Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Day 2 – How to Save a Life

I titled this post that because it’s the song I am presently listening to (by The Fray) on my 2 and a half hour commute to work from Denver to Chicago. And yes you can get Internet on the plane; you just have to know how to work the system.

Just kidding. Just drafting.

No for real, there’s no Internet. One day. Maybe. Moving on.

Day 2 is when Dearing and I realized that The Fray and their song “Over my Head” followed us the entire trip. We popped in the CD and jammed to it, and from there on out every time we turned on the radio, it was there, stalking us.

Anyways, I woke up first from our evening slumber...as is usual…and listened to some music on my ipod until Dearing got up. I was stoked about our Wind Surfing lessons, and I think D was staying in the tent hoping it would never happen.

We had a few hours to kill before the lessons, so we took a short driving tour of the local vineyards, up to a viewing area called Panorama Point, then over to the Washington (the state) side of the river to find a place to hike.

D on the side of the road with Mt Hood vaguely in the background

Country Road

One of the many vinyards

Panorama Point

We stopped at an information center and found a place called Dog Mountain that didn’t seem to be too far down the road.

It was a lot harder than expected. Most of the way up we took the “Easy Route” but up towards the top, the got steep and we started running out of energy and time. We decided that we should turn around by 12:15 so we could get down and to our lesson by 1:30.

We went right, and came down left

The views were amazing. These pictures definitely don’t do it justice. And boy was it windy.

Well we made it up to a good view of the gorge, then turn right around and booked it down the mountain. We took the difficult way down, thinking it would be quicker than the way we came. Well we were right about it being quicker, but boy did it do a number on our thighs. I started worrying that maybe we wouldn’t be in any condition to go windsurfing.

But I wasn’t about to back down. We made it down to our lesson just in time, only for the teacher to tell us that it might be too windy for teaching windsurfing, but she left it up to us whether we would continue.

We threw on our wetsuits and took the challenge head on. It actually took me a bit longer because she gave me a size too small and I FOR REAL ended up STUCK in my wetsuit. It wouldn’t go on anymore and it wouldn’t come off. I pulled it off as she walked out with the scissors to cut it off.

The lesson went great. It was Über windy and time after time a gust of wind would blow through and pull the sail right out of my hands. But in the end Dearing and I both crossed the cove where we were learning and came back without falling.

Wet and weary, we headed up to one of the Vineyards for some wine tasting. There were groves and groves of Vineyards out there, so we felt it was something we had to do, even though I was more interested in the blackberry picking across the street. I was pleasantly surprised on some of the wines, and for maybe the 3rd time in my life, I actually felt somewhat refined.

But back to being vagrant, homeless, adventurous, and…well…unrefined.

D with her wine. She had to pick me out of the blackberry bushes so I would take this pic

Now we needed a place to stay for the evening. This would drive D crazy all trip…not knowing where we would be staying from night to night. Me? I loved it. As long as we had a tent, we had lodging. Dearing had heard about a hostel in town, so after scowering our LAME local map, we found the place. It was an old school (an actual SCHOOL, not oldschool) building with a very strange manager. It seemed like he belonged behind a hotel desk in a horror movie. I think you get the picture. D didn’t like me bringing that up, but it was true.

The Hostel

Our rooms…er…bunk beds paid for, we headed down the street to the corner market to pick up some food to cook for the evening. Deciding on pasta, we sifted through YEAR-EXPIRED pasta and sauce before finally finding some that were actually fresh. Down in the kitchen cooking food, we met a windsurfing couple from Florida who had decided to pick up and move to the area purely for the surfing. They were staying until their house was built.

So D and I settled in on the couch for the evening, with our pasta and some wine that she had bought at the Vineyard.

No we didn’t sleep on the couch. But I for real was the only person in my bunkroom and she was the only girl in hers. Kind of odd and freaky especially with that “Psycho” hostel manager running around. But I soon dozed off to sleep in my sleeping bag to sounds of screams down the hall…uhhh...I mean to the soothing rush of the breeze through the window.

Next Up: Mt St Helens…or what’s left of it…homemade cobbler and the Milky Way!



Brown Sugar said...

geeze....you didn't even dicover a cave or find millions in gold....how lame.

i'm jealous obviously. maybe i should write about my adventures in the nature of dallas

Kelli said...

Hey Jeremy,

Wow, what a trip! It sounds like you had a great time! I am eager to hear about the cobbler. :) Hope you're doing great!