My first trip of the year is planned and booked. This trip is unique in the fact that I have never planned a trip so close to my departure time. This trip was part of another trip I was going to take in the Fall of 2014 but got canceled because the company I worked for went out of business. I was left with the decision of either going on the trip or paying my mortgage… decisions decisions.
I am always looking for a reason to visit Montana. It’s beautiful scenery, fast speed limits and well let’s be honest… the beer! My friend Jen, Boomer and I headed over to Helena in the morning last summer. It was a bit of a drive but we did not mind as we all love visiting Montana and we all love beer, Boomer included.
Every time I stop at the Kootenai Falls and Swinging Bridge my inner child comes out. Mostly because of the bridge, because who doesn’t like walking on a swinging bridge and purposely bouncing on it to make it swing… well I can tell you who doesn’t like it BOOMER!
I typically plan my trips a year in advance. In this case I had been planning my trip to Oregon for more than a year. I had dreamed of a vacation traipsing through breweries, sand dunes and plotting for a new place to live, targeting Bend Oregon, a town referred to as a Brewery Boom Town. How could I not fall in love?
I love lighthouses, specifically the black and white striped ones. Boomer and I had visited a few lighthouses while in Oregon but on this day we were visiting two in one day. Cape Disappointment is located at the mouth of the Columbia River, across the river from Astoria Oregon. I chose to visit the park mostly because of the intriguing name but also because it would ensure our passage across the Astoria-Megler Bridge.
One of the many things I love about Oregon is that they are very dog friendly. Most of their state parks allow dogs, which is handy because I travel with my dog. While planning my trip to Oregon I only had time for one park while in Astoria. It was between Fort Stevens State Park and the Lewis and Clark National Historic Park.
I love to learn about history while on my trips and while Lewis and Clark may be the more obvious choice I picked the Fort Stevens State Park instead. Why you may ask? Well because Boomer was welcome to join me at Fort Stevens, where as the Lewis and Clark National Historic Park, Boomer would spend his time waiting in the car.
Boomer and I sat out on our small hotel patio overlooking the bay and the Columbia River the last morning we were in Oregon. It was an overcast day and the river was calm. It is not always calm, however, as the mouth of the Columbia River that feeds into the Pacific Ocean can be treacherous. So treacherous that it has earned the nickname Graveyard of the Pacific. 2000+ vessels have met their fate while trying to cross the Columbia Bar since 1792.
Soooooooooooooooooooooooo…. you may have noticed I had stopped my beer inspired food series for about 3 months, until the reprise last week. Well there was a reason. Remember when I told you I had lost my job earlier this year? I had indicated in that post that I was working on a project but was not going to reveal it until it was ready.
Well it’s ready.
I took Boomer to the ocean for the first time last year and he freaked out. Most likely because he had never seen a body of water that big and then add in the huge waves to go along with it, you can probably see why he was scared.
While in Newport Oregon we stopped at the Yaquina Bay State Recreation Site and I took Boomer to the ocean again. The ocean was old hat by this point and Boomer was no longer afraid. He chased the waves and tore through the sand like a dragster car taking off for it’s 10 seconds of fame. I don’t really blame Boomer; he had been stuck in the car for most of the day and to get out to stretch his legs probably equated to more fun than I could imagine.
Chicago had been on my list of places to visit for a long time. The cost of getting there and it being a gigantic city deterred me for many years but I am glad I got over my fears and took the trip. Although getting lost every day was frustrating I was able to find my way most of the time without help and that gave me confidence in my ability to travel solo. I will forever remember my trip to Chicago as it was a true adventure filled with public transportation mishaps, questionable weather and amazing architecture.