Curveballs at the Columbia River Gorge OR, and West WA

Who am I?

Searching For Happiness Tour: The extreme car camping adventures continue. As there is no end in sight for this pandemic, we are still trying to do the best we can with what we have. Being locked in a tiny dark apartment does not get any easier. Days start melting together, and I am really having a hard time telling the difference between a Tuesday and a Thursday.

To break out the monotony, as mentioned in the previous post, we started exploring around. We’ve only been in the Washington area for almost 6 months now, and I can proudly say that we’ve seen the coast, the east, the north, and a bit of Oregon. It has been quite a great way to see the Pacific North West while adding a bit of excitement to our lives.

So we decided to see the famous Columbia River Gorge. The plan was to spend a weekend hiking around to see the Oregon Scenic Gorge’s stunning waterfalls. After 4 hours of driving from home, we get to Ainsworth State Park. To find out that absolutely all hikes have been closed due to COVID. We get bummed out, go to our site and think of what to do.

We get a fire started (only coal is permitted, no firewood) and cook for hours. Wrap some corn, potatoes put together some skewers, and threw them in the fire. Little that we know, we spent 4 hours talking while drinking a nice bottle of Chilean wine.

Fast forward a week; we are in the car again. This time headed towards east Washington, Easton Lake. Beautiful scenic drive through mountains rivers and a quick stop at the tourist trap called Snoqualmie Falls. Hungry and looking forward to grilling some Salmon, we make it to the site. Now guess what, no woodfire nor coal allowed. Another freaking curveball. But this time, the hiking trails are open.

We get the tent going, fire up the jet boil, and prep a crappy dehydrated meal. We go for a hike in the beautiful iron horse trail. Busy camping site, empty trail.

If we have learned something in the last few months, it is that life is not linear. Things change all the time; you have to try to be flexible. Nothing is perfect, and like the great Elon Musk said, happiness is reality minus expectation.

One week, no trails, the other no bonfire or coal. We talked and learned more from each other in a 4-hour dinner. I keep reminding myself every day that life is full of problems. You get one, you solve it, learn from it, get into another and do it all over again, every single fucking day. Problem, fix, learn solution, repeat.

Thanks for reading and now get outside.

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Love

The Monkey.

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