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Monday, June 05, 2006

Memoirs of an adventure to Oregon

This post is called a memoir because it is going to be that long. But also, because memoirs are the really cool thing right now, so I thought I needed to have one of my own. The post is called an adventure because it is about our trip to Oregon. Don't mistake it for a vacation. The word "vacation" implies that there will be some sort of a break from your regular daily duties, and for me, there was no break. In fact, many of my daily responsibilities only intensified. Also, a vacation implies that you are going to rest, and that rarely occurred on this trip. In addition, an adventure involves exploration, and that's what we did on this trip. I was amazed at all the nooks and crannies that the great Lord included in his wonderful artwork of the earth. And I discovered that within every nook, there is another nook. And inside that crevice, there is another one. This world is like a great big fractal for our bodies and minds to explore.

Our trip began with a lot of driving:

Our first stop was in Bend, Oregon, where we discovered an extraordinary lava cave. It is about a three mile tunnel underground formed by flowing lava, many years ago. We thought that there are probably lots of other caves around there too, but we just don’t know about them because they don’t open themselves up out of the ground. But, who knows. We hiked in about a mile, at which time both kids experienced a panic attack and wanted out of the cave immediately. We tried to explain that the only way out was the way that we came in, no reasoning was useful, and we ended up dragging them out. And, by the way, a screaming child sounds much louder inside an echoing cave. We had to carry in a lantern, as there is absolutely no source of light inside the cave. I imagined that it would be really cool to live deep inside the cave, if there were some way to get furniture and electricity down there. It would be really cozy to have a soft couch and plush carpet up against the stone walls. I would probably hang some fine art up on the walls too. The ruggedness of the walls against the refined linens would give the home a really inviting atmosphere. While we were in the cave, my camera ran out of batteries which really ticked me off, because the way the lantern cast towering shadows onto the walls of the cave would have made really cool pictures. But I did manage to squeeze one last picture out of my camera. This is Matt, holding our lantern:

The next day, we finally reached the ocean, which was so exciting. Like myself, I know many people feel drawn to the ocean. I was trying to figure out why that was. I think that its power gives us a small glimpse of the Divine and its enormity gives us a sense of God's omnipotence. It shapes rock like soft salt water taffy, and you can sense its presence without even seeing it. I thought about this a lot during my time near the ocean.

The kids found a piece of drift wood that they pretended was a pirate ship. They sang, “YO HO HO”.

The next day we visited the Tillimook cheese factory. The best part about this was the free cheese samples.

The next day we drove over the Columbia River into Washington and I had never been so far north before. In Long Beach, Washington, the kids met a friendly clown named Taylor. He was really tall, and the kids looked up to him.

That night we made an enormous bonfire on the beach. The blazes from our fire were almost as big as the flames of hell. It was hot.

On the next day, we went to my favorite place in all of Oregon- Hug Beach. Here, I found the most rewarding geocache I have ever found- not because of what was in it, but because of where it was located. It was on a cliff edge at the top of the water fall that flows down to the beach and had the most beautiful lookout I’ve ever seen. This is Hug Beach:
Hug Beach is the kind of beach I would like to be stranded on. If it were on a deserted island, I would stay there and hope I was never found. I would sleep in one of the caves and shower in the waterfall. I would swim in the tide pools and make friends with the starfish. I would have to become accustomed to eating the little crustaceans that burrow themselves in the sand. Ideally, I would be stranded there with Matt, but I don’t want to ask for too much. Here are some starfish we met:

So, I don’t know how to end a memoir… because honestly, I’ve never read one. But I do know is that you’re not supposed to lie, and I didn’t do that. So, we ended up coming back home, and that’s where I am now. I have some memories and some pictures- but none that compare to the real thing, and that always frustrates me. But hopefully reading this memoir has been interesting enough to give you a glimpse of our adventure to Oregon.