Friday, August 6, 2010
Oregon state- the green state
When we meet nice people along the way , it is always sad to say goodbye to them, and so it was a bit sad to leave San Francisco but the prospect of a few days alone on the west coast of the US seemed like a nice thing to do. We left the bay area and started to drive on the coast, direction RedWood national park. If you want to stick to the coast of the US you need to drive the 101 road which is quite spectacular but foggy this time of the year. The coastal area is not very populated; actually the whole west coast is much less populated than the east coast, that’s what the local people say. We managed to arrive to the Redwood national park, saw the elks…impressive animals and continued on the coast because we were expected in Grant pass the next day. In 2008 we met Do Lee in Greece. She is a 55 year old American lady, that smokes pot and has quite a tumultuous life. The time we met her in 2008 I had the feeling she is a bit strange, but now meeting her again she seemed almost the same. She left America for Greece a few years ago, having divorced her third husband now she was living alone, taking care of a friend of hers who has terminal cancer. We spent in Do Lees rented flat about 2 nights, with very few moments of talking to her but much more shared moments with her ex husband Dimitri (who came to visit from Greece) and another women she met in town and whom loved to talk about her life, so from whom we learned many new interesting facts about the Americans or some of them were just confirmed.I was happy, or better say very happy to leave her house in Oregon because I need to fill myself with positive energy. I promised myself that this last part of the travel will be filled only with as much positive things as I can get so my mind and body are working against negative vibes.
Our adventure continued towards Crater Lake where we arrived Friday and where we spent the whole day driving around. The place is amazing, with incredible blue water, nice reflexions, a bit of snow. The only horrible thing is the mosquitoes and flies that make your stay an impossible experience. The aggressiveness of the insects must be explained through the hard and long winters with big amounts of snow covering everything so the few months of summer make them eager to sustain their life and energy by biting everything that moves and has blood. We spent just one day in the Crater Lake National Park, but I would say it is enough. In the evening we went down through the woods that extend for hundreds and hundreds of miles. Oregon in general is very green, low density of population and quite wild in the woods. Many poor people moved from big cities back into small abandoned wood houses in the woods and they live with less to nothing. We crossed some places through the woods with shacks, and homeless people and it looked quite weird and scary but seems that especially now with the crisis many more people go back to country side life. Saturday we arrived to Oregon City where Terry, a 60 year old American lady was expecting us. She owns a very nice house on a hill in Oregon City and offered us the nice bedroom of her daughter. We were hosted together with another Spanish girl who was was travelling for 2 months in US. We connected pretty well, had a nice dinner together and talked about travels, people, and couch surfing. It is amazing how much good it can do to travel like this, using CS and meeting local people. An average night in a motel in US is about 50$...like really cheap and weird places, so for us to spend 1500$ per month just for accommodation it cannot be. In the 2 months that we have been already in the US, we spent 20 days camping and the rest with nice friendly people, the number of our hosts rising now to 7. On Sunday we were expected at the house of Chris and Jen, in Portland, but in the morning me, Malen and Terry went out in east Portland to do some shopping, wonder through small shops and go to organic farmers market. It was a morning for the girls because Jan stayed home working on his computer. In the evening we left towards the house of Chris and Jen whom I was hoping to be a nice couple with whom we could spend some time together having a blast but I was surprised we had some difficulties to communicate with them at the begining. I always remember the great friendship with David and Maria and probably anything compared to them is just not the same. We spent three days at their house, sleeping for the first time on an extensible couch (still I must admit I had great sleeps). The first night I cooked some Spanish omelet that we enjoyed a lot and the next night they cooked for us 2 amazing pizzas.
Their hobby seemed to be cooking, but besides that they also were doing yoga. The second night we managed to discover that they are passionate table game players, so we began playing Carcassonne, and then Dominion (which I enjoyed quite a lot). The game captivated our time spent in the house so we managed to communicate quite well on that level. I suppose that for many people it is difficult to open to other people especially those who come from other cultures.
. During our stay at the house of Chris and Jen we went out to visit some parts of the city of Portland, but the more we try to visit the big cities of US the more it is confirmed to us that there is not much to see here.
To be honest both me and Jan think that the American cities are not so nice, still in Portland we could relax in the rose garden, where we spent an entire afternoon.
Also we did a day trip outside Portland, to mount Hood, quite a famous place for the horror film connoisseurs, because here is the place where they filmed Shining. After 3 nights spent in their house, we finished our stay there with a nice dinner and another game . It was again time to go on the road, this time towards Seattle but with 2 days camping trip to Olympus county and national park.