The Pacific Northwest

Portland, the Oregon coast, Olympia National Park, Victoria Vancouver, Seattle, ferry rides, Portland. What a wonderful 10 day excursion. In Portland, we took our first Uber ride and John is now it’s biggest fan. He understands why Kelly uses it when she goes out. We had no idea how to get to the Pearl District from our motel, so we called Uber and off we went. We could enjoy a few beers at some of the many breweries downtown and get home safely.

This was our first view of what as to come. Mt. Hood from the air.

We drove off to Depoe Bay to see the whales,and see them we did. They were “dating.” Some of the pairs swam close to the shore and showed off for us. Actually it was the male showing off for the female, but we didn’t take it personally… It’s difficult to get pictures of them actually fluking, but I’m glad we stopped because the next day on the way back, fog covered the area and no one was whale watching.

Our first view of the Pacific.

Then Newport and a walk along the beach. Beautiful, breezy, a bit of fog, and very cold water.

We traveled along the ocean and inland on Highway 101 on our way to Astoria. There we encountered a three mile long bridge across the mighty Columbia River, a maritime museum, and Bow Pickers. Bow Pickers is an old fishing boat, parked in a gravel lot, converted to a “food boat,” selling fish and chips. That’s all they sell besides a can of soda or water. Best fish and chips.

Next leg of the journey is Washington. Next post.

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Two Bear, Two Friends

Look at this beautiful setting. It is Two Bear lake near Weyerhaeuser. Our friends John and Renae live there. We spent a day there a few weeks ago enjoying good weather and good company, although is took us a while to get there. Road construction is all I need to say. Everywhere you travel by state or county trunk between New Auburn and Bruce and over toward Chetek, all the culverts are being rebuilt. We were a half mile from our turn when we encountered a back hoe in the middle of the road. We had to turn around, go back, and come in from the opposite direction. Thirty miles and thirty minutes later, we arrived.

We took our paddle boards out on the lake just as the sun appeared from under the clouds. We talked over a few beers and wine and ate some delicious pork tenderloin. Two weeks later I spent another afternoon with Renae and her friend Doria at Stout Island. The day was chilly and rainy, but again, weather didn’t seem to dampen our joy.

And now the best part is John and Renae have rented a place in Palm Desert in January and February so we will be able to spend time together there, too. It’s always nice to have friends nearby.

When We Were Young

Class reunions put many people in a quandary. Do you want to go? Who do you want to see? My answers were “yes” and “everybody.” Fifty years is a long time. At 18 we were young and carefree and full of enthusiasm. We wondered where we would be in fifty years, knowing we were ready to set the world on fire. Awaiting us were college, marriage, families, careers–real life. That independence we had so longed for was ours. No more basketball games, no marching band, no forensics meets, no class plays or proms. Gone was Dad’s car, and gas, Mom’s meals, fresh laundry, and a warm bed. For a few years we could live off the family while attending college, but our fate was now up to us.

Turns out, we didn’t do so bad. We turned out to be successful teachers, nurses, business people, business owners, mothers, fathers, husbands, and wives. Add to that, grandparents and retirees, mostly. Adding fifty years to friendships formed while we are young changes very little. Sure, the pettiness is gone, but all those experiences we shared over twelve years held us together as we reminisced over food and drink.

My kids chose not to attend their thirty year class reunions; they see the friends they want to see. We live in their home town. Not me. I don’t get to see my high school friends often. I moved away and only get to see them every five years for a few hours. But it is so worth the time. We’ve changed, but when we get together it’s like graduation was just last week.

Forty+ Years of Vacation

This is vacation and has been for over forty years. These guys don’t look a day over 30, do they. Jen and Lisa were just a year old the first year and baby Kelly was 6 weeks old for her first year. Now they are all grown up with kids of their own. This was our first year in Hayward at Treelands Resort. We lived in duplexes with the cousins in adjoining ones so everyone could be together with the mature adults in their own place. It was quiet and relaxing although we didn’t sit on the water. The kids had a pool and lots of resort activities. We didn’t get to interact much with Hannah and Hailey; they were too busy with their cousins.

We found an island out in the flowage and boated out to it a few days. We swam in the backyard pool, and had an evening campfire. A couple of chilly days had us inside playing cards, reading, and napping. We all loved the new place and will be going back next year. Family is what is important here. When I mentioned to Kelly that this vacation is more for the second cousins now, she replied, “No, it’s still for us.” She’s right. It’s for all three generations.