Oregon Vacation: Looking Back and Looking Forward
My 7-day Oregon vacation is over. It took even longer for me to blog about this experience:
- Planning and Departure explains why I chose Oregon, how I planned the trip, and a personal record I set on the departure day.
- GC12 and GC17 follows my adventure to Oregon's oldest geocache.
- Birthplace of Geocaching introduces a landmark that started one of my favorite sports.
- Hillsboro and Outlets tells how I met a Twitter friend in real life, how I contributed to American economy, and a painful DNF story.
- Eight Waterfalls, Two Beaches, and a Webcam takes me outdoors to the scenic Multnomah Falls recreation area.
- Portland calms me down in the peaceful Portland Japanese Garden, and gets me running around in Portland State University.
- Breakfast and Laundry Solutions discusses some logistic issues during my travels.
- GC16 in Molalla River makes me huff and puff in seek of a 19-year-old plastic jar.
- Oregon City lifts me up along the only vertical street in North America.
- Last Day brings me from the peak of Portland to the other side of the state line, and then back to the normal life.
My vacation did not have a planned day-to-day schedule, but adopted a semi-flexible strategy. This differs from my previous vacations such as the Yuma Mega trip, where the planning covered exactly where to exit the highway and take a rest. Being flexible allowed me to spontaneously decide where to go next, based on weather, mood, and other factors. It enabled me to add destinations that I did not know before departure, such as Multnomah Falls and Oregon City, as well as fulfill friend's request of an IRL meet up. This strategy did backfire once, when I went to a museum only to find it closed.
Eventually, my trip achieved an interleaved structure between rural and urban environments:
- Jun 07: urban, flying around airports.
- Jun 08: rural, nabbing GC12 and GC17 in a national forest, and worshipping the Original Stash.
- Jun 09: urban, spending money at Premium Outlets.
- Jun 10: rural, hiking around waterfalls and cooling off on the beach.
- Jun 11: urban, taking a tram into Portland downtown.
- Jun 12: rural, geocaching in and around Molalla River.
- Jun 13: urban, staying cool in air-conditioned Museum of Oregon Territory and Pearson Air Museum.
Among all the places I visited, the top 5 favorites are:
- GC17, a 2000-Jul geocache that requires a modest hike and offers a scenic view of the mountain, without the distraction of civilization.
- Multnomah Falls, a gorgeous view of two waterfalls and the Columbia River.
- Portland Japanese Garden, a beautiful garden where everything is green.
- Oregon City Municipal Elevator, the one-of-a-kind municipal elevator in the United States.
- The spiky blackberry bushes leading to GC25WP9, which made me bleed my own blood.
There are many more places that I learned about during the trip, wanted to visit, but wasn't able to:
- Western Antique Aeroplane & Automobile Museum, a collection of antique airplanes that can still fly.
- GCA5 Hembre Ridge, a 2000-Nov geocache. Passing this one means that I would have to make a trip to New York state to find a cache hidden in that month.
- Salem, the state capital of Oregon. I used to believe Portland is the state capital, until when I was writing these articles.
- More river confluences. I visited four confluences but there must be more, and I'm obsessed with "corners".
- Pechuck Fire Lookout, a location with great view and a lonely 2001-Sep geocache. Getting there would require hiking 8.3 km and an overnight stay at the Fire Lookout. I know the limits of my outdoor skills, and this is beyond what I'm trained for.
- Finds: 53, including two D4 and two T4
- DNFs: 10
- PAFs: 2, one resulted in a smiley and the other resulted in a very painful frown
- Jasmer boxes filled: 2000-May, 2000-Jun, 2000-Jul, 2000-Oct, 2001-Feb
- New record: maximum distance in a day - 3784 km
- Nanos encountered: 0
- Bison tubes encountered: 0
|Jun 08||148 mi 4:34||21479||3:42|
|Jun 09||107 mi 3:55||16933||5:13|
|Jun 10||86 mi 3:22||26683||5:13|
|Jun 11||9 mi 0:46||30521||5:51|
|Jun 12||97 mi 4:22||19396||3:17, plus 0:57 nap|
|Jun 13||34 mi 3:22||18251||4:44|
|Jun 14||8342||1:02 in air and 2:31 in apartment|
- Airfare: $19.90 and 25000 AAdvantage miles
- Hotel and car package: $747.75
- Rental car insurance: $125.49
- Gasoline: $48.26
- Transit (bus and Uber): $43.53
- Admissions (gardens, museums, and arcade games): $66.52
- SUBTOTAL of the above: $1051.45
- Food: I count food in calories, not in dollars
- Bragging rights: a lot!
- Memories: priceless!