Thursday, May 7, 2009

A Trip To Laugh About

My right arm was injured (not broken) three weeks ago which has impacted my ability to write and type. I apologize for the extra-long delay, kind reader.

In the spring of 1991, one of Shobi-wan's former housemates was getting married in a lodge somewhere outside Portland, and we were invited. It was spring break (Shobi-wan was a student) so we decided that we would attend the wedding and go camping for a couple nights afterward, first in Tillamook and then in Cannon Beach. As you might imagine, our packing was rather schizophrenic - nice clothes for the wedding, tent and sleeping bags for the camping. Everything was piled up in the kitchen, and we made many trips up and down the stairs to pack The Tub, my first Honda Civic (a station wagon, still my favorite car).

Just before crossing the bridge from Vancouver, WA, to Portland, OR, I asked Shobi-wan to grab me a handful of Hershey's Kisses for sustenance for the rest of the trip to the wedding site. She twisted around in her seat and reached back for the blue cooler (which I still have), but not feeling it with her hand, she turned fully around and said, "Did you put the cooler in the back?" I said, "It should be up against the seats," meaning right behind the front seats. She said, "It's not here."

In that moment, I realized I also hadn't put the shoes I was going to wear with my dress at the wedding. I guess I somehow knew that the shoes had been sitting on top of the cooler, which I could visualize still sitting on the floor in the kitchen. We were in the perfect place for this realization, as we were at the end of the bridge, from which there is an exit to the Jantzen Beach Mall, set up as close to the border between sales tax-less Oregon and sales tax-full Washington as possible. So I zipped off the exit, parked the car, and Shobi-wan and I dashed into a Payless Shoes. We had about an hour to get from Jantzen Beach to the wedding site and to change our clothes, and we didn't know where we were going (and I always tried to allow 30 minutes for getting lost, particularly on the fringes of Portland, in those days). I bought the second pair of flats I tried on, for $12.

The first night of our camping trip we spent next to the Tillamook River. We went to the Tillamook Cheese Factory and that night the rain poured down. When we got to Cannon Beach, the feet of our sleeping bags were damp and the tent was soaked through, having been rolled up wet. We also learned that the Tillamook River had flooded that day. We piled all the stuff in the front seats and slept in the back of the car. Shobi-wan is adorably small, and we were able to lie down stretched out lengthwise, only cramped a little side-to-side.

We had great fun on this trip, laughing even when we made tea in a pot that hadn't been cleaned very well from the previous night's canned chili. Unlike some adventures I had when I was young, this one was funny while it was happening as well as being funny years later.

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