Continuing my long overdue (by 1 year!) trip report from Oregon on this “flashback Friday.” 🙂
I slept great (nearly 9 hours of glorious, uninterrupted sleep!) Don’t remember breakfast, but I do know we stopped at REI for a look around. I bought a PCT pin and more Nuun electrolytes. I would have LOVED to stay in Bend longer, and explore the surrounding areas–especially the trail next to the Deschutes River, right by our hotel! My legs were dead though, from all the hiking up and down mountains.
I know Bend is a very trendy city with lots to do and great places to eat. I hope to return for a longer visit someday!! Perhaps when the craziness going on in Portland is resolved!
We headed north, through the Mount Hood National Forest:
Soon we came to Bridge of the Gods, an important landmark on the PCT–the end of Oregon, and the beginning of the last state on the trail, Washington. I pictured our cousin Cole arriving here in a few weeks, pumped to have another state checked off his journey! From here, it’s about 500 more miles through Washington state, to Canada.
We parked, ate some wild blackberries from the nearby bushes, and looked around for a bit.
From there, we paid a small toll ($2) to drive across Bridge of the Gods. We took the scenic Route 14 over to the city of Vancouver, Washington, where we decided to have a late lunch at a Thai restaurant.
The food was an excellent change of pace from our freeze-dried meals and trail mix from the past week!
I had rented a lens for our backpacking trip and needed to ship it back, so we found the nearest Fex-Ex. For those who are curious, my lens rental was a Canon 16-35mm f/2.8L III–an excellent landscape photography lens! If you’d like to try a lens rental of your own, you can get $25 off using my referral code. I’ve used Lensrentals.com many times now, and have had a wonderful experience each time.
We still needed to kill time before our flights, so we decided to head over to the Oregon Museum of Science & Industry, aka OMSI. We were in rush hour traffic, and Portland traffic is slow to begin with, so it took awhile to get over there from Vancouver.
We definitely enjoyed the “Science behind Pixar” exhibit, and spend a long time looking at all the info there. I can’t remember how much time we needed to kill, but it was a lot 🙂 I believe Joel’s flight was at 10, and mine was at midnight or 1 AM.
Another cool exhibit was this Sabertooth cat:
After the OMSI, we still had time to spare, so we headed over to Salt & Straw, a famous ice cream place, so I could try one of their many delectable flavors.
As I waited in line for my ice cream, I received the first of many updates to my flight–delayed for several hours. Ugh… it’s gonna be a long night. I walked back to the car (Joel didn’t want ice cream, so he was waiting), and told Joel the news. I figured I’d just take a nap in the terminal while I waited for my now middle-of-the-night flight. After Joel’s botched flight experience from Sunday, I figured it was my turn to deal with airline drama.
We returned our rental KIA, and had plenty of time to check in and get to our respective gates. Since Joel’s flight was first, I dropped him off at security around 8:30 PM and decided to do a little shopping and find something to eat for a very late dinner.
After this, my night took a turn for the worse. As I waited in line for security (since the Pre-Check line was sadly closed), I received an alert that my flight was now scheduled for 8 AM. Nooooooo! The thought of spending the night in the terminal sounded pretty awful, so I knew what I needed to do. It was my turn, at that very moment, to walk through the body scanner. I asked the TSA worker if I could turn around and exit, since my flight was now delayed until morning (I didn’t want it to look sketchy if I just suddenly left the screening area). He said, yes go ahead. I had the bare essentials in my bag (lessons learned over many, many flights), so I got on the Marriott app and found their nearest hotel to the airport: the Sheraton.
Thankfully they had a room available, so I booked it on the app, texted Joel what happened, and headed out to the hotel shuttle area. I found the Sheraton van right away, and after a short drive, found myself waiting–yet again–for a room. The man couldn’t find the reservation I had just made (of course, there’s always some hiccups). I finally got to my room, brushed my teeth, and went straight to bed, with my alarm set for 5 AM. I had to call Javi and wake him up, to tell him not to go pick me up in the morning from the Greensboro airport.
In the morning, I found my flight had been moved again, and was now at 11 AM! Ughhhhhhh. I couldn’t fall back asleep, so I went down to the hotel restaurant for a leisurely breakfast.
Without any swimsuit or workout clothes, there wasn’t much else to do but go back to the airport and wait. I thought maybe I could score a better seat.. and I was right! It took a little pressing the American airlines agent, but I was able to get an upgrade to First class for $80. I waited HOURS which for me felt like an eternity. I had been gone nearly 6 days and wanted to get home to my family!
To wrap it up: first class was AMAZING (the drinks and warm chocolate chip cookie were super enjoyable!), but since my flight from CLT to GSO kept getting bumped, I told the family to just come pick me up in Charlotte, and I’d worry about my bag later. I think I arrived at 7:30 PM, a full 12 hours later than I was originally scheduled. It was AWESOME to see the family again!! The next day I went back to Greensboro airport to retrieve my bag (and very smelly clothes!) What a journey!
Not sure when I’ll be back to Oregon, but I hope to travel to the west coast in the next few years for some Track & Field spectating, mountain climbing, hiking, or all the above!