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Monday, June 9, 2014

Team Re-Calculate Conquers Oregon

Where has the time gone? We spent it in Oregon!

First, a note on Team Re-Calculate (TRC). It is comprised of my sister Heather, her husband Seth, Ryan, and me. I guess we're Team Re-Calculate 2.0 now with the addition of my sister's daughter, Beatrice. We originally teamed up four-ish years ago in France while visiting my mother and her husband. We were loaned a right hand drive car with an indecisive GPS and tasked with finding our way from Paris to La Trinite-Porhoet via Versailles. Seth took the helm and the GPS would offer suggestions and then re-calculate as soon as you were following them. We eventually made it, but not after some frustration.

Starting where I left off with my last post, we have been busy, busy, busy; morning, noon, and night. In a good way!

Last Saturday we started off at Stewart State Park on Lost Creek Lake in southern Oregon. We got up early and went to Crater Lake National Park, one of Oregon's seven wonders. There was so much snow! In fact, only the west road around the park was even open. As much as part of this trip is running away from the cold and snow of the Midwest, the snow at Crater Lake was refreshing, but I think that's because the air was above freezing and the sun was out in full effect. It also helped that the air had a strong smell of pine.

The hiking trails were still covered in snow, only open to snowshoers, so we just stuck to the roads and viewpoints. It is a spectacular park and the contrast of the bright white snow, deep green pines, and vivid blue of the lake were striking.





From the park we headed to Umpque hot springs, a pro tip from my sister. There were all sorts of people there, including naked neo hippies who we think were actually living in the park. There was only one pool not occupied and it was hot! We hung for a couple minutes, but it was clearly a scene so we headed out. Glad we went though!

Sunday we headed north, eventually making camp at Champogue State Park just south of Portland, which my sister pointed out is pronounced "shampoo-ee" before we embarrassed ourselves by mispronouncing it to a local. This was to serve as our home base for our stay in the greater Portland area.

We decided to spend Monday exploring the spectacular Columbia River Gorge, known for its gorginess as well as its many waterfalls. We did a hike near Horsetail Falls and were not disappointed. Beautiful! From there we made the mistake of trying to go into Portland around rush hour and got stuck at Forest Park in traffic. By the time we were out it was time to head to my sister's place for dinner and a Team Re-Calculate reunion.




We slept in a bit on Tuesday and our afternoon had a hard stop for a camper maintenance appointment, so we maximized the day with boring life chores like groceries and getting Ryan's measurements for the wedding he's in later this month. We got our camper fan fixed and had the hot water heater removed (to save a bunch of weight and space on something we don't use). We were rewarded for our adultiness with a delicious dinner with TRC 2.0 at Mi Mero Mole and then iced creams at Portland's #1 rated restaurant on Yelp, Salt and Straw. Two thumbs up!

Wednesday was for Mt. Hood. My sister was our guide to the mountain and we hiked to Mirror Lake. It was a beautiful day with great company. After our hike we stopped at Double Mountain brewery in Hood River for a drink and snacks. Afterward, we met Seth and Sapho at a food truck pod where we chose our separate dinners.

Thursday was our last day in the greater Portland area and we spent it by our old friend, the Pacific Ocean. We drove to Cannon Beach on the coast where we saw Haystack Rock, THE rock formation from the movie Goonies. We were lucky enough to be there at low tide and got to explore the tide pools covered in starfish and crustaceans. We drove through a couple other quaint seaside towns and then stopped in Astoria, right across the Columbia River from Washington state. We toured their wonderfully curated maritime museum and lightship (a vessel manned by 10 people, covered in lights and horns, and parked at a dangerous boating area just to warn other ships), and then saw THE house from the movie Goonies. I didn't take any pictures of the house because they were clearly trying to make political statements and I wasn't down with it.



We drove back to Portland where my awesome sister had prepared a picnic dinner for us which we enjoyed on Mt. Tabor, within spitting distance (or urinating distance on some occasions) of one of the city's uncovered reservoirs. And so we concluded the TRC reunion, but I'm sure we'll be back.

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