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I love my life! Taking my time, soaking in the sights and always taking the road less traveled.

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USA | Monday, 30 April 2012 | Views [1986] | Comments [1]

Welcome to the GOOD LIFE!

Welcome to the GOOD LIFE!



I've begun my Sunday morning in Starbucks. I love coming here to write in my journal! Their carefully chosen jazzy songs keep us patrons here long enough to purchase a beverage, and possibly a bite to eat. Yet not too long to overcrowd the place. LOVE IT!

Since Friday I haven't had a bed, nor have I had a dedicated toilet or somewhere to properly brush my teeth, prepare food or even... Wifi! But you know what? I love it! 

I just had to go to the potty and needed to ask someone to mind my laptop/bag. So I turned to the man in the wheel chair with an eye patch and asked if he wouldn't mind "watching my stuff." Hehehe, whoops!




So that all happened this morning at approximately 8am. I woke up to the sun pouring in through the windows of our Nissan Versa hire car. This morning was the second consecutive night that myself and Felix had slept in the car. 

It is currently Sunday evening and since picking up our hire car on Friday morning, I have had a blast... for the most part. 

Felix and I picked our 2011 model Nissan Versa at 7:30am Friday. It's a compact, swifty little thing; suitable for two guys to drive around in. The car was packed to the brim with all our bags, PB & J sandwiches (remember free bread!) and a tonne of enthusiasm. First stop was Cannon Beach...

It's a lonely planet.

I've heard many things about this place, so we drove West from Portland to check it out. Mind you we had no GPS or even a map. All we had was Felix's German Lonely Planet guide, and I only speak 4 words of German. NEIN, JA JA JA, SHIZZA and VASS KIDDD! 

Cannon Beach was cool, literally. It was actually really chilly, so no chance of a dip. Oh! And I just found out today that apparently one of the final scenes in "The Goonies" was shot on the beach? ANDDD, the school in the movie "Kindergaten Cop" is in the area... missed it!

Our destination point was Crater Lake, and we had a rough idea of where to go, but Felix wanted to drive down highway 101, which I was more than willing to do again. Last time with Kevein, Ev and Simon we sort of just zoomed down and missed a lot. So we stopped off everywhere and anywhere. I am a big fan of taking as many photos as possible; every possible perspective, vantage point and lighting angle. Felix on the other hand has one of those old school 80's cameras that use rolls of film. It's cool, but he is big on only taking ONE photo. Even if it's my camera, although I did still get some great snaps of the coast.

Raging Pacific Ocean.

It doesn't take that much to excite me.

Shit was going down.


Getting artsy.

Despite all the great scenery and beautiful observations on Friday. I must say that out of my MANY highlights, my favourite was my visit to...

New favourite hangout spot.

As you can see I had a ball. Absolutely love it! I purchased a $3.36 cap, best buy ever! There we numerous visits to Walmart on Friday and Saturday, not only to purchase some groceries, but to make use of their facilities... You'll see ahead.

Whilst driving on the road, there is very little to do when confined in such a little space. Fortunately, and unfortunately I ALWAYS pack enough food for a small army. So basically when I not driving, I am eating anything and everything I can get my hands on... Perhaps that is why I am starting to produce a little belly?

I almost forgot! The reason for the title of this journal entry... Being away from home has brought with it so many different first time opportunities. For example, the first time I did my washing. My first car accident. And nowwwww... Drum rolllllll... Here it is

First time speeding ticket. 50 miles in a 30 miles zone. Not impressive. But what is, is the fact I don't have to pay! :)

Notice how it says "VOID" through it? Using my gift of the gab, and borderline tears... I talked myself out of it. Yipee!! Although, I must admit, as he was explaining it to me and informing me that he could in fact tow the car and put in my jail, I nearly died. Now that I reflect upon it, he was just trying to scare the jeebus out of me... it worked!

First stop on Saturday morning was... The bathroom of Walmart!

Good stuff huh? I washed my bowl from my oats in that same bathroom, and dropped the kids off in that same bathroom as well! Oh how great it Walmart...

Like sleeping in the car wasn't enough, we were restricted to the Nissans uncomfortable seating positions for a while longer. Driving Eastward towards Crater Lake was nice, but tiring. More eating, Walmarting and driving. We stopped in a shifty little town for directions. It resembled something out of "The Hills Have Eyes" and everyone looked at us oddly.

Odd town.

Taking a pit stop. Felix and I.

Almost there. Pondering the mysteries of the universe.

Finally, we arrived in Crater Lake and truthfully, I had no idea what to expect. I had only wanted to explore, drive and see cool stuff. This was just a recommendation and boy oh boy was it spectacular!


One without me interrupting the shot.

I did inquire about going for a swim.

That's got to deserve a big FML.

Playing in the snow is fun, and it was cool the first time, but I must say I am rather over it. Especially when it gets in my shoes, but that's probably because I keep wearing shorts. Speaking of shorts, my formerly pristine white shorts are now disgusting! But that is okay, I will just go to Walmart and pick up a new pair.

Crater Lake was beautiful, I actually sat in the snow for a good 20 minutes whilst my butt froze and absorbed a few gallons of water. It was hard to leave, I didn't want to take my eyes off the big hole filled with glistening water. 

Found this spot on the way back.

It was called "Rocky Point"

We left at approximately at 3pm and drove all the way back up to Portland where Felix wanted to sleep in the hostel that night. That was not the case, it was full so we ended up sleeping by the side of the road, which was fine with me considering the $$$ saved. 

Felix insisted on grabbing some Wendy's for dinner because he felt that he MUST try it. What size do you think this drink is?

It's a medium. I cringed.




This brings me to this morning. We turned the lights out (in the car) at midnight after each consuming half a bottle of wine. I awoke twice throughout the night, which was a significant improvement on the previous night. 

I woke up at 6:50am. Once awake, I don't want to roll over and snooze more, ESPECIALLY in a little car. Plus, I am a man on a mission in the morning. My stomach is in need of nurturing, my bowels have been hard at work over the night and with the amount of fluids I consume, my bladder is borderline bursting! So I tried to quietly start the car up and drive to the nearest McDonalds... but in a 2011 Nissan, there are gadgets and lights and beeping things that I've never seen before in my prehistoric automobiles. 

Felix very grumpily awoke, my bad. I think it's rather funny how grumpy some people can, or WANT to be in the morning. For example, in Hollywood I was speaking with a lovely girl who worked at the hostel one evening. The next morning, I saw her having breakfast at a table by herself. I gave a half smile and went to join her. She basically told me not to talk to her in the morning and to F-off. Wowwwww. Talk about sleeping beauty hey? I think Felix was upset with me because he did not want to carry on to Mount. St. Helens today. He says he is a bit sick and what not. Hmmmmm.

Bed time. It's almost 12:30am and I am knackered. Will finish tomorrow :)





Gee wizz! This entry has taken over 24 hours. I suppose I need to catch up, and I won't be online from the 2nd of May - 12th of May. 

After I dropped Felix back at the hostel yesterday, I packed my bag full of sandwiches and fruit. I had some "fake meat" in my avocado, tomato and bread sambo.. Gross! 

Off I set, by myself. Quite honestly, I was a bit nervous and timid when I first set out. I had no map, no one to help me find my way, and I had gotten lost straight away! Weaving around the tight one way streets of Portland, quite fun. I eventually found i-5 and headed North. I got lost numerous times, but that didn't matter. I was having a blast! Asking locals, strangers and whoever for directions to Mt. St. Helens was great. It's amazing how many people WANT to help. Taking 20 minutes to explain and write down where I need to go. Telling my to follow them and they'll take me the right way. Even offering to let me have a shower in their house (that one was a bit weird, but it was obvious I hadn't showered in 2 days).  

Pumping my own music as loud as I could and singing at the top of my voice was super fun. Driving along the highway on cruise control was epic. I've never used this "cruise control" before, but boy did it make driving... senseless! I was having a great time on this solo-man road trip, so it was all hunky dorey. 

Eventually I found the first visitor centre. I was quickly informed that the Mt. St. Helens was closed for another two weeks due to the Winter and whatever else... Blah blah. Whatever. So I asked how close I could get and she said there was one more visitor centre 76kms a bit further down and from there I could do a little 2.5 mile hike. Yipee! Drove from Portland (approximate 3 hours) for a 2.5 mile hike. Nah, the drive itself was worth it.

Up and down the winding roads I went. Singing my heart out and stopping off every 10 minutes for a happy snap. Loved it! I really was my own boss, no one else to please, no one else to entertain. I was in a sense, on top of the world! (The mountain wasn't that high..)

Once I got as far as I could go, I jumped out of the car with a little bottle of water and went and got myself lost in the woods. It is so immensely gratifying to have NO IDEA where you are, no idea of your surroundings. LOVE IT!

I explored, took a few photos and bailed. Wasn't as impressive as Crater Lake the day before, but it was still marvellous to BE THERE. Just be there, where 32 years ago a volcano erupted.

I was happy being there, by myself.

Good times.

The cruising journey back was a bit tiring. So what do you do when you are tired? Take a nap. I pulled into Burger King and had a little sleep for 45 minutes. I think that nap in the car sealed the deal for me. There was no way I was sleeping in the car for the third night in a row. I said a quick prayer that there was room left in the hostel and zipped my way back. I got back to Portland Hostel at around 6:30pm and bounded into the reception area to secure a room for the evening. 

Whilst in the kitchen making a cup of tea I met a super cool principle from New Zealand by the name of Luke. Typical Kiwi fella, but very down to earth and chilled out. He has two terms off from work and is just "inspecting" other schools around the globe, specifically the states and Australia. He is a total computer wiz, loves all technology and gave me a tonne of hip hop/reggae/r 'n' b. As well as about 20 movies. Top bloke!

It was a late evening, but it was fun. It was hard to doze off last night I had money on my mind and my mind on my money. No, but my mind was racing and this has been recurring a fair bit lately. Not just a busy mind, but the fact that I DON'T want to sleep. I put my head down and just can't wait to get back out of bed in the morning. I don't want to lose time sleeping, but I understand that I have to and need to. So I sleep... enough to get by. I don't feel tired now, nor do I feel tired in the evening. I'm just having a blast and don't want to miss a thing!

This morning I got up at 6:50am again. I was to meet Felix and Luke in the kitchen so we could drop the car off and give Luke a ride to the Enterprise rental company so he could hire a car to go inspect some schools. I might try to tag along with him tomorrow... Hmmm.

Funny, Kiwi Luke ended up getting the same car we returned. I did one final fart in the car for him and we left. Since getting back to the hostel at around 8am this morning. I have devoured about two loaves of bread to myself, well close enough. I am bloated yet again, but that is okay. I'll go for a run in the rain later. It is now 10:30am and since this morning I have accomplished quite a fair bit, done my dirty washing for one. It's such an accomplishing feeling knowing that all my clothing is (reasonably) clean. Check out my shorts.... NOT THAT CLEAN!!! 

I am going to take a little group tour of the city at 1pm. It sounds promising, so who knows what'll happen after that. I am very excited for this Wednesday. I am heading to Onalaska for a 10 day silent meditation seminar. Get up at 4am and mediate for 10 hours of the day, I believe. It is called Vipassana. Check it out. ME SILENT FOR 10 DAYS?? Yep.


Patriotic yeah?

Done. I believe I am up to date. Everything over the past 4 days has been accounted for, I think. Time to get off my ass and DO SOMETHING. 

P.S. Happy birthday mum. You are still beautiful despite being over half a century old. All those vegetables you eat, which is all I eat now - you've instilled some colourful habits in me! 

Better (or a bigger plate) lighting would revel that there is brocoli, carrots, cauliflower, red onions, shiitake mushrooms, yellow capsicum, a big juicy yam and brown rice. OH and who can forget the tofu! 

Thanks mum.




Tags: cannon beach, crater lake, happy birthday mum, mt st helens, nutrition, peanut butter and jam, portland, sleeping in car, speeding, wendys



wow! Awesome! I love your pictures! so beautiful place

  Eunice May 3, 2012 8:20 AM



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