02 July, 2010

Family, Caching, and Hiking. Oh my!

Up early again today and it's Old Home Week (day) for Greg - all his comments were about how things have changed in the Portland area since he lived there years and years ago.  We met Greg's cousin Mike for breakfast.  It's always a pleasure to meet and spend time with family.
After spending an enjoyable morning (re)connecting with Mike, we headed to The Original Stash and to hook up with Aaron and Chachee.  The Original Stash is the first geocache that was ever hidden.  Since this is a weekend of cache-laden events, it's natural to find the first ever hide... and anything else that's in the surrounding area.  A short hike, searching a pile of cement rubble, opening hundreds of film canisters to find the one that has the log...  it's all fun, right?  =)
In addition to the caching, we hit Multnomah Falls (there are a couple caches there, too).  An absolutely beautiful waterfall, and an exhilarating hike.  Of course, I was the slowest in our group - I appreciate the patience of my companions.  My being out of shape was part of the problem, compounded by my sense of vertigo.  It's kinda crazy when you know logically that you're not going to spontaneously lose control, roll down the mountain and die just because you're close to the edge of the trail, but you still get the panic - shallow breathing, intense fear, paralysis, sweating like crazy, crying like a baby, etc.  I walked on the inside of the trail (changing sides with every switchback), leaning my head and upper body up the slope the entire way to the top.  But I made it to the top, and only cried like a baby once.
The path was level and well-traveled, and the views (from nowhere close to the edge) were spectacular.  We actually have a piece of artwork - that will someday be back on the walls, when we're done with the remodel project - that depicts Multnomah Falls.  A lovely day, an energizing hike, and some great company.  Who could ask for anything more?
What you don't see in the picture above is that I'm gripping the railing (as if that's going to stop the whole platform from toppling down the side of the mountain).  I'm surprised there weren't imprints of my hands when we finished, and I have no idea what the view is like from there, except back towards stable land, and the big tree that I used to focus when the panic and tears would start.  =)  We ended the day by stopping in Tillamook, Oregon for super-fresh ice cream and then heading out to our hotel room.  We stayed in Netarts, a quaint little seaside village.  The room wasn't much aside from the view, which was spectacular.
On tap for tomorrow: lighthouse excursion and the geocaching luau.  Good night!

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