Day One: Portland to Williams, Oregon

My alarm goes off at 7:50, but like most days lately, no matter what time it’s set for, it takes me about thirty minutes to get up. I lay in bed and check email as Brie continues to sleep undisturbed. I have a pingback awaiting approval from a website I’m not familiar with. Pingbacks are these notifications on WordPress, my webhost, telling you when someone has linked a page from your website to theirs. I check what’s been linked and a random woman has written an entire article grossly misinterpreting a piece I wrote, Fat Woman Falling. It’s fake sympathetic, off-the-mark about everything I actually wrote, focusing on what she perceives as my body shame and it accompanies no less than a dozen truly awkward photos of her thin, socially-acceptably attractive self working out. Whatever horror I was feeling evaporates as I look at a couple more things on her website: more of the same weird articles about what she incorrectly deems “body-positivity” and weird selfies accompanied by fat-positive hashtags. No comments or likes on any it. I can’t really get it up to give a shit, which is refreshing because lately I care too much about everything.

I get out of bed, finally waking Brie, and put on my beloved camping dress. Yes, I have a camping dress. It’s nothing special, just a black, stretch cotton, two-strap, mid-thigh length dress with an empire waist. It’s super comfortable, passes for cute and I’ve worn it on pretty much every camping trip for the last three or four years. We have a goal to be out the door by nine AM, which is lofty for us and our night job lifestyle, but we actually do it. I mean, we still have to go grocery shopping for the weekend, which almost always sends me into an anxious, agoraphobia spiral, but as I carry all of the stuff down the four flights of stairs to my car, I notice that my normally pain-bogged body feels kind of… not terrible. Grocery shopping is quick and easy, Brie and I are on the same page despite our still uncaffeinated, early morning selves. Our camping trip bodes well! Continue reading “Day One: Portland to Williams, Oregon”

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Dalles Mountain Ranch

  • Level: Easy (Beginner level: challenging)
  • Length: ~5.5 miles
  • Elevation: >1,000 ft. gain
  • Type: loop
  • Open: all year, peak wildflower time is mid-April to mid-May
  • Permit: Discover Pass or $5
  • Drive time from Portland: 1h30m
  • Google map: “crawford oaks trailhead”
  • Features: Eastern Gorge, spring wildflowers, waterfall

Every day that has passed in the week-and-a-half since I did this trail, I’ve felt like I was hoarding it. It was so unbelievably beautiful. You must go before the flowers go to seed and it gets too damn hot. There’s very little shade and it’s been so gross in Portland that I wasn’t even thinking about sunscreen yet and got pretty badly burnt. WEAR SUNSCREEN. Continue reading “Dalles Mountain Ranch”

Where Have I Been?!

What a Year, Amiright?

If I counted how many times I’ve tried to write this, I’d probably be somewhere in the dozens by now. Unfortunately, writer’s block doesn’t idly pass so I’m posting anyway. I’m still depressed, but I’m not as depressed as I was. The little microcosm I exist in won’t let me be. Good things keep happening to me. And one bad thing. I wake up feeling like garbage and then I check my email and someone wants to interview me or have me on their podcast and I feel like I’m never doing enough to be having these opportunities extended to me, but here I freaking am. Any healthy, rational person would tell me these things are not just happening to me, I’m making them happen. The generous people seeking me out do not have the wool pulled over their precious eyes. I’m actually doing something interesting and cool and people are finding out about it and isn’t that exactly what one hopes for when releasing their work to the world? Yeah, woe is… me?

Alright, let’s just get this part out of the way and quickly: 2016 was garbage. A dumpster fire, as the internet is saying. A continuous heartbreak skipping like the Faith record I’ve had since 1987. I was five and I still remember my mom buying it from the Target on Broadway before Target became cool. I refrained from making arching statements about the year itself while it was still 2016 as if to deflect it’s powers, but we’re now on the 2017 side of things and I can talk as much shit as I want. However, I’m not going to. I do all of the time and will keep doing it, but I can’t right now. We all know what is happening. The White People’s President is doing all of the things he said he would and more. What was that so many people said about how he couldn’t do those things because they’re unconstitutional? Do I need to remind anyone that words matter? Words Will Haunt You Down. Continue reading “Where Have I Been?!”

Hollenbeck Canyon (San Diego)

  • Level: easy (Beginner level: challenging)
  • Length: 4.6 miles
  • Elevation: 774 ft. gain
  • Type: lollipop loop
  • Open: all year
  • Permit: n/a
  • Google map: “Hollenbeck Canyon Wildlife Area”

My favorite trail when I’m visiting my family in San Diego. It’s only twenty minutes from their house, but the quiet, desert farmland makes it feel far away. The particular route I like to take makes a lollipop loop (mostly an out and back with a short loop in the middle), but there are many trails in the area if you want to piece your own creation together. Apparently, in winter, which hardly exists in San Diego, it can be luscious and green with waterfalls, wildflowers and actual creek crossings. I’ve never seen it like this, though I’ve gone at different times of the year. Continue reading “Hollenbeck Canyon (San Diego)”