A few months before leaving for this road trip I was inspired by a National Geographic Picture of the Day to visit The Columbia River Gorge (below). So that is where JB and I headed next.
Before arriving at our state park campsite, JB and I attempted to find an outdoor bouldering spot but were unsuccessful due to poor direction and large blackberry briers continually distracting us from our goal. As an afterthought, we realized we probably shouldn’t just eat wild berries so quickly. I was later told by a park ranger “It is almost always okay to eat black and blue berries, 50% of the time it is okay to eat red berries, and it is certain death to consume white berries.” Our campsite was a few feet from the Columbia River (below), a train that ran 24 hours a day, and plenty of berries for picking. It was a lovely evening.
The next morning JB and I moved to another campsite nearby the Oneonta Gorge, where the aforementioned Nat Geo picture was taken. We hadn’t done much hiking on the trip and I was adamant about doing some in this region. From an information stand I picked up a map, also mistaken for a 4” x 6” piece of scrap paper with a few dotted lines printed on it, and rallied JB to follow my lead. Thirty minutes and two miles later, we were back at the campsite and from then on JB was designated official map guide while I lost all map privileges. Although, I promise, the “map” was extremely misleading. Anyways, on our second hike we ran into a few waterfalls,
and played in the water a bit ourselves.
I was admittedly cold, but don’t let JB fool you, after jumping off the waterfall (above left) he sought refuge on a log in the sun (above right). The gorge didn’t look nearly as enchanting without a bunch of rain-fed waterfalls but it was beautiful all the same and my favorite adventure stop so far.
We then headed back towards Portland as a means to the Washington coast. JB has been doing a lot of the driving these days and back in Moab he found his favorite road snack: Wasabi Soy Almonds, he eats nearly one can a day (below) and has put both of our lives at risk while handpicking the best almonds in the can.
I’ll have a handful and I’m downing Tums to keep my stomach cooperative. When I drive the stress level in car increases, as I’m easily distracted by any cow sightings and don’t fully understand the delicacy of turning in such a tall automobile. We have been cooking every dinner in the van, from stir fry to falafel, and lots of homemade guacamole, curry and naan (below).
Our one vice for spending money is coffee. I have a slight coffee addiction – as does JB – and I am determined to taste the beans of as many local roasters as possible (although some may consider spending $15 dollars on half a pound of day-old roasted beans as unacceptable).
We headed out of Portland, after stopping at the rock gym, with our debatably overpriced coffee in hand. I was glad to enter Washington solely for the return of self-serve gasoline – I find it quite uncomfortable to have a complete stranger fill up my vehicle.
For those wondering where the cat fits in to all of this road tripping. JB has built Sparrow a little hiding spot where she remains incapacitated until the van stops moving (below). This spot now has a little piece of wood over it so we can’t even see her anymore.