So, here goes- my first foray into the blogosphere. Paige and I will be posting a "his" and "hers" play-by-play of what happens on our roadtrip here on the blog so everyone can find out what happens (from me) and how it could be overly dramatized (from Paige).
I'll start out with a quick recap of our time right before our departure for our faithful followers outside the state of Oregon. For the last few months while I've been fun-employed everyone asked me what I've been doing to stay busy. For the life of me, I can't really remember. I have fuzzy recollections of some climbing, some running, a decent amount of rain, and getting mixed up in a lot of fights. The final two weeks before our trip we mostly packed and said goodbye to friends. Highlights from this period include a failed attempt to climb the Monkey Face Rock at Smith Rock, Pre-Thanksgiving dinner at a swanky downtown high-rise, a going away party at East Burn, snow camping (built an igloo and played poker), and the all day gorge-fest that was Thanksgiving (pictures coming soon).
We finally hit the road Friday shortly after noon. I spent the morning at Kenny and Leola's playing Tetris with all of our camping gear in an effort to squeeze everything in, while a certain someone stood on their porch, in their robe, heckling me and questioning each placement, piece of equipment, and generally my entire packing philosophy. Thanks to my genetically inherited packing skills, we hit the road with all of our junk and a completely unobstructed view out my rearview mirror (thanks Dad). Paige shot a few pictures as we headed south on I-5. Needless to say, our final drive over the Willamette River was more than a tad bittersweet.
We made a stop in Eugene to let Emma run around, get the oil changed on the car, and swap out Paige's broken phone for a new one. From there we made a beeline for Florence, crossing the coast range mountains around sunset. In Florence, OR, we had dinner at the finest taqueria in town. We finally pulled into the RV paradise that is Umpqua Lighthouse State Park around 7:30, where we found a nice spot in the deserted car camping section and set up the tent.
I'm not going to lie, the first night was a little rough. Paige started to come down with a light fever Wednesday night that has made the evenings rough for her. Emma and I are still trying to figure out how to get comfortable with one another in the tent. And despite the unobstructed view I bragged about earlier, I still think the packing needs refinement....I mean how many t-shirts do I really need? Surely seven is too many. Oh well, I'm sure we'll figure it all out pretty quickly.
Breakfast this morning was eggs on tortillas. We went for a peaceful walk around a lake where emma found countless small animals to chase through the brush. Fortunately for the wildlife, she's a rather unskilled hunter. After the walk, we checked out the light house, saw the dunes and kept an eye out for Humpback whales which are making their annual migration down to California for the winter.
After a rather enjoyable morning and 20 more miles down the road, we decided it was time for a rest stop. We decided to take all the cash we had on us and test our luck at the Mill Casino in Coos Bay. We took our two dollars in and made out like bandits!! Paige, being a highly unskilled gambler lost her share of our cash ($1) within five minutes on the penny slots. I on the other hand was able to turn my dollar into well over six dollars and ninety-nine cents at the penny machine right next to her. Some people got it, some people don't.
Back on the road, we drove another 25 "grueling" miles along the Pacific down highway 101 to Bandon where we stopped for a lunch of leftover Thanksgiving food. We ate in the car overlooking the rocky coast. Delicious AND beautiful! The only thing that would have made it better is if we'd managed to save a few of the homemade cheese crisps from Thanksgiving. Damn Leola for not share any of them with me. I even had a special tin set aside for them and everything!
And that pretty much brings us right up to now. We are hanging out at the two loons cafe in scenic downtown Bandon. We're headed down to Humbug State Park tonight (thanks for this and all of the other recommendations Sam and Jackson). Tomorrow we will probably go see the Redwoods and maybe try to do a little bouldering on the beach at the Lost Rocks.
Thanks again to everyone in Portland, Texas, and the rest of the country for all of your kind words, support, and encouragement as we set off. It means more to us than you know.