Since my last entry I’ve spent a good amount of time camping, hiking and even got some surfing done in the Pacific Northwest. I haven’t had much downtime to write so this entry might be kind of long. So the last entry I posted I was still in Seattle, which again is pretty awesome. It’s definitely in contention as a place I may want to live next, just gotta figure out where there is surf. When I left Seattle the plan was to go see Mount Rainier, but before I left the city I had to check out something Shanny, a lovely young bartender I met a few days before, told me about. The I-5 Colonnade. It’s a 7.5 acre mountain bike park located under the I-5 in the center of Seattle. It’s full of all kinds of jumps, terrains, transitions, etc. I got there around 8 AM and originally I was just going to check it out and go on my way but when I saw it I knew I had to ride it. It was completely empty, except for one homeless man sleeping in a corner, so for 30 minutes I got to ride around and check out all of the crazy features. It’s one of the coolest things I’ve seen and it really shows how much Seattle likes bikes.
After my morning workout I headed up to Mount Rainier. The rain followed me the whole way up, but it let up once I got to the campground. However, the clouds and fog did not, so all I got were glimpses of the mountain. I saw much bigger mountains in Alaska, but this was the first massive peak I got to see up close and it is awe inspiring. I spent a couple days on the mountain camping and hiking around. I even made myself a nifty little walking stick. Due to the rain there weren’t a lot of other campers which made hiking around that much more beautiful and a little more nerve-racking, knowing there are bears around and no one else they could eat instead. Happy to report no bear incidents occurred. The last day I was up on the mountain I woke up freezing my ass off. I was gonna head down to the coast, but I wanted to see if I could glimpse at the peak again through the clouds so I made my way up to Sunrise viewpoint. I did get to see a bit of the mountain, but I also saw that it has snowed the night before, so I turned tail and got the fuck out.
My next stop was Astoria, Oregon to check out the Goonies sights, and then down to Seward for some surfing but on the way I decided to stop and check out Mt. Saint Helens. The weather had cleared up by the time I got there and I got to see the crater in all it’s glory. It’s really cool how close you can actually drive up to the crater and see how devastating the explosion was. It was an awesome sight!
After the brief detour I headed into Oregon. I had been listening to audio books for most of the journey (currently on 2nd book of A Song of Ice and Fire) but rolling into Astoria I had to put on some 80′s classics. The Goonies house is still there and being maintained, but the location is not really how I remembered it. Still really cool! I drove down the coast checking out the surf and around sunset I headed inland to a nearby campground. The road up to the camp was a long windy single lane road that took forever and when I finally got up to the top I found that I could not stay there, so I had to book it back through in the dark. On the way back a fucking deer ran out in front of me and I could not stop in time. Dora took it out. By the time I stopped it had ran off into the woods, but I’m sure it was all fucked up. I had no idea what to do so I checked the truck and kept going. I found a hostel in Seward and decided to stay there instead of hunting for another camp. The next day I did a bit of exploring around town, had an awful excuse for a burrito and finally went out to Indian Beach for a whole afternoon of surfing. It wasn’t that big, but the scenery was astounding! It was warm, sunny and the water was actually pleasant. The day ended with a glass of Old Rasputin and a good burger at the U, a bar and grill at the edge of the city. The next day I was hoping to surf a morning session, but the wind kicked up and there were no good faces.
After Seward I headed up to Mt. Hood. My buddy Judah is from there and I wanted to see his home. The weather was uncooperative again and it started raining, but I had enough time to set up the gear and dry off the tent before it started raining again. I stayed at Trillium lake, a beautiful place with an amazing view of the mountain. The fog had rolled in by the time I got there so the view wasn’t perfect, but still awesome. I found a little road that goes between the highway and the main lodge but actually cuts through all the runs. I guess it used to be the old highway, but now is an amazing road. I lucked out too, since they close it for the winter and they’ve already started getting snow. At the lake I found a cool little bike trail and I got a bit of a workout before the rain hit. I was told by Becca, Judah and Lanna that I should check out Government Camp, the resort town on Mount Hood, and specifically a dive bar called Charlies. Problem was, Charlies was 5 miles uphill, on dark forest roads, in the rain. After some convincing I got on my bike and hoofed it up. It turned out to be exactly as advertised: a dive bar full of grizzled mountain men, but it also had cheap beer and good conversations.
Mount Hood was in for more rain so I headed out to Crater Lake. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to stay there, or just drive through, but when I saw it I knew I wanted to spend some time there. I got a campsite for 2 nights, but as the day went on the temperature dropped, thick fog set in and the rain started coming down really hard. Next day I hung out till afternoon hoping for the weather to change, but no luck. It was shit wall to wall, so I bailed early. Crater Lake however is without a doubt the coolest place I’ve been and will definitely go back once the weather improves.
After crater lake I wanted to check out the land my family owns in California Pines. It was only a couple hours drive, according to Google, from Oregon so I headed down. Once in California the weather cleared up, the sun came out and I almost shit myself driving the “road” that Google suggested. Holy shit, I knew that the California Pines is mostly unpaved, but this path was more of a goats path than a road. For 30 minutes I had to press on hoping that the road still existed and the truck would make it without falling off the edge of a cliff. Lucky for me, the truck held up and the road eventually got me to where I needed to go. I found our land pretty easily even though it was in the middle of fucking nowhere. Lots of pines and nature around, but not much else. I dug a fire pit and made some dinner. Being very isolated I wanted to turn in early, but as the sun set the wind started to rip through the trees. The truck swayed and the tent flapped around. It held up well, but it was noisy as hell so I did not get a lot of sleep. The next morning I decided to repack the truck and was trying to figure out what my next step was gonna be. I also got surrounded by some angry pitbulls that belong to the closest neighbor, 1/2 a mile away. They kept their distance, but I was no longer comfortable staying there.
I was gonna head out to Tahoe, but the weather report again called for rain. By this point I had enough fucking rain and being called and I was craving some Ike’s from SF so I headed out for SF to see Chris and Sarah. Google tried to route me over the hell path again, but I ended up going around and through Alturas. While in Alturas I stopped to grab some food and get some supplies and while in CVS some NorCal crackhead stole Kikos board off my roof. I really hope he fucking has fun with it. The rest of the trip was easy going and I rolled into a sunny San Francisco at sunset. I met up with Sarah and we went to her soccer games. Little did I know I was witnessing their playoffs and Sarah’s team took the championship! I crashed with them and their awesome roommates, Jen, Cassie and Aaron, and the next day I did a bit of biking. I made my way to SFSU, hung out with Chris and Sarah and got some Ikes…FUCKING IKES!!!! If you never had Ikes, go to San Francisco and get Ikes! After lunch I biked some more and found a dog park with some amazing views of the city. I met up with Chris when he got out of class and we spent the afternoon checking out surf spots and hanging out. There was swell in the water but way too blown out.
That brings us to today. I had a late morning this morning and I decided to finally update this damned blog. I’m gonna head up to Sarahs work for some lunch in a bit, and will go see Chris one last time before heading south. I’m gonna meet up with my dad in a bit and head towards Santa Cruz. Hopefully theres gonna be some good surf.