I’m back to being continuously connected, at least for the next day and a half. 🙂 In true geek convention fashion, I’m sitting on the floor juicing up a laptop, checking my email, looking at my aggregator (755 items!), and yes, writing this post.
The trip down to Portland was the journey of near-disasters. We went the long country way instead of taking I5, going around the back of Mt St Helens. We almost hit a deer, then we got stuck in a ditch, but two very nice women in a very large truck helped pull the car out with a chain. The drive around the mountain was gorgeous but uneventful. (Reminder to self: Iron (???) campground would be a really nice place to stay. The associated picnic area was quite lovely.)
We camped on Monday night at Battle Ground Lake State Park. It was something of a shock after driving all day in the middle of nowhere, to come out into the town of Battle Ground, and to have the first thing we saw be a brand shiny new Fred Meyer, in a strip mall with two Starbucks (one was inside FM)…with the same sale, even, as the one we were shopping on Sunday night in Lacey.
The campground was very well maintained, and the staff cheerful. The drive-in spots were pretty much full, but we’d booked ahead…and had a spot 3 minutes walk from the bathroom! There are also walk-in spots, and during our walkaround later in the evening, those spots looked to be mostly empty. Something good to note for later.
The lake itself is gorgeous. Alas, all I had was my cameraphone, so no pics. It’s an old volcanic cone, like a flatter Crater Lake, and there’s a trail all the way around.
Of course, in a final near-disaster, I took a good hard tumble on the rocks on our 2nd walk around the lake. I lost my footing and went down in a crazy upside-down pose. But…no cuts, only a couple of minor scrapes, a bit of soreness in my left shoulder, and a huge blue-purple bruise on my calf. And we made it the rest of the way around in the twilight, no more missteps.
The last time I went camping, I hardly slept a wink, because I could feel every little bump, and there was absolutely no cushioning underneath my hips. This time, I bought an air pad ahead of time, and slept like a rock.
I had an early morning walk around the lake, while C was still dozing, and as the sun was cresting over the edge of the crater. (Oh how I love summer at this latitude!) Mist was rising off of the water, and the air was cool & soft. Just about perfect.
After a little breakfast, we drove down to Portland and hooked up with my old friend Tom. I’ve known Tom since ’97, when we worked at United Way together, when I was an administrative assistant, and he was working on the Web site (among other things), and that’s one of the things that got me into this biz. Also, Tom was one of the witnesses to my wedding. He’s only just recently come back to Portland from the UK, and is being gracious enough to let us crash on a futon in his living room. (It’s a great place: a house from the 20s that’s been converted into two apartments, in a lively neighborhood.)
So far we’ve had great Mexican food, pizza, and homemade Thai. Yum…one of my favorite things about Portland (which is one of my favorite places) is the great food. Plus we had breakfast at Roxy’s yesterday; we go there every time we’re in Portland. (The Soylent Green omlette? Highly recommended.)
I am on C’s new laptop, which we bought yesterday (educational discount + no sales tax!), and trying to figure out how this OSX thing works.
The last two days, we’ve spent the afternoon on the beach at Sauvie Island, just kinda dozing in the sun/dappled shade, swimming in the mighty Columbia. Also, I’ve been working my way through the last book of the Baroque Cycle. (Which fscking RAWKS.)
This morning I skipped the morning panels and instead we went to the Chinese Garden downtown. A little dowdy, with some stagnant spots of water, but generally quite lovely and inspirational.
It was good (where good = refreshing, meditative, and theraputic for my hands) to be mostly disconnected for a few days. It is equally good (where good = invigorating, engaging, and creative) to be back online.