas, visited lighthouses, ate yummy meals, slept in a bunch, and spent a lot of time just gazing out at the ocean. Nice.

We are spending casual time with family. Living so close to all our family is really nice. Instead of just seeing them a couple of times a year in rushed, stress-filled visits, we live down the street, or in the next town, or (at the most) w/in 90 minutes. Over just the past couple of weeks we’ve been able to have casual dinners and lunches with Earl & Elaine and Mom and Red as they pass through the neighborhood, we’ve been able to visit Kevin and Sarah a couple of times on the mountain and help them pack, and we’ve been able to take Jon & Lori to and from the airport and scarf sushi with them, have Jon do some repairs on our bikes, and walk Dizzy with Lori. And just yesterday Lori and Brian snuck off to eat hot dogs (and tofu dogs) and play cribbage. I sense trouble….

We are taking advantage of Portland. We’ve gone to a number of the local USL A league soccer games in a snug outdoor stadium, we’re riding our bikes everywhere (to class, to do errands, for exercise along the Willamette river…), and Brian is running with a team in next week’s Hood-to-Coast relay.

And there’s more... In a few weeks we’re heading down to Ashland to see a couple of plays at the nationally renowned Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Even better, we’re being flown down there by my best friend Caroline. Though she’s had her pilot's license for 20ish years, last week was the first time I’ve ever been up in the air with her. Cair and Luigi flew over to the coast while we were there and took us on a sightseeing flight up and down the shoreline on a beautiful day. Way cool.

Not bad for just a couple of weeks activities, eh? I think we're going to like it here. :-)



elpelso said...

Becca, you knew all this beforehand... :-D Why do you think I count my lucky stars to have spent my exchange year in Oregon ??? It's awesome there...

Anonymous said...

Last week you spent 5 days on relaxation.

Last week I spent 5 days on jury duty.

I am officially jealous. :)

Anonymous said...

oh...sounds lovely lovely lovely

piglet said...

My folks sold the family beach cabin tweny-five years ago, and I'm still huffy about it.