“The Summer of Never Say Never” Part II

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June 30th, 2018. Arrival day in Oregon. If you know, you know.

June 30th 2018- We woke up to the mountains on this day. After driving through them in the dark the night before, this new day brought sunshine and clear skies. The windows were open, and birds chirped peacefully outside. It was a true blessing, and I was overwhelmed with the inconceivable amount of beauty that the mountains posses. Mountains are almost gravitational; once you discover their beauty, your heart aches until you see them again. I gazed out the living room window, and as I scanned the horizon, a yellow hot air balloon peacefully emerged from a cluster of trees. Watching him ascend up into the bright blue sky gave me a feeling of contentment. After the yellow hot air balloon was out of sight, I woke Kian up so we could begin our travels for the homeland. Kian doesn’t wake up on his own. Once we were up and conscious, we said farewell to Tom and thanked him for letting us sleep on his couch. Just as typical Minnesotan’s, it took us a solid 15 minutes to actually say goodbye, but we eventually made it to the Focus and set off on our final leg of the journey. Ten hours until homeland.

The stop for Starbucks that morning was absolutely mandatory. Call me basic and all, but I certainly was not going to be able to drive another 10 hours on only 5 hours of sleep without my cup of “Morning Happy.” Venti Iced Caramel Macciato with 2 extra pumps of vanilla and extra caramel drizzle? Yep, I went there; I went full white girl, not going to lie. Specialty (and ridiculously expensive) coffee drinks are my addiction. It was during this part of the drive when I was hit hard with the guilt hand. My mom had texted me to remind me that they would be leaving for the day to go to a family reunion (oops) and asked me to watch the dog, (double oops) so I figured I should give her a ring and tell her that I was not going to be able to watch the dog. “Hey ma, I’ve got a funny story for you.” I then went into describing where I was, and where I was going. I had told her that we were going to be camping at our friend’s campsite; which was a lie. Honestly we had no clue where we would be staying that night, but I couldn’t tell her that or else she would worry. Quite frankly, she was a little shocked, I’m not going to lie. But once it set in and I told her that I had Kian with me (my mom likes Kian, yay) she was completely fine with it. She told me to call if I ran into trouble or if I needed anything, but that was about it. Mom didn’t get mad that I was on the other side of the country. Score.

Compared to North Dakota, the drive on this day was much more interesting. We scaled the large mountains, and saw a bunch of cool animals, like Antelope! We stopped at a tiny Subway tucked into the mountains for lunch. After that, we didn’t really stop unless the Focus was out of gas.

Once we pulled into Government Camp, I almost burst into tears. As I came around the first bend into town, my eyes welled up with tears. We drove down the street lined with Subaru’s, and it brought a feeling of belonging. It was snowboarder country, and man, I was excited to finally be here. Growing up, I had always wanted to come to summer camp, but the funds were never really there. As I got older and more involved in the snowboarding scene, I knew I would get my chance to ride at Timberline,
I just had no clue that it would be like this. I drove up and down the street 3 times until I was ready to let the Focus have a break. Once we found a spot to park, Kian and I had dinner at the Huckleberry Café. Chicken tendys, and Chocolate Milk. I’m not going to lie, I felt like I was 8 years old; like I was living a childhood dream. Once we settled up with our waitress, I hit up Ari Morrone, (@arimorrone on insta, you know the drill) a super badass female snowboarder who I have been following on social media for quite some time now. Lady freaking rips. Anyways, being completely new to the area, and with it being pitch black outside, Kian and I had no idea where to set up camp. Ari pointed us in the right direction, and we found a place to pitch our tent. As I drove down the dirt road, I dodged a billion potholes, and parked the car next to a cluster of others. It made me feel more at peace knowing that I had numerous other people camping nearby. I popped the trunk and we unloaded the tent and the sleeping necessities; we were exhausted after another day of travels. Once we were all unpacked and settled, we hit the hay so we could prepare for our first real day in Oregon. Our first full day in the Hood National Forest; a place where I would discover myself, and create memories I will never be able to forget.

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