As this year is drawing to and end, and as I start looking forward to the adventures I want to take in 2016, I can’t help but look back at the adventures I had had this year. I actually had to go back through my albums on the Adventure is my Middle Name Facebook Page to see what all I had done this past year. I was kind of surprised at how many adventures I had been on. A lot of that has to do with having a job and being able to afford some extra gas.
In January one of my friends and I had gone to the Chinese Garden, it has become a yearly tradition for us to go during their free days. We always get there early to beat the crowds and actually enjoy the tranquility of the garden. It is one of my favorite places in the city. I had been once not long after it opened while I was in middle school, but didn’t have the appreciation for what it is, as I do now.
In February I had taken the short drive across the Columbia River and had gone to Fort Vancouver. Exploring old forts and ghost towns (even if they are restored for preservation) are two of my favorite pass times. Forts like Fort Vancouver, Fort Columbia and Fort Stevens had a key role (them and steam trains), is shaping the American West as we know it. It’s that history and heritage that I love. Back when these forts were built the west was still “wild”, left only to the First Nations tribes, fur traders, the Chinese (particularly in San Francisco and Vancouver BC in the early days, but they had a presence in Portland and Seattle as well), and the Army. So when you really stup and think about it, the west coast was very ethnically diverse for a very long time. You had the First Nations who were out here, the French and British for fir trading and British for land, you had the Spanish on the southwest claiming land, adding in the Chinese, Japanese and eventually the American’s, the diversity was great. The forts that I mentioned above were built by the U.S. As part of the land race of the west, to claim territory and set up “civilization” in the wild uncharted wilderness.
Get me started on the 19th and early 20th century history of the American West, and I am fascinated by it, interested in it and passionate about it. I enjoy trying to understand all that was going on, not just militarily and politically but socially as well, particularly the everyday lives of everyday people that we don’t read about, besides being a mere statistic in a History book. I enjoy trying to understand the gender roles of the time, and what the women actually did on a daily basis just to survive.
In the spring and summer I went to the beach quite a bit, between three trips on the Oregon Coast Scenic Railroad, in the Garibaldi/Rockaway Beach area as well as a trip to the Oregon Rail Hertiage Center I spent some time around old steam locomotives. They are one of the things that are fascinating to me. They really dos change the face of the American West. They really opened up the west and made it possible for so many more people to come out west. They also aided in the transport of gold and silver.
In August I had gone up to Seattle for VloggerFair, which is a YouTube convention. I went so I could meet James and Ashley (and Baby Chick) of the Chick’s Life, as well as Bryan & Missy, Ellie and Jared, and Cullen & Katie. I stayed long enough to meet them all and then I headed out. I had left before the whole Sam and Nia getting kicked out drama happened. The day before I had picked up a friend of mine and her sister who were going back up to Tacoma (which is on the way to Seattle). We had stopped in Chehalis for a bathroom and coffee break, we needed up at the Safeway there in town. As we were leaving I was like “how did we manage to get in and out of the Safeway in a small town without seeing anyone we know from church?” Not even 5 minutes later in the parking lot my friend was like “Erica? Is that who I think it is?” I look up (as I was putting my purse and stuff in the car), stand there trying to figure out what she was talking about and then was like “No Way!” It was who she thought it was, and he is someone I have known my whole like and look up to and respect, so I knew who she was talking about without her having to tell me. So we all went over and said hi, and chatted for a few minutes before we got o the road again. We dropped my friends sister off at her parents hose before continuing on to Stadium,
and my hotel so I could check in. We then got dinner and went to Target, then went and saw tomorrowland, before I took her back to Tacoma. Saturday morning I tracked down a gluten free began bakery I the Fremont neighborhood, and accidentally found the Fremont Troll,
before I went to VloggerFair. After I left Vloggerfair, I tried to get to pikes place but it was like New York City crowded so I gave up trying to find a park, went got gas, got food and then headed back south, stopping a couple times for coffee.
October, my big adventure was going up to the Johnston Ridge observatory on Mt Saint Helens on my own, that was pretty awesome, just being able to be outside in the middle of nowhere driving in the woods. It was a blast.
This year I only did like 3 hikes, which really wasn’t enough. I love hiking and need to get out and do more.
If you want to see more pictures there are a bunch more on the Facebook Page, which is titled Adventure is my Middle Name. Or can be found here