Barry's traveled a lot for work and a little for pleasure recently. I usually get crazy productive in the apartment and with jewelry-making (which I used to show you here, remember that?) when he's gone. This past weekend, though, when he went to Virginia to visit his parents and watch the World Cycling Championships, I decided that I was aiming for less productivity and more relaxation.
I spent Sunday cruising all over town on my bike, enjoying the gorgeous weather we're having in Portland. I rode over the new Tilikum Crossing (I found myself there and it seemed like I ought to). I wove my way through Ladd's Addition, one of my favorite neighborhoods to meander through. And I made my way to Dove Vivi for a glass of Chianti and a slice.
Monday was equally as beautiful. I strolled to the Lan Su Chinese Garden and enjoyed its peaceful setting in the middle of the city. I popped into a few shops and went to Marmo for lunch while I finished up a book I've lingered with a little too long. And now I'm headed to the park to take notes from my guide book to Sicily. Barry and I meet up with my parents at the end of this week for a vacation there in honor of their 50th wedding anniversary this year. While I was at the Chinese Garden earlier, I was appropriately given this fortune:
We stayed in town this Labor Day weekend. It's not a long weekend for either of us and since a big draw of backpacking is the solitude it provides, going out on a busy holiday weekend isn't very appealing to me and Barry. It seemed like the perfect time to get a little fussy in the apartment - something I hadn't done in a while. The plants were dying to be rearranged; they'd all found their way into a cluster around the windows on one wall of our apartment this summer and needed a little breathing room. Pillows, comforters, duvet covers... they all wanted to be cleaned. And a few things needed to find their way out of the apartment. After several hours of cleaning, moving things around, and editing in the closet, I'm feeling really comfy and satisfied. But I'm a little worried that I still have another weekend day ahead of my (my work weekend being Sunday/Monday) without a hike and breath-taking view in my future. Tonight's to-do: make a list of evening and weekend activities that don't involve backpacking to get me through the Fall and Winter.
The forest fires have plagued the Pacific Northwest this summer thwarted our plans to get to Mt. Adams again before the summer's end. Instead, we found a hike on Mt. Hood that promised great views of ice caves just below the peak of the mountain. And although the views were smoke-filled, they were still spectacular. I'll admit, though, that this was not my finest backpacking trip. The hike up was hard for me. I felt old. I felt fat. I felt tired. I felt weak. These are all things that I feel to varying degrees at times, but usually I don't feel them all at once with the intensity that I felt them on our way to our campsite. Finally setting up our tent was such a relief. Sleep was so good. Laying in the tent and reading for hours the following morning while the sun rose was pretty damn good. And the hike out was just fine.
Lightning strikes were forecasted on Mt. Adams again, so we headed to Mt. Hood this weekend in search of a hike with exposure and views but also with tree coverage in case a storm hit. We decided to hike up to Yocum Ridge again and got a reminder of just how much up, up, up that hike involves. Although it was cloudy, the views were spectacular. And the little rain we did get came after we were hunkered down in the tent, playing cards and settling in for the night. The sunrise the following morning was gorgeous. Even though we backpack almost every weekend in the summer, I don't think I'll ever get over how amazing this part of the world is.