As I write this, I am sitting in the Portland airport. I presume that when I post this, I will be in Denmark. However, this is the first part of my posts about my weeklong trip to the Oregon Coast for my family reunion.
The goodbyes for this trip were the final goodbyes for eleven months, so it was rather intense. I spent the last day with Megan, and together we got bitten by many mosquitos at Dunton Locks during a hike. I had my last breakfast panini from La Barista, and bought my first anti itch cream ever, despite having lived in Minnesota since I was two. After some cuddling with her adorable dogs, I drove away, the radio starting to play “So Alive” as soon as I got in the car. It was time to say goodbye.

 

The next morning I woke up at 3:30  a.m. to start driving to Oregon. Since my dad and I had to make it to Billings by 1:00 p.m. their time, we stopped a total of three times taking about fifteen minutes total. I did not have any reading material, so I took three naps, despite not being a nap person. After picking my cousin up in Billings, I proceeded to take another nap.

 

My dad dropped me off in Butte, MT where I proceeded to drive to a hotel in Washington with my aunt and two cousins. By that time we gpt to sleep in the hotel, I had been up for 22 ½ hours. I fell right asleep, and awoke the next day ready for an adventure.

 

I ended up going to breakfast alone the next morning, and due to the limited seating, I was got to sit next to a very sweet Chinese family. I love making new friends, and these new friends were nothing short of super sweet. They even shared their waffle with me, and I now still have contact with their daughter.

 

After eating breakfast, my aunt and two cousins and I drove out to Washington. This started with me driving a bit on the freeway, which I hadn’t successfully done before. I ended up driving near the Columbia river for a bit, which was quite beautiful.

 

I drove about a third of the way, and my aunt took over after that. It turns out that driving on the freeway can be quite exhausting, so I took yet another nap near Tacoma. Nothing eventful happened except seeing an actual spa for dogs in person, after seeing an ad for it on Facebook. Our last stop was for a few minutes at the Oregon border, and it was nothing short of gorgeous.

 

We made it in time for our first dinner at the family reunion. I was nothing short of a car zombie at that point and was very grateful for the nice sleep I had that night.

 

The next day was quite the hiking day. In the morning, my cousins Sam and Elizabeth and I decided to go on a walk around the bay with my relative’s dog, Kirby. Kirby had a whole lot of fun, as well as the rest of us, as it’s not every day that you get to walk on spongey sand.

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Kirby and I weren’t done with our adventures for the day. My Aunt Lynn B, Aunt Tanna, cousin Xander, Kirby and I all headed over to Ecola State Park. I’ve done this hike before, but the weather was perfect this time, and it was even prettier than I remembered. I also got to do most of the hike holding the end of the leash of a beautiful dog, which never hurts.

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Our adventure that day ended with a stunning walk along the beach. I ended up taking a lot of pictures, which turned out pretty phenomenal.

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The next day, I woke up early to make a lot of cinnamon rolls for everyone with my cousins Sam and Jerry. Jerry is quite the baking chemistry expert, and so we applied a new method for having the bread rise. Not having much previous baking experience, this was very new to me, and I learned how to make the best cinnamon rolls I have ever had.

 

Since Sam and I spent so much time making cinnamon rolls, we headed out a bit later than everyone else to Short Sands Beach with his parents and sister, Elizabeth. My Uncle Angus stalled us even more by purchasing a crabbing license.

 

This delay turned out to be a blessing for us. By the time we got there, the previously rainy weather had turned into beautiful, clear weather. Everyone else had left already, but we stuck around for a little while because it was just too pretty to leave. After exploring the rocks, I brought out my new camera while wandering in the ocean.

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After we got back, I brought up the idea of going to the beach that was nearby in Gearheart. A bunch of us ended up going, and the first thing I did when I got there was go on a nice run with Kirby. I realized that there isn’t much more freeing than running as fast as you can along the beach with a dog. However, there were elk around, which Kirby sure noticed. Kirby had to go back early while I went almost all the way into the ocean with my cousin in laws.

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The next day involved another hike around lunch time. This hike was to the same beach, and was a bit shorter than the first hike. It was pretty fun, and involved walking through wild flowers and climbing through the base of a tree with a hole in it.

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Later that day my cousin Elizabeth. The house they were staying at was absolutely perfect for a tea party, from the player piano to the perfectly kept garden. The treats that we had were absolutely delicious, as well as the tea.

 

That night, my dad came. I was very happy to see him, as I would head off to Denmark soon. It would be our last day together.

 

I relaxed and packed the next morning, preparing for the big hike ahead. My father, his brother Angus, my cousin Xander, and Sam and Susanna and I had decided to hike up Saddle Mountain. It ended up being a rather fast, hard hike that I would feel on my flight the next day. I wouldn’t have rather spent my last day any other way!

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Yes, we actually hiked up that. It was very steep.

My last night was spent eating the best guacamole and driving to Portland the next day. That adventure, my friends, will be told in my last Wave Column I believe.

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