My sister hitched a ride to Umatilla.

I had been asking Jessie when she was coming to visit me in Portland ALL SUMMER. She's my favorite travel partner.

Jessie Relaxes

She and I have the best time adventuring together because she lets me do all the planning and as long as I include enough naps, she just goes with the flow. It really works for us . (For a recap, check out our 2009 “Sister Soiree” aka. 3 weeks in Belize & Guatemala.)

Soooo, I was uber thrilled when she called up on a Monday and asked, “What are you doing starting Thursday?” Luckily, I had nothing on the docket and on drove for 3 hours along the Columbia river to pick up Jessie in Umatilla. She had hitched a ride with Troy & Bugs who were on their way to the Gorge to spend the weekend watching Phish. Yay! Sister adventure begins!

Thursday afternoon Jessie & I headed back towards Portland and made a few stops

1- Hood River (beer/alpaca petting/Rainier cherries @ the farmer's market) 2- Multnomah Falls/Vista House

Multnomah Falls

Shadow Dance

Shadow Sisters at Vista House!

Friday morning Jessie + I met Emily for breakfast at SHUT UP AND EAT. Awesome homemade English muffins and awesome name.


Then we had a beer @ a hat store, Emily helped Jessie buy an outfit for Timmy's wedding and we headed to the Powell's-~ the biggest, most awesome bookstore in the country!

Then we got on I-5 and headed north towards Mt. Saint Helen's! I hadn't made a reservation at a campground and we pulled in as the Camp Host was locking the front gate!At 9pm! Whaaa! Luckily, there was a cancelation and we set up camp on Yale Lake.

Saturday morning we packed up and headed to Two Forests- where the lava incinerated the trees but left tree-shaped tunnels we could climb through.

Tree Tunnel

Ape Caves- we did the short tunnel (2 mile round trip) and then headed off to LAVA CANYON, which was an awesome hike with a suspension bridge, a waterfall and (eventually) some awesome views of Mt. Saint Helen's.

What's a rock like you doing in a place like this?


Then we headed off to Seattle- next post tomorrow!


E & A’s SQUASOME Roadtrip!!! (Wed-Thurs)


Wednesday AM, Jen rolled up to our campsite on her bike and took us for a swift hike around the lake. Then she told us to go hike The Chief (see above) which she did 3 days a week until her 2nd trimester! Well… she described it as “an hour of nearly vertical hiking” and she does not exaggerate! I am not an 'uphill' kind of girl and this hike was epically hard. (Jessie- it was reminiscent of that volcano we hiked in Antigua when the guide kept offering me a horse. Ugh.)

The last bit involved dragging myself up a rock slab with some chains they has bolted into the wall! Then, I wedged myself into a crack and just when I thought I was almost done… a ladder. Oh geez. But the view? It was TOTALLY WORTH IT! Howe Sound on my left, logging industry stuff in the middle and Squamish on my right. Glorious!

ChiefView-SHPhoto by STEPHEN HUI

1048488_10200397159355792_283545694_o 981303_10200397159755802_1952418421_o

This hike was H-A-R-D! It seems unlikely that Shroooooms would have made it easier…

Next, we hopped in the car for some well-deserved 'sitting' time on the way up to Whistler. Jen had worked/trained there for years and some of the 2010 Winter Olympics took place there as well. It was nice. Too nice. It had that slightly eerie, pre-fabed feeling that Vail and Beaver Creek have. Don't get me wrong, we dug it. We sat slope-side and ate a $18 burger while we watched the bikers bomb down the hill, spraying mud everywhere. That was cool. Also, we were watching the Stanley Cup & drinking Kokanee (for Ron)!


We also happened upon a post-race celebration put on by the staff… who were drunk, dressed in drag and dancing to a live Calypso band. Not much to do in the off-season…

We decided to head down to Vancouver to camp that night since we'd have a long drive the next day, so we turned the Subaru towards the Sea-to-Sky highway and headed south.

The road is gorgeous plus we spotted a black bear, foraging for berries! We made it to Porteau Cove by 9pm and enjoyed the view of the sound but didn't camp because it cost $38 and was 10meters from a train track! So we ask the ranger if he has any suggestions for a campground closer to 'The Couv'? He started us on a crazy/late night/campsite hunt with his super-vague answer. But Wed night we camped in Burnaby and got up stupid early on Thursday to high tail it home.

Thursday: we explored Grandville Island (great!), I discovered that I am a lifetime member of the Canadian version of REI (MEC), and we ate breakfast sandwiches on homemeade veggie biscuits in Gastown! Then we spent 2+ hours stuck in 3pm? traffic outside of Seattle. Blerg. The 2 positive things that came out of it were: 1- I bought a pop @ BK's and got to use a touch screen pop machine and 2- I figured out what I want to do for a job! This is a revelation that requires a whole post of its own, so you'll just have to wait. 🙂


CO day 2: Fun with Troy & Bugs (aka. Beef Wellington is the bomb!)

Jessie and I took Statler out for a hike! We spent an hour or so wandering uphill, crossing raging rivers and enjoying the sunshine!

When we got up to a river that was too fast to cross we found a rock to sit and have snacks while Statler galloped around us. We were up high enough that there was still some snow! Percy was very pleased.


After the hike we got cleaned up (Statler flings mud EVERYWHERE!) then we hopped on the bus up to Beaver Creek to hear some blues and eat some BBQ. We didn't fill up because 2 hours later we had to attend 'Ron's fattening up party' thrown by Bugs & Troy, thrown for the occasion of Ron's wedding ring falling right off his finger… Twice.

Troy really went all out and cooked us BEEF WELLINGTON!!! He hadn't made it for 10 years and it was spectacular! It had pate and truffle butter and was encased in yummy bread! That's Bugs in the top left, showing her appreciation for a perfectly cooked piece of meat! The bottom pix is Maria, giving 2 thumbs up to the Beef Wellington.

Bugs & Jessie check to see if Ron has gotten any fatter. It's a new rule that Ron has to weight more than their dog.

After dinner we played Apples to Apples, giggled as Maria told a story about doing a “Butt Crawl” (aka. PUB crawl) and devoured some Tres Leches cake. Bugs wanted everyone to be so full that they left the party “feeling a little sick.” Mission accomplished. Whew.