Jake, Shannon, and I have safely returned from our camping trip. Jake's goal for this trip was to inner tube down the Deschutes River and if all went well- hit some whitewater. After pouring over multiple river books, he chose a patch of river and we embarked on the journey to find the spot. We arrived at the river-side camp (3 tent sites and an outhouse) after a REALLY long car ride through the valley, the mountains, the desert, and Bend. If you know Jake, you know that he has NO problem chatting up everyone he meets. So, as the girls set-up camp and snacked, Jake began introducing himself to our neighbors and fishermen in hopes of arranging some sort of transportation for our tube ride. Luckily, it worked out and the next morning we were in the back of a truck with 3 young fishermen.
They dropped us off up-river about 5 miles from the camp. Jake was hoping for an 8 mile drop, but we didn't complain. THE WATER WAS ICE COLD! Not far upstream this water passes through snowy peaks. So, we tied our inner tubes together and begin our frozen ass journey. Our initial conversations focused on how to stay as dry as possible. Due to my awkward klutziness, I flipped my tube within the first 5 minutes. EGADS! I managed to dive through the middle of my tube as it was flipping (a feat I could not duplicate)- so I stayed about 3% dry. Luckily, the sun was out and as the morning progressed it got really hot out! It was a 5-hour journey complete with many drinks and a picnic lunch. By the end we were ready to stretch and get off the tubes!
The next day we explored some lava tube caves. It was awesome walking through caves made by flowing lava. We also hiked around Smith Rocks (we would have climbed, but the car was jam packed by the time we loaded the camping and tubing gear) which is one of the most beautiful places in Oregon! It was a fabulous trip and Shannon got to experience many ecotones (we sang as we passed into each new one- an Environmental Ed Instructor joke- we are SO cool). Tomorrow Shannon and I are off to check out the Oregon Country Fair (hippie fest) and then to spend the night and a day at the Oregon Coast. On Sunday she leaves and I'm attempting to run in a Portland event called Run Like A Girl- if it's as fun as the name- it'll be great regardless of my running abilities :) So, that was my quick rambling about my current events :)