Traveling to some of my Happy Places 

Andy’s school year officially ended on June 13 when he played viola with his high school Chamber Orchestra at graduation. We wasted no time getting out of town! On the 14th we drove out to Miles End Lodge in Kingston in central NV for a two night stay. We brought the side by side and dirt bikes. Our friends Alice and Chuck and Steve and their friend Gary were out there too with dirt bikes for the guys. So Alice and I had fun taking turns driving the side by side up Kingston Canyon and down the other side. We had some fun water crossings.

We loved seeing everything so green after the abundant snow year.

Andy and Stan accompanied us on dirt bikes.

our group: Gary, Chuck, Alice, Ann, John, Steve, Stan, Andy

I love that place so much that we will be back in two weeks.

Then we left the next day in our motorhome for a trip to Portland, Oregon to visit my sister Catherine and her family. Andy and his cousin Sam would be taking a sailing class on the Wiillamate River. It was two days of long drives with beautiful views of snow covered volcanoes, including Mt. Shasta from the south, east, and  north! We camped the first night at Sunset Campground at Lake of the Woods.

It was the only reservation I could find on short notice and it worked out well. It was a great campground with a beautiful lake and a beautiful snow covered volcano, plus it was 45 minutes from the only entrance to Crater Lake National Park that was open because of snow removal continuing on most of the roads in the park. So after a lazy Father’s Day morning at the campground, we drove to the south entrance of Crater Lake National Park. There was a long line of vehicles waiting to turn in from both directions. We finally made it up to a ranger taking money standing in the road before the pay station. We asked if it would be reasonable to drive our motor home up to the rim with our tow vehicle and he said, “No problem, there is oversize vehicle parking up there.” So we drove up to the very crowded Rim Village – lunch time on Father’s Day with perfect weather. There were cars parked everywhere, including in all of the RV/Bus sites. So we waited for someone to leave. The problem was with 6 RV/bus sites that meant 12 cars and we would need to have two in the same site leave at the same time. When one car left I got out to save the place. Then another car left in another spot. So now I was saving two places. Then another motorhome arrived towing a Jeep. The couple was from California and they joined us in the effort to keep cars out of the RV sites. I had my Boogie Board and it was perfect!

I blocked cars from turning into the area and felt very powerful with my Boogie Board! There was one car I blocked from turning into an empty spot and they drove around and started to turn into an empty spot on the other side so I ran over there again with my sign (and the handkerchief in my mouth!) and held up the sign again. There were also plenty of people from other countries who looked like they didn’t know what my sign said so I had to point to a motorhome. It was actually kind of fun and definitely camaraderie with the other motorhome people. A third motor home had joined us in our effort. Even after we finally got parked I felt like I should stay out there all afternoon enforcing, but Stan pointed out that it was no longer our battle. He was right of course. Stan and Andy had sandwiches during the hour this took. But I still had to eat and I got to have lunch with a great view.

The lake was a mirror, and the snow was beautiful. More family photos:

It was worth the wait for such beauty. Andy also had fun shoe skiing down from the Rim Lodge roof.

After that we continued to Portland, arriving around 9 P.M. Because it was late, we decided to meet my sister and nephew at the sailing class at 9 A.M. the next day. We got all checked into our RV Park and got to bed.

On Monday we got Andy to the Willamette Sailing Club at 9:05 A.M. becasue of traffic. But he only missed a little bit of the Safety Introduction and he had done this camp before. Andy is sailing with the teens in Lasers and Sam is with the younger kids in Optis. We stayed through their swim tests. 

They had to don their life jackets in the water, but ony got them after telling a joke or a riddle.

Then my sister Cath, Stan and I went to a nearby Starbucks to chat. We looked up at the bulletin board and at first glance  it looled like it said Welcome to Stan Macdonald.

Actually it says Welcome to Starbucks on Macadam.

There is a climbing gym right in the same area so Andy and Sam spent parts of the afternoons climbling.

We had a nice bbq dinner on the new deck at Cathy and Rick’s house. This was in the waning twilight between 9 and 10 P.M.

On Tuesday Stan and I had a lazy morning, then met Cath and the boys for a Taco lunch then more climbing.  On Tuesday night we went to dinner at their Jewish Community Center – it smelled so good.

Cath, Rick, Sam, and Andy walked the few hilly blocks from their home to the center, while Stan and I drove.

Wednesday brought more of the same. The boys had plenty of wind for sailing and got to cover quite a bit of that lovely part of the Willamette River with bridges and an island. And then more climbing gym. On Wednesday night we got together with Stan’s cousins David and Dana and their families at a Cambodian Sports Bar. It was so much fun, and wonderful to connect with family we hadn’t seen in a long time.Almost the whole group, missing only Dana.

On Thursday, Rick, who is an Emergency Room doctor, was off work. I asked if it would be possible to go to Mt. St. Helens in Washington, about an hour and a half north of Portland. It turns out to be one of their favorite places. Could we do it in half a day, after sailing ended at noon? We decided we could because it was one of the longest daylight days of our year.

So the geology-loving part of me was fulfilled. I had been in Geology 101 at University of Illinois in May of 1980 when the big eruption occurred. It was REALLY cool at the time to have a professor explain the geology of an active volcano on the west coast of my own country. And now I got to see it!

It was another perfect weather day. We stopped at an overlook on the way up, and there was a guy there with a spotting scope focused on three elk.There are three elk on the right side of this photo on the little hill, but without the spotting scope we would not have known.

The wildflowers were beautiful.

We made it to the Johnston Observatory just in time for the last movie of the day.

 Cousins after the movie.

We attended the last ranger talk of the day, standing outside. It was time for me to do my meds, including grinding them. My sister was so kind that she got me a wheelchair to sit in during the talk so I could get meds done. The talk was given by a Forest Service Intern from Germany and his presentation was superb.No the man in the background is not standing on the table!

Then we walked up a trail that went up and around the hill on the left side of the photo.

There was a memorial for all the people who died on that Sunday morning in May 1980 when the volcano erupted.

This day ended with dinner at Lucky Dragon Chinese restaurant on the way back to Oregon. Rick’s fortune cookie said “You have great patience” which is true and he also has great patients (veterans). Stan’s fortune said “You will soon meet an old friend” which also was true.

On Friday I met my sister at the Hoyt Arboretum. She likes to hike there as often as she can. I met her after her hike and we found a shaded picnic table and sat and had a sisterly chat. It was nice to see that part of Portland. Then Cath showed me around downtown Portland, including this actual city park.

On Friday night, we went to a play. It was called The Pianist of Williston Lane and was a beautiful yet sad story of a woman saved by the kindertransport during the World War II holocaust which moved Jewish children to England, which is Rick’s mother’s story too. And after the play,  Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream.

Then on Saturday, the day we had to leave, Cathy, Rick, and Sam came to our motorhome for brunch.

Then we headed south on I-5 and went to visit old friends in Trail, Oregon. 

Linda and David retired from Desert Research Institute 14 years ago and moved to Oregon and are now living on a beautiful farm.

Stan and David talked for hours about their shared technological and other interests. Andy helped Linda build a dam on the creek to make a swimming hole for their dogs. Linda and I talked about knitting and yarns. She spins her own yarn. They were wonderful hosts, and it was wonderful to catch up with old friends.

On the way home today we will meet another old friend in Klamath Falls.

These have been great trips of love and connection.

6 thoughts on “Traveling to some of my Happy Places 

  1. It gave me great pleasure to read about your trip. Beautiful sights, loving family, happy boys doing fun things together – life can be so very good. I am a friend of your step mother, Anita. A friend of mine also has ALS so I have double interest in your journey.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Thanks Meg for writing such a nice recap of our great visit together during Samuel’s first week of summer vacation! What a treat it was for all of us to spend a late spring week in Portland with you, and for the boy cousins to share sailing camp and climbing fun! Mt.St.Helens is my favorite Pacific NW mountain site and I loved visiting it again with you as a newbie and a geologist. As I said on my early birthday card for you, knowing that this next birthday on June 30 will be a one-year ALS diagnosis anniversary, this past year you have shown with all your energy that Love, Connection and Hope are much stronger than any disease symptoms. Would that your choice of positive focus lead to treatment and recovery by some miraculous intervention!

    With love and Happy Birthday wishes for this Friday, your sister, Catherine

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Thank you for inviting me to view your blog which to me is your LIVING LIFE adventures. I can’t wait to read more and catch up on the others I have not read yet. Your family is incredible. Love and connection… isn’t that what life’s about? Much love to you, Meg. ~ melissa faith

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Meg, I love these pictures and the fact that you can get to these fabulous places relatively easily. The Hackett family and some friends (15 of us) just got back from an Alaskan adventure on June 29th. Your pictures are very similar to what we saw, which was my 1st time in that kind of rugged terrain with the snow capped mountains and cool temps. It was totally awesome and we all came back refreshed and energized. I hope you can keep having these outdoor experiences, its good for the soul. BTW, Janine and family had a nice short visit with Cathy when they were in D.C. recently too. My best to you!

    Liked by 1 person

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