With my sweetheart being very dedicated to her current dietetic internship and a lot of adventures that have happened this summer and early fall it has fallen upon me to write a little of our goings on.
Well because this summer was going to be Rachel’s last that she truly had free before work and family started to really take over our lives we decided to pack it full of fun little weekend adventures instead of just one big one. One quick disclaimer is that we had so many different adventures I may end up missing one or two so this should just be considered a summary and not a comprehensive list.
We started our summer by visiting an abandoned town that is legend at my place of work and a little of a legend within the state of Oregon. It is called the town of Valsetz. This town was once a logging community completely built and owned by the timber factory at the time. Due to heavy regulations in the state the mill closed and the company literally ripped up the paved streets and demolished the houses in 1984. I had heard so much about the legend that I wanted to visit is and hike around the area. It has reverted to the forest again and all that stands are some hard to find road remains and a foundation for a portion of the mill.
Soon after this time, and I am still not very sure how I did it, I was able to convince Rachel to try some “trail” riding. The idea of throwing the words “mountain” and “bike” together didn’t sit well with her so we changed the wording around to make her more on board with the concept. She had her first experience just before her graduation in the McDonald State Forest. I found a relatively flat six mile loop and we completed it! While we have only gone a couple of times that was two more times than I was expecting and it was a blast!
We recently got some sweet canoe holders for our car so we can comfortably carry the boat around and not feel like we are hanging on for our dear lives. So we multiple times took my parent’s canoe out for a spin and tested some of the many surrounding waters in the area. During the 4th of July we even went down to the Cottage Grove area to canoe across Dorena Lake and then cycle the Row River Trail which we had done the previous year.
It was around this time that Rachel kept pressing me to try some motorized fun and we again used my parent’s equipment and borrowed their four-wheelers. That was a blast from which Rachel confided in me that she wanted to get her motorcycle endorsement and license. Needless to say that she is now endorsed and licensed to ride a motorcycle and I am not! Yes, I need to get myself in gear and hurry up to be endorsed.
I would be remiss in my duty to write this that while there are many things that Rachel has not done in her life there were a couple that I knew that I needed to fix. The first being that during the summer Rachel informed me that she had never been to the east side of the state. That had me completely shocked that she hadn’t seen Bend or other beautiful areas and played over there. I found a place, out of the many, that I hadn’t been to and we took off. We decided to visit Smith Rock Park to do some cycling and some hiking. It was beautiful weather and another great adventure.
Possibly even more exciting was our trip to go fishing. Yes, you understood me correctly that she had never been fishing in her life. So as a graduation present I got us a couple of seats on an ocean chartered boat to do some rock fishing. I went this route for fishing because I wanted to make sure that she got to actually catch something and not just wait around for a bite or two. We ended up catching quite a few fish and sharing the wealth with family and friends. We had such a blast even if by the end of the trip we were both puking our guts out and glad to be back on land. We have since turned the fish that we did keep into some delicious homemade fish sticks. Rachel is an awesome cook so of course they tasted great!
Our last adventures of the summer and fall involved a lot of great hikes and views for us. We spent some time hiking in the Molalla forest area. There are a lot of multi-use trails for hikers, equestrians and mountain bikers. It is on my personal list of cycling places, but a really fun place that is well marked for hiking. We also played around the Mount Hood area as well, but for us everything that we had done paled in comparison to the hike we had at the tail end of August.
One of the areas that I occasionally get to visit with in my job is a town called Detroit. It is a very small town of just a couple hundred people with a reservoir that many visit from all over the state to enjoy. It is in a deeply wooded area in the foothills of the Oregon Cascade mountain range. I have never really gone hiking in this area, but some small walks along with photography and wanted to see what the area could offer for the both of us. I found a hike on some BLM/Department of Agriculture’s websites and decided to try it out. We do a lot of our adventures just with some guess work, showing up and hoping for the best. As we started the hike we began to admire the beauty of the trees and the surrounding landscape. Little did we know that just about a mile into it we would be stunned by gorgeous vistas, hidden lakes, small meadow streams and brilliant wildflowers. While it was only an 11 mile hike roundtrip we both agreed that we would come back to do some camping and that it was by far the best area and hike we had ever been on. While we will include some photos, they can only go so far as you really have to be there to feel the vibrancy of the surroundings.
I will conclude this part of the Elzinga blog by saying congratulations that you have made it to the end. It was a great summer with many more on the horizon!