I once went to a teacher training and learned that those moments in life that reside in our long-term memories are there because they are associated with a strong emotion. Whether happy or not, emotions will tie these memories to the present and gift us with the ability to later recall the moments in life that hold the greatest of meaning.
This is why I am able to write about the second part of our trip more than a month later. Though I do not pretend that the details will be as sharp as they would’ve been had I taken the time to post sooner, I think I’ll be able to do the memories justice. The feeling of peace and travel comes heavily to mind as I look through these pictures and think of the stories that come along with each image.
I left off the last post in Portland. It was morning, and I sat happily typing away and looking through the first half of my travel photos. Here’s what I saw as I typed the previous post to you:
Though that tranquil moment came to an end, our plans were good ones and we set off.
From the coffee shop, we went a-walking. We started where our airbnb was (about 2 blocks from our coffee shop!) and headed towards an area with a good amount of breweries and shops. After a lengthy walk we felt we could just about justify (time-wise) stepping into the Portland Cider House (3638 SE Hawthorne Blvd). We passed this by chance, and we had a ton of fun with Cards Against Humanity and cider samples.
We stopped at an antique shop on the same street (my emotions couldn’t have been that high in the shop because the name of the place is most certainly completely lost). Another stop that day was…
Cargo! (81 SE Yamhill St.) The best store I’ve ever visited. Kind of like World Market but even better. Bought some gifts for friends and something for the house. I’d decorate my entire house with things from this place. Amazing.
And then a walk to Powell’s! A bookstore that takes up an entire city block. We were kind of sad about how much walking we’d done before arriving, because we were pretty burnt out. But enjoyed it nonetheless!
We walked back to our airbnb, stopped for another drink and some pizza, and called it a somewhat early night to do laundry and later order food in. (We LOVE grub hub.)
The next day was a drive to Crater Lake and camping…
…and donuts! We stopped at Voodoo Donuts on the way out! This box sat in our car a couple days (we can each only do 1 donut a day) and a couple of people commented on it even outside of Portland. Voodoo Donuts reflects the weirdness that resides in humans. From blogs and websites that I’ve read, most people don’t leave the city without eating a Voodoo. (Yes, that donut on the top left is a voodoo doll and the one on the right has bacon on top. These make my cereal-covered donut seem relatively normal, huh?) We went to Voodoo Donut Too in the morning and somehow didn’t encounter a line. Considered going the day before to the one near Powell’s but the line was crazy long.
So we ate our donuts, drank our coffee, and drove…
…to Multnomah Falls:
Kind of pretty! And although these falls were beautiful, they didn’t (in my opinion) quite measure up to Crater Lake.
This isn’t Crater Lake. Just the scenery on the way there. Crazy beautiful.
THIS is Crater Lake:
When asked about my favorite parts of the trip, my reply is Seattle and Crater Lake.
We visited the lake and set up camp. This night and the next were both camping nights and we somehow chose good sites. (This one is Joseph H. Stewart State Recreation Area. When we chose the site, we were sure to choose one near the lake and were not sorry. The photos below (after the tent) are of the hike around the park.
The water was just behind our tent and we could hear it. Late at night when we used the bathroom, the stars were brighter than we’d seen them (in the US). Hands down, our favorite campsite. (We stayed in 3 while we were out there, and didn’t have one disappointment. Camping in the Pacific Northwest is not too shabby.)
The next day was our drive to the Redwoods! Here are some Redwoods photos:
Massive and beautiful. Driving out there is so fun because (aside from listening to Harry Potter!) if you find the right route you can pull over and take a quick hike multiple times throughout your drive. If you’re like us, you’ll see a trail and say, ‘why not!?’ We loved this (somewhat) unplanned, unscheduled day.
Then on to our campsite:
Can’t move on without a campsite photo! This one was fancy: steps down to our tent. Whoo. (Patrick’s Point)
The next day was our drive to Santa Rosa. We chose Santa Rosa for Russian River! On the way we stopped at Lost Coast:
(Deschutes was from a couple days before between the falls and Crater Lake.)
We didn’t get it this time, but Russian River has a HUGE flight. Here are a couple of photos from the last time we had visited:
If you like beer, it’s a must-visit! (725 4th St, Santa Rosa, CA)
This night we stayed in a real hotel for the first time the whole trip. Got up early to have breakfast at a diner across the street, and headed towards San Francisco! We stopped to see Rosie…
Got some wine in Sonoma…
…and ended another fun day in San Francisco! (This is on the drive there. The fog begins!)
As this post is already too long, I’m going to skip ahead and add some pictures and quick captions, sparing you my boring details.
Dinner at Foreign Cinema (2534 Mission St, San Francisco; make a reservation if you plan on going!), where you can eat and watch an old movie! We saw Gentlemen Prefer Blondes!
Visited the Mission District….
The murals here are phenomenal. Each is meaningful and beautifully done. I could probably have spent another few hours just walking and looking.
We spent an evening in Oakland!
Went to the Full House hill…
And one more to end the post. Ordering ice cream cookie sandwiches to our hotel room was our perfect end to a great trip.
As I reread, I realize that these photos and descriptions of memories portray a perfect time. That’s now how trips go, though. From worries about time and money to stressing out over nothings that feel like somethings in the moment, there’s inevitably some bickering and bad moods. Reality was dispersed through each seemingly perfect day. Travel seems like it’s something to bring people away from real life but in actuality, you bring your burdens and imperfections along for the ride. So though this was an amazing trip, I’ll be honest: it was stressful! Camping, hostels, tight budgets, and a desire to experience everything we could in 2 weeks all added up to quite a ride. It was all at once perfect and imperfect, and I’m pretty sure we wouldn’t go back and change a thing about it.