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I Go to Oregon and They Go to Cottage

 

I had to get back from Little Chute just to fly out to Oregon for another shoot out there.

This was after also doing an overnight shoot in Worthington, MN.  

 

Meanwhile, we had left Meadow in Little Chute during the week. Theo and I headed to the cottage to pick her up.  Still winter up here. 

Theo looks so cute in the Stormy Kromer hat. 

There's still ice on the lake with a few open spots of water. 
 
 

 
A lot of restaurants in the area close for "spring break" when it's the slowest time of year for tourists. This is my favorite time of year because there is no one else up. After searching we finally found a restaurant that was still open for a couple more days, Pitliks. 

An older man came in wearing his Stormy Kromer hat and had to come over to talk to Theo. He said his was from the 1940's. Maybe someday our great grandkids will still be wearing this hat.

I think Pitlik's is my favorite place for fish fry. Homemade pasta salad and mashed potatoes. Most places just give you coleslaw. 

We stopped at Trigg's on the way home and both kids squeezed into the car cart. 

Whenever Meadow spends time in Little Chute without us she gets spoiled by Gigi and her aunts. She got matching pajamas for her and her American doll. 

As usual there's belated gifts to exchange. Theo got Bowser's ship from Chelsea. After seeing this on Harvey's wishlist he wanted one too.
 
 Back to Scott's adventure.
 
This time I arrived early in Portland (via Seattle) and spent some more time exploring the city. I had been recommended the Nob Hill Bar and Grill by our realtor. 
 
Next time he gets more than a weeks notice we need to meet him out here.  

It hit the spot, but also got my heartburn raging.


Northwest Portland was much more interesting than the area near the airport I previously briefly explored.


Downtown was exactly what you'd expect with the homelessness that PDX has become somewhat infamous for.

I drove up to King's Heights at another friends suggestion in search of Forest Park.





Forest Park was magical. Suddenly I was in an almost mountainous old growth forest.



The trees in Minnesota and Wisconsin's Northwoods are massive, but these were towering in comparison.





After my hike I took the southern root to Bend via Santiam Pass.


Forest fires had taken out acres along the highway.
 
There was an eerie beauty.

I wasn't expecting snow to still be in the mountains. For the rest of the mountain pass it would be snowing.


I thought I was escaping the endless Minnesota winter.


Nearly in Bend the snow was nowhere in site. Want snow again? Drive up the mountains.

I was lazy and ended up getting the same pierogis that I ate last time in Bend.

I love pierogis.
 
Back in Three Lakes we took the snowmobile out for one last time this season. 


Look mom came outside and went on the swing?!

I talked Meadow into pulling me on my sled. I kind of regret not bringing my skis this weekend.

We picked up some Easter Egg dye the night before. I had never heard of foam coloring before.


After all the eggs were colored, Meadow wanted to finger paint. 

I'm digging the tie dye look. 

My dad has been busy finishing up the bigger bedroom upstairs.

When it came time to rinsing the eggs they lost their cool tie dye look, still something new to try.

Then we all went bowling. I think this was Theo's first time. He wasn't into the idea at first but once he rolled a few balls he was having fun. 

I was expecting this place to be empty like it's been other times we've come here, but we got one of the last lanes.




Was hard to get a pic but dad kept kicking out butts.
 

I woke up to snow all over my rental. I was worried the shoot was going to be postponed, but once I was in town at a ever so slightly lower elevation there was nothing more than sun and an occasional flurry. Another EarthCruiser shoot in the books.


 Apparently Portland had a big snowfall, it's first ever in April, back in Bend only the mountains had snow. Luckily my motel was right next to the Deschutes National Forest.

Back in Wisconsin, spring was starting to take over winter.

Technically this section was a dog park, but it connects with a bunch of hiking trails that lead back to Bend proper.

I ended up hiking to the Deschutes River and back.






My contact at EarthCruiser suggested I check Bangers and Brews for a perfectly Bend experience. Somehow I ordered mashed potatoes with the aforementioned banger while also ordering sweet potato fries. Whoops. Definitely on my list of places I'll return to next time in Bend.

Later I realized I could have just went out the back of the LOGE Bend motel parking lot and been connected to the same trail system.

I went back to the motel to check over my work. The winter weather advisory did not look good for getting back to PDX in a reasonable time. The north and south routes were supposedly going to be impassable. I was freaking out a little bit with daydreams of getting stuck in the mountains.

 So I decided on the route straight north to the Columbia River Gorge. This took me through some rad high desert along US 97 and 197.



Eventually I'd make it to I-84 at the bottom of the Gorge along the Washington/Oregon border. If there's snow in the mountains between Bend and Portland, 97/197 and I-84 are a good bet.

My buddy Tyler had mentioned this area as a must see and he wasn't kidding. I made my first stop at the Bonneville Lock and Dam. There's a historic fishery just down the road from the dam itself.


Then I stopped at the Horsetail and Ponytail Falls. You can't tell in the picture, but these are massive. Much like the forests, the waterfalls are also much, much taller in Oregon.
 
Definitely need to come next time.  

More forest fire damage was noticeable at Horsetail Falls.


At this point I was wishing Brooke and the kids were with me.



Apparently many more people stop at the even larger Multnomah Falls.

It's a chore trying to capture all 620 feet of the upper and lower falls. That's more elevation change than the highest and lowest points of Minnesota.


But don't expect big wide falls, these are skin-ny.

Apparently I had made too good of time getting back. So I stopped to eat at Dinner Bell Barbecue.

The plethora of good BBQ across the states is second only to the amazing spread of taqueria options you find across this mess of a country. What a delicious and confounding country we live in.

Afterwards I went for a walk around this northeast Portland neighborhood; exactly what you expect.

 
Until next time, Oregon.

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