Monday, August 31, 2009

Rainy, Sue, and Aunt Leana

It seems like the L-rd has seen fit to fill my life with people of extraordinary proportions. The majority of my female friends are either 5’1” or 6’ tall. Kait definitely falls into the latter category, along with her sister Michelle. I met Kaitlin in 2007 when I was river guiding for the JH Ranch. She was one of my favorite campers, and one of the only ones that I stayed in contact with over the past two years.

We spent most of a day playing with ferrets, eating spaghetti, playing Halo 2, and touring downtown Portland. As I have said, I am not a city person, but walking around town is always more fun when you have a giant walking next to you, especially if that giant happens to be wearing a hot pink shirt and some sweet sunglasses.

I only stayed in Portland for two nights before I began my trek back north, around the Olympic Peninsula.

There are a few places that stand out to me as the prettiest places I have ever been. Among them are Denali and Valdez Alaska, the coast of northern California, the alpine lakes of Yosemite and northern California, and now the Olympic Peninsula. Because of the incredible amount of rainfall and cloud cover, the Peninsula is one of the greenest places I have ever been. The trees are tall, dark, and covered in moss, which, incidentally, is covered in more moss.

The coast is even more incredible than the forest. The sky is always overcast and full of hazy fog so that the sun is just a soft white spot, hovering in the pure white sky over the soft, foamy waves. The beach starts as imposing evergreen forest, marked at its boundary by the bleached skeletal remains of fallen trees, which fade into smooth, flat stones and finally dark sand.

It was the beauty of this shore that made me decide, for the second time on my entire trip, to actually pay money for a place to stay. As I pulled into the campsite, I was met by a trio of ladies coming from the Senior Olympics in San Francisco, but these were not your typical seniors. Because of the limited number of sites available, we decided to share a site, which ended up costing me $2. After they were done feeding me bratwursts and lentil soup, we sat around and talked about out travels.

These ladies have been all over the country, often traveling in their RV to a central location, and then touring around on their motorcycles. Aunt Leane told me stories about meeting biker gangs on the road, while Rainey talked about doing the triple jump, and pole-vaulting. Aunt Leane also took the time to show me Jupiter and its three satellites, which you can see clearly through her Bushnell 10x50 binoculars.

It was such a blessing to have these ladies treat me like “Cousin Andrew” for an evening. I love how often the L-rd shows me kindness through people.

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