I really shouldn't go without writing when I'm on vacation, because a lot happens in just a few days. (And of course I need to record it all for posterity, because what I do with every minute of every day is going to be so important...) This is, without a doubt, in need of heavy editing, but it's too long for me to look at anymore.

So, Wednesday. [livejournal.com profile] zolac_no_miko and I decided to give the 4T Trail a try. The plan was to start at the zoo, where we were supposed to start, but we overlooked one crucial thing: it's spring break for all the school kids. So every child capable of going to a zoo was... going to the zoo. So we were directed over to the overflow parking, which was a stop down the highway. There was also a massive line for the shuttle, so we decided to just hike down the road and catch the trail farther along. So we hiked up the (to me, at least) nearly vertical slope of the church driveway and into the wilderness of Portlandian residential streets. And I do mean residential wilderness (bonus: contains Council Crest, which was my introduction to hiking on topography)... none of that "suburban wilderness" stuff. Real honest trees with moss and lovely large hills that I could chuck rocks down (which I did, with marginal success). The trail was unusual, too... in that parts of it (even the parts that we weren't making up as we went along) were along streets with no sidewalks. Sometimes with very little in the way of a shoulder. But once we were into the woods-proper it was great. And there were some very interesting houses mixed in as well. We appreciated the ones that actually made an attempt to blend in (including one with two wrap-around porches which reminded me of a tree house). But there's always one that doesn't... and the stand-out star in that regard was a teal-trimmed house that, from the side, looked like a staple remover. The trail looped around both sides of it, and from the bottom we could see that it also had a prow (for sailing down the side of the ridge?) and no noticeable straight walls. A triumph, no doubt. The tram is pretty cool (though it doesn't go fast enough)... OHSU is kind of insanely glassy and new. Then we kind of deviated from the plan for the downtown portion, so we could get lunch and see the Multnomah County Library (my debt to society remains unpaid, as I was not able to incur fines there or pay them yet).

So... the food cart thing. My plan is to take a picture and send it to Rahm Emanuel, pointing out that these carts exist and Portland hasn't descended into complete chaos. I mean... Chicago is all about supporting things that inexplicably serve only one kind of food... why can't we have food carts? But anyway. We were aiming to get something from Khao Man Gai, but she had just closed. Thankfully, there was a Korean taco place right next door which proved to be very interesting. We sat under the umbrella man and I got sauce all over myself, and then we caught the train back to the zoo so we could go pick up [livejournal.com profile] drownedcities (who I also hadn't seen in forever) and [livejournal.com profile] shichahn (who I had never seen at all... and it does occur to me that that's weird, but it's fixed now)... so we could go hunting with Napoleon. For clarity: Napoleon. SO CUTE! But not the biggest fan of hunting in the rain with a veritable crowd of noisy human spectators. He much preferred trees that were in opposite directions from where we were going, and though I tried to flush some birds with a log I found, the only thing I had that he tried to chase after was a golf ball (something else I was trying to use to flush birdies). He chased the lure, though, which was fun to watch.

Aaaand then I was led to Jake's Famous Crawfish, where I was introduced to seafood that actually wasn't frozen immediately out of the sea. Seafood that had, in fact, actually seen the sea recently. And it was wonderful. (And tomorrow we are going to the coast, and it has been hinted that I will find even more seafood there. (There's also a lot of proof in this part of the story that [livejournal.com profile] look_alive, [livejournal.com profile] zolac_no_miko and I should not be allowed in public together, but that is a foregone conclusion, and also we were pretty well-behaved. Also, someone ate an entire bucket.)

So that does it for Wednesday.

Thursday we trekked out to Mount Hood, which was my first experience with a mountain. (We also had Burgerville, which was my first experience with an environmentally-conscious fast food place that offers bean burgers prominently on the menu.) And... and... it's so very pretty (Mount Hood, not environmentally-conscious fast food). I'm so used to everything being creamed by glaciers that I don't even know how to process going up, up, and up, and the idea of snow lines and tree lines and... topography. We decided to somewhat disregard the posted signs urging snow tires and/or chains and head up to Timberline Lodge (hereinafter "Timbaland"). We got about a quarter mile up the road before we decided maybe it wasn't the wisest decision, and got out to do some snow flailing. Snow flailing is an up-and-coming sport in the Portland area, currently practiced mostly by three key people (who shall remain nameless). It involves running through a snowdrift until you fall down. There was also a bit of a snowball fight... because the snow was actually snow, not that silly flaky dry stuff we get around here. And I made a giant snowball face.

After seeing countless more irresponsible vehicles descend the mountain sans snow tires (though a few were sporting chains), we decided to head up anyway. The higher we got, the deeper the snow was, until everything resembled a Mario Kart course. Then it started snowing, and we'd already had a bit of trouble getting out of the turn-off we'd pulled into for our snow flailing, so we just did a drive-by on Timbaland and headed back down.

Afterward we wound through the mountains down into the valley where there are a lot of apple orchards. Unfortunately none of them were in bloom yet (though Portland was already blooming), but it was still nice to see fields of things that weren't corn or soy. After looping past a rather un-exciting ranger station for a bathroom break we headed down along the Columbia River and looked at all the waterfalls. We managed to frighten people in the Multnomah Falls gift shop (or perhaps horrify) with our commentary on their kitsch. We also began an outline for our epic crossover opus, which involves a raptor attack on Multnomah Falls, and a school bus going over the falls, with Neo and... um... some other things happen but I can't remember most of them, just that the raptors win. Also there is Optimus Prime. (I think what spawned this conversation was: 1) The rockfall-prevention netting and 2) the rumour that they're going to remake the Matrix sequels. What?)

So yes... then there was Friday, which involved nearly 500 miles of driving or something like that. We left the apartment at about 7 in the morning, picked up [livejournal.com profile] shichahn, and drove through rain, some rain, and a bit more rain (also, what may have been the flattest part of Oregon I saw) until we got to the coast, which was miraculously sunny and largely rain-free. Our first stop was Seal Rock, where I met my first sea anenomes and apologized to a lot of barnacles and mussels. Anenomes are so cute. I mean, for things that resemble Like-Likes from the Zelda series, that is. I have a soft spot for creatures that don't make a whole lot of sense. I mean, they're squishy green things with tiny tentacles that grab your fingers, what isn't to like? The ocean attacked me while I was letting one try to eat my fingers, though, so be aware that the sea seems to favor anenomes as well. Since I'd already gotten myself soaked, I also got to run out into the water and pet a starfish (much to [livejournal.com profile] look_alive's dismay. We caught a couple of hermit crabs, which I also fell in love with (tiny transient sea bugs living in shells!). Unfortunately my camera batteries died shortly after I tried to get a non-blurry picture of the cormorants, so I'm going to have to hope that everyone else gets their pictures posted.

Afterward, we headed up to a crab shack (quite literally a shack with a large sign that said CRAB, among other things). It had a lovely smell, and an interior filled with lovely foods that had been wrested from the sea itself not too long prior. I had a taste of pretty much everything available while we listened to the epic soundtrack they had playing in the place (I kept expecting Indiana Jones to deliver the next catch). Now that I'm back here, I miss proper seafood already. So much better than the stuff that's been frozen and shipped for miles and miles. (There were scallops that basically melted when you ate them, a feature of seafood heretofore unknown to me.)

Our penultimate destination was Cape Kiwanda, via the secret entrance [livejournal.com profile] shichahn directed us to. We traipsed over to the dunes over sand that was zebra-striped with black and gold, I took pictures of apocalyptic-looking scenes and challenged the ocean to come get me again (it did, but only managed to attack my feet). We stowed our shoes and scaled the dunes, which were, in parts, kind of like giant sand cliffs. The view was gorgeous (as you probably noticed if you looked at the pictures), and most of us treed ourselves for a while (one of us got stuck. For once it wasn't me). The way back down was probably the most fun, though, since it involved running down a sand cliff while screaming, and learning to take the most important advice I've been given: "Just lean forward and spread your legs!" (I guess it worked? I didn't die.)

On the way back to the car, [livejournal.com profile] look_alive decided to make use of the good stick she'd found and make some Art in the sand. Meanwhile, [livejournal.com profile] shichahn and I found a dead surf scoter that had washed up on the beach and tried to determine the cause of death (COD: Unknown). In the end, it migrated into the centre of the Art, and "Scoter Injection in All Directions" was born (a work I most sincerely hope there are pictures of, for it is elegant in its simplicity and ground-breaking in its scope).

At this point in the afternoon, we were debating whether we could make it all the way to Astoria to see the sea lions, since there wasn't much point in going up there if it was going to be dark. We decided to give it a go (by which I mean [livejournal.com profile] look_alive declared herself to be a very efficient driver and then proved it). This is when it finally started to rain, but the only real effect this had was to cause rainbows that stalked us for 20 miles or so at a time. One particularly persisent rainbow evolved from a half-rainbow to a full-on double rainbow all the way across the sky (meaning: unknown). It later starred in the Sunset With sea lions by sticking prominently out of a boat.

So, in the end we did make it to Astoria, where we met (and mocked) a herd of sea lions (we're actually probably lucky they didn't take our challenges to their territory seriously. We were a bit... loud. I'm pretty sure the car ride had made us loopy.)

All in all, it was a fantastic trip, and we somehow accomplished more things that I'd even managed to think of doing. In fact, the only thing we probably should've done that we didn't was find food in Astoria, but not even the locals seemed to know where there were any "good places to eat." I suppose that will be an adventure for next time.

tl;dr Staple remover architecture. Topograhy! Food cart anarchy. How to kill a golf ball. Real seafood comes from the sea. Topography! I got a crew too (and we did a drive-by on Timbaland). Are you tired of the lj-user links yet? Water falls from the sky and off of topography. Water lurks on the shore. I get tired of the blow-by-blow and the language gets a bit out of hand. Squishy adorable sea things. Apocalypse dunes. Stalker rainbows. Where you can sea lions. (Also: topography!)

I've had "Pete Wentz is the Only Reason We're Famous" in my head for like, four days WHAT HAVE YOU DONE, [livejournal.com profile] look_alive?!

From: [identity profile] zolac-no-miko.livejournal.com

Appropriate icon is appropriate


ME. ME. IT WAS ME. I ATE THE BUCKET. :DD

*cough* I'm pretty sure we decided to call it "Scoter Injection in All Directions". ...PUT A BIRD ON IT AND CALL IT ART!

I'M NOT STREET BUT I DO WHAT I GOTTA DO, SO WHAT YOU GOT A CREW, I GOT A CREW TOO, I'M NOT STREET BUT I DO WHAT I GOTTA DOOOOOO~!! ...Goddammit, I so did not have that song stuck in my head, until I saw your post fffffffffff-

...I'm really quite pleased. I think we managed to do the perfect three-and-a-half day whirlwind Portland/Northwest Oregon tour. Downtown Portland, The People's Sandwich of Portland, Powell's Books, Voodoo Doughnuts, conveyor-belt sushi, the 4-T trail, Council Crest, the OHSU tram, the Multnomah County Library, food carts, Pioneer Courthouse Square, the Umbrella Man, Jake's Famous Crawfish, Portlandia, Uwajimaya, Burgerville, Mt. Hood (with proper snow), the Timberline Lodge, the Hood River Valley, the Columbia River Gorge, the Historic Columbia River Highway, Multnomah Falls, Vista House, the Willamette Valley, the Coast Range, the Pacific Ocean and Oregon Coast, Seal Rock, the South Beach Fish Market, Cape Kiwanda, Astoria, sea lions, topography, temperate rain forest AMONG OTHER STUFF... yeah, that's a hell of a lot of landmarks and iconic destinations and other iconic things in a very very short period of time. The only way we could've done better is if we'd had another two or three or four days, for Silver Creek State Park, Central and/or Eastern Oregon, and hey, there's that Crater Lake place, that's pretty awesome....

IT WAS HELLA FUN I'M GLAD YOU WERE FINALLY ABLE TO VISIT! ...NEXT TIME HAWAII!! :DDDDD

...

BORK BORK PPPBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBTTTT BLORK BORK BORK

From: [identity profile] evilhippo.livejournal.com

Re: Appropriate icon is appropriate


I was going to respond with "appropriate icon is appropriate!" and then I noticed that was already the subject of your reply. Which doesn't necessarily mean that it doesn't need to be reiterated, I suppose, because it is true.

Anyway!

The title of the Art has been corrected. I think I may have been thinking of In Every Direction (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q7yaHnUPJLE) by Junip (which references feathers and being in the center often enough to be relevant).

When you line everything up like that, we did an amazing amount of stuff in just three and a half days, even if you discount our drivebys. No wonder I was exhausted when I got back (every time I sat still for more than five minutes I fell asleep. I also had a recurring dream that Dar was driving the plane). (-:

I'M SO GLAD I FINALLY CAME! It actually took me a full day to hate my job again, that's how awesome it was. (-; And yes, Hawaii is so on the list... but I'm going to have to take over an airline or something so I can engineer a way that I can afford the tickets. (Darnit, islands!)

From: [identity profile] zolac-no-miko.livejournal.com

This icon is ALWAYS appropriate to my life.


I was waiting for you to post so I could use it. XD; Your icon is also appropriate! Although in a more general sense, regarding your life, rather than specifically this particular episode. Not that there was much plot happening, per se, but at least there were recurring themes.

How's this for a plan... buy a one-way ticket, and then stay forever hijack a plane on the flight back... worse comes to worst, you get put up for free in a very nice prison with plenty of time to write, and you don't have to go back to work. ...Yeahno, you really ought to consider staying forever. Better food options than the prison, for one.

From: [identity profile] evilhippo.livejournal.com

I am out of appropriate icons


I feel like the hijacking plan suffers from an even bigger flaw... in that I kind of need to buy the ticket first to even get on the plane. Unless I become super-stealthy and manage to sneak onto the runway and then attach myself to the plane with suction cups and then invisibly phase through the side and into an unoccupied seat... And if I'm going to go through all that trouble I might as well just get myself an oxygen mask and some superglue and stay on the outside of the plane in the first place, avoiding prison altogether (assuming, of course, that I'm equally super-stealthy on my exit from the airport, and that I don't fall into the ocean, and given my track record so far, I think maybe the best course of action would just be to stay in Hawaii. You'll take care of me, right?)

From: [identity profile] look-alive.livejournal.com

I'd like to second the sentiments of Ange's icon.


At your request, have some photographic evidence:
SCOTER INJECTION IN ALL DIRECTIONS!!!


Last week was SO MUCH FUN. GUH.

...How the crap do you have Pete Wentz Is The Only Reason We're Famous stuck in your head? I played it like, ONCE.
Or, alternately,
AHAHAHAHAAH YEEEEEEAH. CATCHY, INNIT?

From: [identity profile] evilhippo.livejournal.com

Re: I'd like to second the sentiments of Ange's icon.


I'm currently weighing the consequences of making that my background at work. It's really tempting, but I know I'm going to have to explain it at some point... I'm pretty sure no one will put two-and-two together about the syringe circle, but how do I explain the scoter? (Other than "it's just resting.")

The lyrics to the chorus were kind of ridiculous enough that they stuck with me, I think? I don't even know, it's just there.
.

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