Overnight was the first time I used my homemade window shades to block out the light. Call it coincidence or not, but it's also the first night that I slept really well since I've left home. It could either be the shades, or the fact that I've been sleep deprived all week and it was all catching up with me. Time will tell.
I got myself put together, and headed out to take a look at Dead Deadman's Gulch, as I was already nearby (see first couple of images below). The view was beautiful in the golden morning light and I'm glad I got to see it.
It didn't have any real plans for the day, other than to get myself to, and through Portland. While it had rained overnight, the weather seemed to have cleared off this morning, just leaving the clouds behind.
My initial thought was to drive the highways around Mount Hood... if the weather continued to cooperate. So, I alternated between driving on the interstate, and getting off to see some of the more scenic routes until reaching The Dalles. Once there, I stayed off the interstate and headed in towards Mt Hood. I drove about halfway there when I encountered heavy rain that blocked my view of the mountain.
Instead of going all the way and seeing nothing, I chose to return to the Columbia River Gorge area to visit the waterfalls... hoping that the area wouldn't be too crowded. But it was pretty crowded, and it was getting late. I headed into Portland proper... right at the evening rush. It was raining, and I just wanted to get through town as quickly as I could. I tackled the crazy downtown highways, and got on US Highway 30 towards Astoria, stopping at a local pizza place in Scappoose for dinner. And now I'm stopped in St. Helens for the day.
Tomorrow is 'chore' day. I wanted to stop at an outdoor outfitter store for one more compression bag, and a camera store for a hand strap... and I meant to do that while I was in Portland, but I was so ready to be out that I forgot. So now that's on tomorrow's agenda. In addition to that, I need to do a load of laundry and wash the Jeep. And I have to check in at the storage facility before they close at 5:00 pm to make sure I have a home for the Jeep while I'm hiking. Once that's all squared away, I have a reservation to overnight in Astoria. There I can repack my backpack for the hike, and generally relax and wind down from all the driving before heading out on Sunday.
This is starting to be real - I'm getting butterflies...