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Posts tagged ‘Oregon’

Forgetting the Taxman

Today we paid our 2015 taxes – ouch!

To quickly move past the pain of writing checks to Uncle Sam and the State of California, we hiked a lovely coastal trail in hopes of losing ourselves in more of this beautiful Oregon coast.

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Thank You Fortuna

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Over the weekend we relocated from Alfred A. Loeb State Park to Harris Beach State Campground, a quick 20 minute drive away.  Reservations are not accepted so I was a bit nervous taking a chance at this park, especially since we would be surrendering such a great spot – one we could have kept another seven days before exceeding the maximum stay limit.  Nevertheless we decided to risk it.

The picture above confirms that Fortuna (Roman Goddess of chance, luck and fate) must have been rooting for us, as we managed to snag this sweet ocean view site … on a Saturday morning no less!

Once settled, we took advantage of low tide, walking the beach with Lilly – who immediately began to frolic in the waves, something she tremendously enjoys and which always make us smile.

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Window Office

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We’ve settled nicely into our Oregon state park campsite.  And, as evidenced by the picture above, there has been no complaining about the office views.  In fact, it will be a damn shame leaving this serene site when we move onwards to the next place.

But then again, this is Oregon and there is no shortage of spectacular.

 

Oregon!

Just when I’d grown tired of pumping my own gas … Oregon to the rescue.

I’d been looking forward to spending extended time in this Pacific Northwest wonderland for years and today we said goodbye to California and crossed into Oregon – one of my favorite places.  Almost instantly my mood improved .. the air smells better, the water tastes better, and thanks to Oregon State Statute 480.330, I have an extended break from pumping my own gas.

Today we drove about 2.5hours to north into Brookings, a small(ish) town just across the CA/OR border and settled in at Alfred A. Loeb State Park, a few miles outside of town.

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While always subject to change, our plan for now is to remain in the state through end of July; a rough travel outline is pictured below (clockwise).

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PCT

Kelly and I both took Friday off from work, and amongst other things, our plan was to find a nice morning hike.  Following an unnecessarily lengthy review of potential candidates, we settled on the Pacific Crest Trail.  Sure, the logistics of driving only 15 minutes to the nearest trailhead could not have been easier, but in actuality, its hard to feel that we actually ‘settled’.

The PCT is the most widely used north/south long-distance hiking trail on the western portion of the United States,  and  those who choose to follow its path will view some of the most beautiful scenery there is to be seen.

 

Map of the PCT

Map of the PCT

With Canada and Mexico as bookends, the trail spans 2,663 miles through California, Oregon, and Washington and is closely aligned with the highest portion of the Sierra Nevada and Cascade mountain ranges.  Not in a position to hike the entire trail on Friday, we spent three hours exploring an out and back section.

The trailhead we used for access was just off an old logging road and I’m guessing receives moderate usage.  We saw only one other party (two people total) which made for a very enjoyable morning on the trails.

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Cruel Irony

Like most days, Kelly and I worked all day.  Normally, this routine plays itself out as we sit in office buildings miles apart.  Here in the Airstream this week we sit at a table working 42 inches from one another, yet hardly exchange a word.  We are too busy pounding away at our laptops and remotely participating in meetings, all while bouncing in and out of instant message chat sessions with co-workers.

Sadly, I’ve accepted this mundane repetition of ours as the new normal … the quid pro quo of working for the man … we push the corporate rock uphill (a seemingly never-ending hill mind you) in exchange for a regular paycheck every two weeks.

Working remotely this week was supposed to shake things up a bit.  Alas, even here in our beloved Ashland, we cannot escape the whispers of work as it peaks over our shoulders, it’s stale breathe an unwelcome reminder of what awaits us back in California.

It is what it is I suppose.

And, it sucks.

Oh the irony – here we are situated smack in the middle of natural beauty.  Stunning 360 views abound and I hardly looked out the window.

On a more positive note, the day concluded in a lovely manner – Mother Nature gracing us with fabulous dusk lighting as the sun made its way elsewhere for the evening.

Our silver neighbors

Our silver neighbors

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Tomorrow is Friday and once Kelly and I close another work week, our first order of business will be to hit the town with Brian and Leigh; they too will likely be itching to step away from the responsibilities of the real world.

Surely they will be sufficiently bad influences … exactly what Kelly and I need.

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This Feels Right

On Monday Kelly and I drove about three hours, crossing into Oregon before settling-in for the week near the outskirts of Ashland.  The winding roads, luscious green pine trees, and alpine fog made for a beautiful drive.  If you are ever in the area, it is definitely worth diverting from I-5 and exploring the backroads of the national forests surrounding Mount Shasta.

Jackknifed truck outside of Ashland, OR

Passing a jack-knifed truck along I-5 a few miles south of Ashland, OR

We’re at Emigrant Lake currently, a location we’ve been once before.  It’s a fabulous spot, made even better as we’re here with friends Brian and Leigh for the week.  Our jobs require that we all remain busy with work during the day, but the change of scenery is welcome, as is their company.

My office view this week.

My office view this week.

Kelly and I adore Ashland; something about this place seems to fits us well.  It will be nice to share our time here with others who will appreciate all this great little town has to offer.

I wish every week was like this.