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

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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

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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. 🙂

 

Who’s YUR Daddy?

I'm so lucky that this guy is MY Dad!

Dad and I had such a fun road trip that I didn't want him to leave! Besides all the sightseeing (& eating) that I've already blogged about, Dad bought me groceries, put up shelves and helped me get my bearings in a new city.

Erica had left us the ubiquitous BIKE PORTLAND map and Dad used it to find our way through the neighborhoods that make up PDX. Part of what makes Portland such a progressive biking city is that they have designated bike boulevards- the speed limit is 20 mph and there are speed bumps every block. The result is that, considering traffic, many people can get to work faster on bike than by car! The bike map marks these boulevards in bold, bright colors to make it easy to find your route. But things get dicy when you get driving directions from a bike map.

Our last morning we finally made it to 1 of the 9 breakfast places that Erica recommended, Broders. It is a popular (& tiny) Swedish brunch place & we figured we'd have the place to ourselves on a Monday @ 9:30am. Nope! Luckily, we were meeting Matt there and he snagged the last table while we were figuring out how to navigate around a 'bike only' street. It was worth it!

Obviously, the final stop on the way to the train station was Powell's bookstore to get me not 1, but 2 Portland maps. Dad was taking good care of me! And I needed it!

 

 

Portland has so many nicknames!

When I last left you, Dad and I were driving west after a SUPER FUN 3-day weekend in Colorado.

I have summed up the following 2 days of driving with the following photos:

1- We drove along the train tracks a lot and dad always counted the number of engines. NINE was the most we ever saw, 5 in the front and 4 in the middle of a very, very long coal train.

2- We were super excited to see the Columbia River Gorge! Yay WATER!!!

3- We stayed at a dirty Motel 6 in Boise but it had custom bedspreads!

4- When we’d drive thru a tunnel Dad would say, “Shields up!” And we’d slide our sunglasses up. (You’ll have to imagine the pix of that one…)

When we arrived in SE Portland Erica wasted no time & initiated us into the food truck fan club! Thanks, Erica!

Now for all the (well-deserved) nicknames.

CLOUD CITY: The first few days it seemed to rain every morning, then every hour after that… but just for a while. I have been told that this does not qualify as rain and only tourist carry umbrellas.

PDX: This is the airport code and gets used a lot in web addresses.

BRIDGE TOWN: Portland is divided in 1/2 by the Willamette (Will-AM-IT…rhymes with dammit) river (N-S) and there are a whole mess of bridges to get you from one side of of town to the other.

CITY OF ROSES: Wiki says: In 1917 a group of Portland nurserymen came up with the idea for an American rose test garden. Portland had an enthusiastic group of volunteers and 20 miles (32 km) of rose bordered streets, largely from the 1905 Lewis & Clark Exposition. Portland was already dubbed “The City of Roses” so this was leveraged to enhance the reputation.

Jessie Currey, president of Portland’s Rose Society at the time, petitioned for the city to serve as a safe haven for hybrid roses grown in Europe during World War I. Rose lovers feared that these unique plants could be destroyed as a result of the war. Foreign hybridists sent roses for test from many countries and the garden was an immediate success. Today, Portland is the only North American city that can issue its awards to roses of merit throughout the world.

STUMPTOWN: In the 1850’s PDX was growing so fast that they were cutting down trees to make new roads but didn’t have time to dig the stumps out. They just cut them close to the ground + painted them white.

BEERVANA: I thought Michigan had plenty of MicroBrews… but not nearly as many as here! PDX has more brewpubs per capita than any other town! Dad & I went to HOPWORKS with Matt & Emily and I had a yummy Granola Brown.

KEEP PORTLAND WEIRD: Dad & I have already met quite a few interesting folk. Like the homeless lady infront of Hopworks who wanted to know if we had eaten any good food in there. Wierd but friendly. Dad kept pointing out the young ladies with florescent pink hair. There are some wild dressers in this town! It keeps it interesting!

The photo contains a ‘Portlandia’ reference: Put a bird on it! Hilarity ensues here: Put A Bird On It! – Portlandia – IFC.com