Month: March 2016

Meeting a Baby and the Beach

Hey Everyone!

Today I had gone out to take dinner to a friend of mine who had a baby about a week and a half ago.  While I was there she let me hold her daughter. 

I was already that far out and I decided to just keep going west out to the beach. I know, I know. I go to the beach A LOT! I love the beach, and something about it and being up in the mountains is in my blood. 

While I was driving over the mountains I was thinking about what life would have been like living in said mountains in a logging town in the early days of Oregon history. Logging Towns are basically Oregon’s version of the gold and silver towns that are now ghost towns or if they are still in existence rely on tourism to stay afloat, especially if they are close enough to the ocean or the mountains (for skiing/snowboarding) or the Columbia River. Many of the logging towns have disappeared. Part of why I was thinking about the old logging towns is for preservation, and granted with the right permits turn it into our equivalent of Barkerville (a restored gold town in the Caribou district of British Columbia). 

  
  
Having grown up going to the beach, reminded me that if I ever have kids I want to take them to the beach while they are little. 

I am one of those people who takes notice of how the air smells and other than while driving through Tillamook (which just smelled like cow manure) the whole time I was at the coast, the air smelled amazing. I can’t really describe it and beings that Smell-o-Vision does not exist I can’t tell you to watch my vlog in order to smell it for yourself. It has that normal beach smell mixed with an additional wet smell as we have had a huge surplus of rain this year (Astoria has had more than 20 inches more than normal in rainfall so the Tillamook area has got to have a similar surplus of rain). It also smelled like a forest after it has rained, which isn’t surprising since I drove through a forest to get to the beach. 

A Drive Through the Gorge

Hey Everyone!

Yesterday was a busy enough day as it was, then today I decided to add in going for a drive out the gorge. 

Yesterday was my adventure in the city, today was my adventure outside of the city. 

I just felt like driving, and since gas is still under $2.00 a gallon, going for a drive because I feel like it is a lot more affordable. 

Normally on my adventures I go west or south, or sometimes I even go North. On the rare occasion I go east. Today was one of those days I went east, out the gorge. I ended up in The Dalles where I got lunch and Dutch bros before coming back to the city. 

Today was one of those days where I missed having a jeep, and miss living in a small town in the middle of nowhere. I am glad we have plenty of small towns in the middle of nowhere so close to the city, I know I take the mountains and the forests for granted, yet I never get tired of them. One of the things I love about the gorge, especially as you start getting closer to Hood River, and the scenery changes drastically, right around Hood River you go from the western side with Douglas fir trees to the central Oregon scenery with drier land, sparser trees that are pine trees rather than fir trees to more of the dry eastern Oregon landscape around the Dalles. There are three distinct ecological,  geological, topographical, vegetation changes.   

As I have gotten older, I have become for adventurous and able to figure out where I am, and where I need to go based on what is around me. It is nice to have a smartphone with Google maps should I need it. Granted there are several geographical features out here that I am familiar with such as certain mountain ranges, certain rivers, and such that orient me to direction. That is something I have worked on, starting in college is being able to generally figure out what direction is what based on topographical features. 

I am sure all this talk about certain survival skills is boring for some, but I find it fascinating. “But Erica, why would a city girl like you be fascinated by survival skills and edible plants?” I hope I never need them, but I love the idea of being more self sustaining, and living more so off the land. Granted with food intolerances and the fact I live in the 21st century I am going to still be somewhat reliant on others for my food. Beings that I love history, especially this history of the American West and love being outdoors, as well as a love for cooking, baking and preserving fruits and stuff like that, survival skills and embracing my own pioneer and homesteading history. It is in my blood and it is quickly being lost because we no longer have to do it to Survive.  Our survival isn’t dependent on what we plant in spring,  the livestock we are able to raise, the fish we are able to catch and the game we are able to hunt. I realized it is a lot of hard work, but I love working hard and seeing the fruits of my labor. 

Chinese Garden and Tram Ride

Hey Everyone!

Hope you all had a good Friday! I know I did. While I was out today, I decided to start an “Exploring Portland” series. I have spent many years here, and yet have not visited many places. I have come to the conclusion that I want to get out and see more, and do more in and around the city. 

Today, one of my friends and I had gone to the Chinese Garden in NW Portland. I have heard that it is the most authentic Chinese Garden outside of China. It has become a tradition for this particular friend and I to go, at least once during each calender. We typically go in the winter, so it was amazing to see it in the spring, as the trees and plants are starting to bloom. We also stopped in at the Teahouse and had some tea. 

I love visiting the Chinese Garden. I love the architecture and how the Garden is set up. It has the central garden with the buildings and other smaller gardens set up around it.  I also have enjoyed learning a bit more about their culture and the history behind the design of the garden. I love how tranquil the Garden is even though it is in the middle of the hustle and bustle of downtown. 

 As we were finishing up our tour of the Chinese Garden, I was like “what do you want to do now? Go do something else? Get food?” We ended up taking max to the street car to go take the OHSU Tram, as neither of us had ridden it before. There are great views of the Cascade mountains and the foothills as well as some of the other bigger hills on the east side. There were some amazing views of Downton Portland as well. I honestly never get tired of seeing the mountains and the hills even though I have been looking at them my entire life. I have been away from them enough to appreciate them.    

  Today was all about exploring this city that I am living in. I spent far to many years not exploring it, and I have no idea how much longer I will be living here which means I don’t know how much longer I will have to explore this city. There is so much to see and do here, that I want to see what I can before will no longer have that opportunity. 

I am also bring back The Adventures of Winnie the Pooh and Tigger. They kinda had gotten left at home for about 9 months, and for that I am sorry. I love having them along on my adventures and even though it may be a bit “wierd”, it is still not as wierd as vlogging, at least for me. I am still getting used to vlogging.