On a Lighter Note (Two Notes, Actually...)

Things are looking up!

First, Elizabeth and I headed for the mountains last Friday for some good daddy-daughter time. There are distinct advantages to owning a real 4x4 and living in Western Oregon at the same time, and the Tillamook State Forest is one of them! We drove the 40 or so miles to the Western end of the TSF and hit the offroad portion of our adventure: six miles of steep logging roads winding waaaaaay back up into the mountains to a remote trailhead. By the time you're 2 miles off the highway you've already climbed over 1,500 feet, and the views from these remote areas are stunning. Though my Scout is basically a stock vehicle with no hard-core off-roading modifications, it blasts up the steep, loose terrain like it's flat ground. International Harvester: 4x4 the way God intended! By the way, notice Elizabeth's hat which says "My Daddy Drives A Scout." But all this Scout love is distracting me from the story...

After the 6-mile offroad adventure we parked the Scout at the foot of the Cedar Butte trail (pic right is looking down on our ride from the beginning of the trail). Due to its remote location and inaccessibility to grocery-getter wheels, this trail isn't heavily used. It was a pretty narrow track in most places, was mildly overgrown (we never had trouble seeing the trail, but brush and wild flowers were thick) and it had several downed trees across it in numerous spots that we had to clamber over, under, or around. The trail itself is only 3/4 mile long but the Ranger District listed it as "difficult." Well, I'm here to tell you, it is in fact "difficult." Most of the relatively short distance is a very steep climb up the backside of the butte. We scrambled and slipped our way, getting much worse traction with our feet than the Scout got on its wheels. But when we finally made it, the view was breathtaking!

The Pacific Ocean is underneath all those clouds behind Elizabeth - unfortunately they were pretty thick down on the coastline so we never saw the water, which you can when it's clear. But where we were it was a perfect sunny and about 80 degrees with a light breeze.

We managed to get back to the Scout without breaking any bones (going down was even more...adventurous, than going up) and then enjoyed the 6-mile trail ride back down to the highway. We finished off the afternoon with a stop at Peet's on the way home where two hot travellers imbibed a couple fruit tea coolers. It was a great day!

Which leads me to the other cool thought for this post: just when you thought there couldn't possibly be any way Peet's Coffee could get better... they just installed free wireless internet at my local store! Are you kidding me!?!? I used to say half-jokingly that Peet's is my other office. Now I'm saying more seriously that my actual office is my other office - I'm moving in to Peet's permanently! I'm already on a first-name basis with half the baristas, and now I can get e-mail there too!

Yesterday one of the high school girls at the church heard me saying "I'm working at Peet's now," and she said "really, you work at Peet's? That's cool!" So I had to clarify for her: "Well, I work for Harvest, but I work at Peet's!"

*sighs contentedly* This has been a good week.


Melissa said...

And Melissa smiles appreciatively as she reads Matt's writing regarding the West coast, the Scout, Peets, and his amazingly tall daughter! :-) Oh I wish I could have seen you all when I was in Oregon for Cheryl's wedding. Someday I will come out to see you guys and demand...er nicely expect a cup of Peet's. My love to your whole family!

Matt Guerino said...

I was sorry it didn't work out too, but we're a bit off the east-side beaten path now so I understand. Still, if you do get a chnce to swing by sometime the coffee pot will be ready - no demanding will be required! :)

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