Anniversary & Shopping Adventures

Monday, June 27, 2016

Once again life has gotten delightfully crazy. In my last post I talked briefly about getting ready for my anniversary trip. We have since gone on said trip, and it was not so relaxing—but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

We left our apartment fairly early on the 16th—maybe like 8:30 or 9 a.m.
Someone needs to stop giving T-Rex caffeine...

It was going to take a while to drive from our apartment to Humbug Mountain State Park, even on I-5, but we allowed for even more extra travel time because we wanted to go see Prehistoric Gardens before setting up our campsite.

So we did. Can’t say I was super excited to see a bunch of cement dinosaur statues from the 70s, but Will had fun and we got to pose our T-Rex plushie a few places.

Afterward, the cashier in the souvenir shop asked me if I’d seen the bigfoot. Apparently it’s a new addition—just arrived a couple of days before us.

After that we went to the campground and set up our tent and stuff.

We had quite a bit of daylight left, since the trip was so close to the summer solstice, so we walked on the little beach by the campground.

The next day, the showers were a bit of an adventure. While I’d say that any shower is better than no shower, that by no means makes me a fan of campground showers. On the positive side, they were individual showers rather than group ones and the water was nice and warm, but the water shoots out of the faucet on those things in a solid stream, which then bounces off of your body and gets everything in your dressing area wet because there's no shower curtain. Fortunately I was already familiar with this from previous camping trips and managed to keep my stuff dry by hanging the clothes I would change into on the hook on the back of the door. It’s best to hang them in reverse order so that your undies, etc. end up where you can put them on first. The towel then goes over that. Shoes and toiletry bags, etc. are safest on/under the stool in the corner of the dressing area where the shower divider wall protects them from most of the back-splash. Unfortunately, I don’t have pics of this, but if you ever go to a campground with showers like this, I think you’ll understand what I mean.

Will had a substantially harder time with the showers than I did, not because of this, but because two days in a row he forgot to take a towel with him. The first day I brought him one (yes, I went into the men’s shower room. Fortunately, no one else was in there that early in the morning), but on the second I was still curled up in my sleeping bag…so he had to dry off with dirty clothes. Fun, fun. By the third day he’d learned his lesson and took a towel in with him. Third time’s a charm…

That day we drove down to Trees of Mystery. It was nice being able to breathe some fresh air and walk around. We walked the Kingdom of Trees and Trail of Tall Tales, rode the Sky Trail up to the observation deck, and went down the Wilderness Trail (which is crazy steep! I had to cling to the rope railing on the trail edge on the way down to keep from slipping—wouldn’t probably do that again). The gift shop seemed less impressive than when I was a kid (probably from the lack of cork guns), but the End of Trail Museum was totally rad. It’s chock full of awesome Native American artifacts. I wish I’d had more time there to read about stuff.

We survived, but I wouldn't do it again without some spiky shoes and trekking poles.

There are a bunch of carvings from Paul Bunyan stories on the Trail of Tall Tales, but this is my favorite.

The next day began with some thunder and a small downpour. We turned our folding chairs on their sides, packed up as much random stuff in the car as possible, and drove down to Gold Beach while we waited for Humbug to dry out. Gold Beach was fun. We walked around and visited some shops. My favorite things in the touristy gift shops were probably the crosses at the Rogue River Myrtlewood Gift Factory. They were gorgeous, but I didn’t buy one—I didn’t want one quite badly enough to pay what it would cost. In general I’m not really into gift shop rubbish, and nicer decorative pieces tend to be super expensive, so I had better luck finding “souvenirs” at thrift stores.

My thrift shop haul.

Apparently it was also citywide garage sale day, so we hit up 5 or 6.

Apples to Apples ($2), washcloths ($2), painted box ($0.10), book w/heavy paper ($0.10), headband ($0.05), lacy leggings & shorts ($0.10 ea), soap ($0.01--seriously).
We also went to Gold Beach Books. Can’t say we were too impressed with the place, at least not for the sort of nonfiction books I was looking for. Their used book prices were pretty steep and the store was huge, so there was nothing to prevent them from keeping a bunch of not-likely-to-ever-be-bought-type old books on the shelves, which made it difficult to find what you were looking for. Bob’s Beach Books in Lincoln City was better organized, though prices there were a bit steep for us too.

At some point we stopped into the library to to use their bathroom and wifi. I’ve been tracking my food, water, exercise, etc. with Cron-O-Meter recently and that’s been insightful. It’s helping me with portion sizes, but mostly I like how it shows a detailed breakdown of the vitamins and minerals in foods. It doesn’t do it for all foods—if you enter a custom food and just using the info on the nutritional label (or someone else has and you select it) it’ll only have that sort of info—but for most of what we eat at my house it works pretty nicely. I’ve determined that I should probably eat more legumes (especially lentils—those things are freaking magical), more vegetables (yes, even vegans sometimes don’t eat enough veggies), and something with more vitamins E and B5 (sunflower seeds and sunbutter look promising. I’m going to try replacing my peanut butter with that and see how I like it).

But anyway, I seriously love Curry Public Library. The kids’ and YA rooms are amazing. Unfortunately, it’s not part of the CCRLS library system (way too far away), so I couldn’t check anything out, but the chairs were really nice to chill in for awhile after walking a long way up and down a steep hill for a garage sale.

We spent some time hunting for a book that has been plaguing Will’s mind recently. He doesn’t remember the title but remembers what the cover looked like and he’s pretty sure it was produced/sold by Scholastic back when he was in 4th or 5th grade (2002-2004). I’m not too optimistic about finding it based on that criteria, but maybe someday we will. He says it shows a boy with a white band/belt or tied around his head and running away from a helicopter or some other authority figure. If you’ve got any idea what it is or have a lead that might help me to figure it out, please leave a comment! Apparently Will wanted to buy the book back in school but didn’t have the cash on hand that particular day. When he had the money and went to the book fair at his school later that week, the book was all sold out.

When we finished with our fun in Gold Beach, we drove back to the campground and the weather was much improved. There was plenty of daylight left, so we proceeded with our original plans to hike up Humbug Mountain. We took the shorter west trail up to the top and the longer east trail down. 
Lovely view from the west trail

Summit of Humbug Mountain. The view up there wasn't that great compared to the views on the trails.

Logs on the east trail fill in a rut/ditch that a stream wore away on the trail.

Logs on the east trail fill in a rut/ditch that a stream wore away on the trail.
The west trail probably had nicer views and benches, but there was a lot of lovely plant life on the east trail and overall I’d say the east trail was a bit less steep. Neither, however, were as scary-steep as the Wilderness Trail at Trees of Mystery (seriously, don’t do that one—you could die). In all, the trail up and down was about 6.5 miles. Between that and all of our gift shop/garage sale walking earlier that day, we felt remarkably good the next day—not too stiff or sore, but tired enough to sit still in the car on the way home. That evening we burned the last of our firewood and had foil-packet herbed vegetables for dinner. Mine got a little burnt, but not enough to make it inedible.

The next day we got up early and started packing up. By 8:10, we were in the car and on our way north. We took the scenic route (US-101) home so that we could visit Lee’s Chinese Restaurant in Lincoln city for lunch. We stumbled across the place on our honeymoon 3 years ago and loved it, then went again on our anniversary trip 2 years ago. Last year we didn’t get the chance to take a vacation, but at this point it’s basically an anniversary tradition. It was a little extra crazy because of Father’s Day, but we enjoyed our meal. I think they’ve changed their General Tso’s tofu recipe in the last couple of years. It wasn’t quite as good as I remembered (the sauce is thicker now and kind of fruity tasting. I prefer the Red Apple version), but that just means I’m free to try something new next time I go. Will got teriyaki beef, which had also changed (not as crispy as before), but which he still thinks is basically the best food in the world. We had to get him a second order to take home.
After that, we walked around in Lincoln city awhile, and we visited Bob’s Beach Books and bought a rain globe.

In the week that followed, I managed to get caught up on all of the laundry, shopping, cleaning, etc. that I’d missed. A stay-cation probably would have been more restful, but I think the trip was worth it overall. My favorite activity was probably the Mt. Humbug hike, but I also enjoyed Trees of Mystery and Gold Beach quite a bit.

Saturday we got up early and went to the Old Navy $1 flip-flop sale. In all we got 8 pairs—1 for will and 7 for me, because I don’t want to have to go again next year…or the year after.

I probably should have bought a bunch for Operation Christmas Child shoe boxes, but it totally slipped my mind! After that we went to Michael’s and got Will some thumbtacks to finish his Star Wars medal shadow box project.

We got the shadow box for $0.10 at a garage sale in Gold Beach—score!
Unfortunately, the guy who was cleaning the bathrooms at Michael’s kept getting called away to do other stuff, and we had to wait until REI opened. I was surprised how many people were there waiting for them to open, but they did open a couple minutes late. It looked like most of the people were on their way camping or fishing or hiking or something—lots of cars with kayaks and trailers and such. Will’s response? “I kind of want to go somewhere that the people don’t look like they could pick me up and throw me.” Yeah. Lots of fit people in front of REI.

Anyway, at REI I got to try on a couple of styles of Vibram FiveFingers. They don’t carry the styles that I’m interested in, but I think I’ve got a pretty good idea what size I wear now. I officially love the EU shoe sizing system—it’s the same for men’s and women’s shoes and so much less confusing! I think the men’s shoes might be a bit wider, but that’s about the only difference. I wear about a 40 in more typical shoes (boots, tennis shoes), but because the FiveFingers are supposed to fit like a glove, 38s seemed the best. Recently I found a workout that I’m really enjoying. It covers most areas of the body, so the day after I do it I’m moderately sore all over rather than being miserably sore in a couple of areas—hence, I am still functional and can even do said workout again the next day (waaaaaay better than when I was trying to do the Blogilates beginner calendar)! The hope is that a pair of FiveFingers would help me to take the workout outside without me totally falling over and landing on my butt. I’ll probably order some from Amazon next month.

While I was in magical shoe land trying these on, Will was out in the parking lot working a Craislist deal. His special keyboard randomly died when we left it behind and went on vacation, and he has been sorely missing it this week. After that we went grocery shopping, which was surprisingly painless considering that it was around noon on a Saturday.

Whew! It’s been a busy week. Have you gone on any special adventures lately? I want to hear about them! Leave a comment below to brag!

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