Monday, August 24, 2015

Two Shimps in Oneonta

Recently, Hubs and I discussed dental schools and teeeeentatively settled on Maryland as our #1 choice. We were thrilled to have come to a semi-decision and started getting excited about the next chapter in our lives!

Then, panic ensued. (Mostly just inside of me.) Maryland is far, far away from where we are now, and we haven't seen everything yet! The realization set in that we had limited time. We would need to work fast.

We planned out a West-coast road trip, one that would last 2 weeks and take us to Washington and Portland and Yosemite. I spent hours on Google maps trying to plan where to stop first, and then where to go, and so on. Then I realized that we actually only had one week of summer where neither of us had school, and we had to condense the trip and cut some things out. And once we were on the road, there was so much that didn't happen as planned. Even so, it was a nearly perfect week, and I'm so glad I panicked :)

We packed on Thursday. Stephen picked me up after school on Friday and we headed off to our first stop: Boise, Idaho. We just stopped there for tonight to visit my old roommate, Chelsea, who I haven't seen since before either she or I got married. I spent almost two hours of our drive from Provo to Boise telling Stephen all about how hilarious she is and about all our fun memories together. We only got to see her for a short time, but her parents graciously let us explore and stay at their beautiful home that night.

This was the night we had intended to stay at the Anniversary Inn, but as I mentioned earlier, it was all booked. And that turned out to be something to rejoice about, because this house was 100x better!! It was literally the coolest house I've ever been in. I'll just say this: there was a suit of armor in the entryway. (And two more suits of armor in other places in the house.)

On Saturday, we went from Boise to Oneonta. It's right by the Columbia River Gorge (maybe even in it? It was hard to tell) and just has a bunch of cool hikes. Since we wanted to hike Half Dome in Yosemite at the end of this trip, and since Stephen's shoes have like 10 holes in them and zero traction on the bottom, we had gotten new hiking shoes for both of us right before driving to Boise. We just planned to wear them all the time so they would be broken in by the time we did Half Dome, so this one hike at Oneonta Gorge was both of our shoes' maiden voyage.

Wellllll, turns out slot canyons in Oregon are different than slot canyons in Utah, because they are actually wet! In Utah, if it's wet, it's because there's a flash flood and you are ABOUT TO DIE. In Oregon, it's no big deal and people bring their kids and have a blasty-blast swim-walking through the wet slot canyon.

At first I tried to pick my way carefully across the patches of rocks and the logs strewn everywhere. When we got to the first unpickable puddle, I took my shoes and socks off and waded through to the next rock island. But eventually I just had to give up, and I squelched through the sometimes waist-deep water with my new hiking shoes just like everybody else.

The water was freezing, but it was one of our favorite hikes we've ever done! It was really short - it only took about an hour to reach the waterfall at the end, take some pictures of Stephen jumping in, and then splish-splash back to the car.

Stephen's aunt Angie lives about 20 minutes outside of Columbia River Gorge, so we stayed with her while we were in Portland. We had a great time with our tour guides!! Angie and Jeff took us to Thai food for dinner our first night, and to the Columbia River Gorge the next day. We had a picnic and did two hikes at a place called Beacon Rock. It was beautiful!

The hike itself was also really cool! It wasn't too hard thanks to all the footbridges switch-backing up the mountain, which apparently took 3 years to complete. I don't think it would have been doable without the footbridges, because at some points, there was nothing under the bridge. But they felt very sturdy and I think even people with a fear of heights would be fine on this hike. This was the view looking down.
And the view looking up! 

While we were in Portland, we also played with Kashmere, the sweetest golden retriever I've ever met, picked and ate wild blackberries, played a hilarious game that I don't even remember the name of now, and got Voodoo Doughnuts. Bonus: Stephen swam with Kashmere and almost got caught naked when he tried to change into his swimsuit in the car.

Not sure why I look bald?? But the berries were so good!
Kashmere made a perfect pillow. He was so soft and smelled good and didn't even mind my head resting on him!

Portland, we like you. 

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