Left turn at Portland
I need to hear someone pronounce The Dalles. I think that every time I'm in Portland. I also think 84 towards The Dalles sucks every time I'm in Portland. The traffic on 84 is always terrible. It turns into the start of a beautiful drive after you've put some miles between you and the big city.
I stopped at a Fred Meyer in Gresham. The place was massive. I needed to get a mini memory card for the Go Pro I've hardly used. There were more options than I expected. The person working in the electronics section was friendly and helpful and saved me some money. Maybe an exec from Fred Meyer will see this. I'm sure there are people who send in letters or tell managers about good service. Those people are probably pretty great.
The ascent through the Mt. Hood region is fantastic. I could have happily spent a night in Mount Hood Village, but I pressed on to Government Camp. I was there years ago, and let's just say I was pretty annoying in a bar. Nothing terrible, just some cringe level reflections. Time to replace that negative energy with new, positive vibes.
I sat in the bar/restaurant's outside area. Ordered a beer and a burger from a friendly server. Ok, we're off to a good start. [I'm worried I've written about this on the blog recently. If so, apologies. Things can get a little confusing when you're looking back at a journal, notes on the phone, drafts on the blog, etc.]
At the next table there was an extremely fit, athletic guy enjoying a beer. His clothes and hat were a collection of well-known outdoorsy brands. I'm sure I had on something from Patagonia. The difference was that his clothes looked well-used. It wouldn't be hard to imagine some of those companies sending him things to test.
The burger was good. I left most of the fries. I knew I'd be walking around town for an hour or so before continuing on to Bend. Fries make me really tired really fast.
Outdoorsy Guy: "Were you up on the mountain today?"
Me: "No, just passing through. You?"
Outdoorsy Guy: "Yea, I'm up there coaching. Finally have a day off, figured I could use a beer in town."
Me: "Ahh, I see."
But I didn't see. Coaching what?
Me: "What are you coaching?"
Outdoorsy Guy: "Professional skiing. Racers."
Me: "I didn't know they were still skiing up there."
Outdoorsy Guy: "Oh yea."
Turned into a fun conversation. The guy is 65. I would have said late 40s, maybe looks like early 50s because of a lot of time in the sun and wind. 65. I bet he could have finished that beer, stood up, and run a marathon. Inspiring.
A nomadic race ski instructor. He's lived all over, Japan, New Zealand. I've forgotten the other places, but he joked that he's been to more foreign countries than American states. He uses his sister's address in Gig Harbor, WA, for a permanent address. "The government likes a permanent address."
I thought about calling an audible and staying in town that night. It would have been interesting to talk more with that guy. But when the server came back, I decided to take the Karma Cleanse win. I have a great memory now from Government Camp.
The burger and the beer came out to be $18. I gave the server $40 and asked for $10. The server made several other trips to the patio. I started getting the sense that she'd forgotten my change. You know that feeling you get? You can just sense that there's been a glitch in the system. A few minutes later she came back carrying a $10. She walked past me and handed it to Outdoorsy Guy. "Here's your change." He thanked her and pocketed it. I waited a few more minutes to see if the glitch would unglitch, but it didn't. I didn't say a word. It was just weird enough to be one of those situations where if you said something, it would just get awkward. I went on my way. I reckon that $10 was for the Karma Tollbooth operator. Money well spent.
I walked around town taking photos and drinking coffee for an hour. Those photos are in a trash can in a Bend hotel room. That's the roll I mentioned a while back - did not rewind into the canister. Ruined. But at that point, they were still in the realm of Potential Awesome Photos, and I was feeling good about visiting Government Camp. So naturally I assumed a logging truck was going to smash my Subaru the moment I got back on the road. Yea, a touch of fatalism here.
East of Government Camp things got hot and dusty. I stopped at a boat launch near Warm Springs, along the Deschutes River. Took a few more doomed photos. They wouldn't have been great photos. It was really windy and dusty, terrible light. But there was a guy out in the river fly fishing. I would have liked for one of those photos to turn out.
Next stop, Peter Skene Ogden State Scenic Viewpoint. Say that fast 5 times. I think I finished the failed roll of TriX here because I shot some digitals also.
Good place to stop. My laptop's battery is getting low. Some loose ends. If you ever visit Government Camp, I recommend High Mountain Bakery and Deli (or Cafe) for coffee. Friendly service. I really want to go back and get one of their breakfast burritos.
Anyone here familiar with the WD My Passport Wireless SSD external drives. I bought one a couple of years ago because it has a memory card reader. The wireless function seemed like it could be cool. I've just never really trusted this thing. The blue lights showing the battery's charge seem unreliable. I brought it with me on this trip to see if I could get more familiar with it and build some trust.