Monday, July 31, 2017

Oregon Road Trippin' Day 5

July 10, 2017 

Most of our mornings start with lattes.
Iced for Steve.
Extra hot for me.
I had made sure there were enough Dutch Bros. on our way up
and figured there would be some fun places to try along the way.
Mojo coffee did not disappoint.
One of the smoothest, tastiest lattes we've had.

I really wanted to go on another hike, so Trip Advisor recommended Drift Creek Falls just outside of Otis.

Before the picture story, I have a story to tell you.
It's the stuff that freaky-deaky books and movies start with.

It's early morning.
We're driving up a Forest Service type road to get to this trailhead.
It's paved part of the way, then dirt, then paved again.

We are oooohhhhing and awwing at the scenic drive and the gorgeous wildflowers lining the road.

We get to a fork in the road.
We're watching the signs and everything is clearly marked but it's feeling
curious to me that we haven't passed a single car driving in or out.

There he is.
This tall, tall, scraggly haired man waving his arms at us as if to ask us to stop.
We didn't.
I had just had an earful lecture from friends to NOT STOP.
So we didn't.
Then my stomach hurt.

What if he needed help?
What if we were his only help that day?
Where was his car?
Why didn't he have a backpack?
Where was his water bottle?
Why is my stomach hurting so bad?

I feel part guilt.
Part fear.
I've watched too many 20/20 episodes.
Too many thriller books.
How sad our society has jaded us with fear...
I'm angry at how many people have created a life for us
that we second guess stopping and asking someone if they
need help.
It makes my stomach hurt.

So please, don't lecture me about what I should or shouldn't have done.
I struggle with this, and I really don't want anyone's two cents on it.

So we drove.
And I started tracking the miles.
How far to the trailhead.
How long would it take him to walk here.
And I started praying.
I felt worry and it was starting to consume all of my thoughts.
Finally, I felt peace.
I replayed his demeanor, his lack of things, the proximity of homes in that specific part of the area and I knew that if he really needed help he needn't walk much further and he could get it.
We weren't it.

So we parked and hiked.
Others joined us on the hike.

I asked about the man.
A lady said he was there still when she drove through.

As we left down the same stretch of road, nearly 3 hours later 
he was still there in the exact same spot.
This time I waved to him.
He gave me a thumbs up.

So there's our "scary man" story with a happy ending.
I'm curious about him.
I wonder if he's doing a case study.
Hidden camera possibly?
Maybe he lives in the area and that's his thing.
I'm not sure, and I doubt I'll ever know.

....fair warning...
onslaught of pictures.

 So we finally got to this bridge.
If you know me, you're already thinking...Joni crossed this?
I know.
It's high.
I figured at this point if the scary man (who I named the boogie man) didn't get me, then I could surely walk across this.

As I crossed it I chanted, "I am beloved. I will give thanks to you. I am fearfully and wonderfully made."... a little snippet abridged to my brain from Psalm 139:14
I looked ahead and I crossed it knowing full well I would have to do it again on the way back.
This was a big deal for me.

This is my family coaxing me along.
I tried to play it cool like I was just stalling to get some good pics.

 Getting ready to cross it....still on the platform...

And a pretty waterfall was the prize.

 Look at that brave girl.
I'm really proud of her.

 Then there's this beauty.
My Macy girl growing up every day.
I blink and she's older.
More beautiful.

 Someone hid this rock along the trail.
I squealed in delight like I had found a prized Easter egg.
I left if there.
If you turn your head sideways you can see the heart shaped rock.
 These champs took a snack break for me because the hike back up had me huffing and puffing!

 We stopped dead in our tracks thinking that something took a big dump on the trail.
They were so so so so so gross.

If you're ever in the area of Otis, I highly recommend this hike.
Let me know if you find the boogie man.

From there we headed inland to the town of Salem.
It was a quick drive through the town.
I wish we had explored here more.

We stopped to eat at Better Than Mama's.
Quick salads, sandwiches, and fresh pita chips with yummy dipping sauces.

 Our next stop was Portland.
We were tired and ready to kick our shoes off and spend time at the hotel.
Lucky for us our room was ready so we could start our Portland experience a little early.

We walked to try out the infamous Voodoo Donuts.
We were surprised by the change in temperature as Portland was significantly warmer than the coastal towns we had just visited.

Macy thought the gold glittery wall was pretty radical.

 You can just smellllllll the sugar wafting through the windows.

We ordered: from left to right in clockwise fashion...

Pot Hole©

Bavarian cream filled chocolate bar topped with Oreo cookies and a trail of frosting for adhering to the proper side of the road to eat first.

Oh Captain, My Captain

Raised yeast doughnut with vanilla frosting and Captain Crunch.

Old Dirty Bastard Vegan option available

Raised yeast doughnut with chocolate frosting, Oreo cookies, and peanut butter.

Grape Ape Vegan option available

Raised yeast doughnut with vanilla frosting, grape dust, and lavender sprinkles.

Because we were clearly experiencing a sugar rush we decided to keep on walking to check out some places I really wanted to go see.
 Powell's Books.
The mecca of books.
It's an entire block.
It's amazing.
I buy a lot of books from Powell's for our school library.
I love that they offer used books at awesome prices.

 Did you notice the Oregon Trail painting in here?
The whole place is just rad.
 Macy was smitten to go check out the Rare Book Room.
Super neat to see some of the titles in there.
Portland makes good use of all their wall space.
Macy thought this was a great advertisement.
 When we arrived back at our hotel we were greeted with pineapple infused water and mini pineapple cupcakes. Of course we needed MORE SUGAR. (shakes head vigorously in a nooooooooooo pattern.)

When we kicked off our shoes, I soon realized/remembered that the home run derby for MLB was on and we just so happened to get the channel.  We watched for a while.
Then I was hungry.
And WW3 almost started over dinner plans.

Thank goodness the restaurant I picked had the Home Run Derby on or it would have been a very unpleasant dinner experience for allllll of us.
We dined at Ghandi Indian Restaurant footsteps from our hotel.

 Samosas and Potato Pakoras.
Mango Lassi's to drink and a spread of:
Garlic Naan
Chicken Tikka Masala
Chicken Korma
Aloo Mutter
Basmati Rice

We left with really full bellies and lots of leftovers.
Plus, it was a good night for home run baseball.
Congrats to Fresno State Bulldog Alumni, Aaron Judge!