Tag Archives: oregon

What I Did On My Summer Vacation!

I’m back after a lovely and busy week of puttering around Oregon and Washington for recvacational purposes.

In Portland we rode bikes, drank beer and espresso, visited Powell’s (at which I found a signed copy of an Alice Hoffman book!), ogled the locals for their ink and artfully messy hair, and checked out the history museum.

Powell's in Portland
Powell’s in Portland



In the Columbia River Gorge, we saw an honest-to-God rainforest.

In Astoria, we got our nerd on at the Goonies house (Goonies Never Say Die!).

Two Goonies at the Goonies house.

At Mount St. Helens, I got the shivers and remembered to be very, very grateful for my tiny life.

Such a deceptively pleasant day.
Such a deceptively pleasant day.

At Mt. Ranier, I almost lost said life on a hike that North-westerners would consider moderate but that was no such thing for this Jersey girl. The park ranger warned us about the bears (black bears, schmack bears), but failed to mention the large ice fields at 40 degree slants above 100 foot drops–

In sneakers!
In sneakers!

–or the thousand foot drop on a rail-less trail pocked with ankle-breaker stones.

See the trail along the cliff? This is the LOW part.
See the trail along the cliff? This is the LOW part.

Here’s the view from the top…note the ledge in the foreground.

A lovely footpath...if you're a goat.
A lovely footpath…if you’re a goat.

But the views (and bragging rights) were totally worth the dreams I had that night of being dizzy in my sleep!

We also learned that Washingtonians generally eschew guardrails. (Luckily, we did not learn this the hard way.)

Our (exhausted) evenings looked pretty much like this.

Wine, books, and fire...this is the only way it's okay to enjoy all at once.
Wine, books, and fire…the only way it’s okay to enjoy all at once.

Finally, after a trip to see Lily the Baby Elephant at the Portland Zoo, we took a red eye home to a family celebration (nice) and a heat index of 100 degrees (not so nice).

Now, I’m slowly tunneling my way back into my writing.

But it’s a funny thing–even when I’m far from my office, I’m never mentally very far. Lots of good material out there on the West Coast.


Lisa Van Allen

The Wishing Thread, August 2013 

the wishing thread book cover