Grandpa Jeff came to Portland to visit. We had an action-packed week with many trips to REI, some adventuring in the wilds of (practically) central Oregon, and much excellent food (and wine).
These are some massive fish at the Bonneville Dam fish hatchery in the Colombia gorge. These are sturgeon and they are MASSIVE (Herman the Sturgeon is 11 feet long, 500 pounds, and 70 years old). Unbelievably, horrifyingly, incredibly huge. I was flabbergasted. Also, I will never again swim in the river.
The fish hatchery grounds are actually really nice. Lots and lots of sturgeon to look at from baby minnow size up to full-on leviathan. There are also the largest rainbow trout you ever did see and you can feed them from a fish-pellet vending machine. Ronin was content to feed them pine needles she picked off a branch saying, “Hey fish! Here are some snacks.”
We drove way out to White River falls and after two+ hours in the car with a kid who dislikes such modes of transportation, we were so very relieved to discover that it is really freaking cool. And there is an abandoned power station to poke around in. Bonus! (I’ll get pics up in another post; we took about a million.) Ronin was placated because there was a river and sand and she got to take her pants off.
Jeff amongst the rocks and sagebrush. The sage smelled really nice and had these puffy-squishy little berries; I had never seen sageberries before.
We took one of the skinny blue lines home from the falls. It led us through some small town rural Oregonness and around the backside of Mt. Hood. I was a little worried that our scenic route would turn into a 4-hour epic drive and Ronin would drive me batty.
Then I started to worry that Bambi would get stuck in the snow (we don’t have chains) and Ronin would run out of diapers when we were forced to bivouac in a snow cave. My worries were all for not, however, and we stopped did a bit of frolicking in the snow. Ronin loved it and launched a furious vocal protest when we attempted to re-car her.
Behold! A gentle forest sprite!
When we were a mere three miles from the turnoff back onto the Real highway and civilization, we were confronted by a forest ranger. He asked us what the hell we thought we were doing out here on a seasonally closed road over the mountain with no chains on our pansy-ass little stationwagon. We looked harmless enough and he quickly relented, acknowledging that the sign had in fact been stolen from the direction we came. He said that if we had managed thus far, we’d probably make it the rest of the way. We did. I was happy.
This sign. Oops. Kind of awkwardly put really; we likely would have ignored it had we seen it.
Ronin didn’t nap the whole day and actually went down promptly that night. Aahhh.