Let’s get a few things out of the way before I start this post in earnest.
- I did indeed go on the hike I’d been putting off due to illness. The hike is Angel’s Rest in the Gorge, not much of a drive from downtown Portland. Because it is one of the few hikes that remain snowless and comparatively less muddy, it is also swamped with people. And in addition to the usual hiker types you see on the trail, there are also the people who don’t have a clue what’s going on–you know, the types who wear their brand spanking new, pristine white gym shoes to hike on a slippery, muddy trail in April. Here I will give an unsolicited testimonial about the amazing hiking boots I got at the Keen Garage my first week in Portland. They are A+. Almost makes up for the fact that I accidentally knocked down all the shoes on the store’s rotating shoe display while I was shopping for them.
Basically, if you’re doing Angel’s Rest, get there at daybreak or you may never find parking.
- I bought tickets to San Diego over the Memorial Day holiday. Three days in the city and one in Joshua Tree. This wasn’t supposed to be a blog about California but it sure is sunnier down there.
- I don’t know what the third thing was supposed to be so I’ll just say that I got a cool shelf for the house from the antique store down the block using our tax refund money. It adds rustic chic to the bungalow. I can now rest on my interior decorating laurels.
Other than that, I’ve been doing the usual. Hunting for jobs. Taking advice from strangers. Oh, I should talk to this person, even though they work in a field completely unrelated to mine and I know them through the son-in-law of a friend of my mother? Sure. Oh, I should go to the Oregon Book Awards? Don’t ask why. Just do it (I ended up in the balcony, drinking wine out of a plastic cup and crying at Anis Mojgani reading “Shake the Dust.” You know. Just another Monday night.)
The best advice I got from a stranger was that I should go kayaking. But she wasn’t actually talking to me. She was in Trader Joe’s explaining her Easter plans to the cashier. Because she was Jewish, she said, she and her family spent the day kayaking in Scappoose Bay. The bay was never crowded and the kayak rental place was great. Sold!
So off we went last weekend to Scappoose Bay. And Trader Joe’s woman was right on the money! While there’s not much alive out there this time of year, we did get a chance to kayak through a flooded forest, see some herons, harass some poor farmer’s horses, and I’m pretty sure I spotted the back end of an otter vanishing into the water, but it was hard to tell because by that time it was pouring and time to get off the bay.
The kayaking outfitter at Scappoose is Next Adventure and I’d highly recommend them, just as Trader Joe’s woman did.
This weekend is mushroom hunting in a secret spot. If there are mushrooms growing after this winter it will be miraculous.