Freezing Our Phalanges

Welcome back to another wonderful blogging, this time being written by the one and only Joseph. Before continuing our tale from Crater Lake, we must take a detour back in time (as Patrick omitted a few important details in his latest entry). Shortly after Pat got his ticket for allegedly speeding, we decided it would be a good idea to stop and release some steam. We found the perfect spot on the Smith River a few miles south of Oregon. The river with the mountains and trees was absolutely stunning. Pat and I grabbed our gear, and we all scaled down the face of some rocks to the river’s edge where we photographed the landscape, working as a team to each get an ideal shot (ex: HERE). Later in Oregon country, 45 miles from Crater Lake, I found an awesome iron bridge crossing high over some river. Again, the three of us scaled down a nearly vertical slope with sliding dirt and rock to the river bottom for some sunset pictures. ex: HERE

…Now back to Crater Lake – this was the most surprising part of the trip because we actually woke up when planned and not 7 hour later, like the first day. So imagine if you would that it’s 4am and you awake to a pitch black room. There are no signs of life – no sound whatsoever. Upon surveying the room and gaining your bearings, 2 pairs of red LED lights suddenly appear from the corner, just staring at you, and emitting a subtle (yet maniacal) “eeee” sound. This is how Pat and Paul decided to wake me up.

We got to the lake and the darkness seemed to stretch for ages. Pat, Paul, and I set outward into the abyss hoping to find the perfect spot. We took up camp on a ledge on the south side of lake in 10+ foot deep snow, about 2 hours before sunrise. Pat and I mounted our cameras and began taking pictures, testing night exposures and awaiting the light of the sun. The only let-downs were that I was ill-prepared for the snow, and that my camera battery had failed me. I ended up running back to the car and saved my toes from frostbite, only barely, as once my socks were off, I found 3 of 10 to be a deep, sexy purple color. Another 5 minutes longer and they’d be gone, but they survived and I rejoined the other two just in time to watch the sunrise. The lake was beautiful – full of snowy mystery. It was a very surreal feeling to watch the lake with your best bros.

Our breakfast was the pinnacle of entertainment, in my opinion. After the lake, we ate at a pleasant little diner called “Becky’s”. Our waitress, a nice lady (not Becky), had the voice of an angel (very similar to Louis Armstrong) and somehow put up with our shenanigans. The whole breakfast consisted of us farting, talking of farting, and laughing so hard we cried. At one point Pat said, and I quote, “Ahh I was just about to fart and it got scared and now it’s trapped inside me.” Every 2 minutes if we weren’t laughing we were calling “safety”. Diner food, right? It was quite enjoyable and we wouldn’t change a thing about it.

After checking out from our cabin (which I would like to insert that the lady behind the desk who had a picture of Pat’s driver’s license still thought I was him…) we hit the road. I was behind the wheel, Paul was the CHIEF NAVIGATOR, and Pat… well he was just Pat, but he did so like a pro. The drive consisted of beautiful snow capped mountains, endless forests, and hundreds of creeks and rivers. Many stops were made to explore and take pictures, which has been a trend for us this trip, turning what should have been 4 and 6 hour drives into 8 and 10 hour drives, but no one is complaining (though we may be giving Pat a bit of a hard time over it). On one of our stops I stumbled upon a bone yard while meandering through the woods. I called over Paul and Pat and we instantly turned into a forensic team right out of CSI. Examining the remains, we determined that they may have belonged to several cows, a horse, and a small animal. Realizing that we were in the feeding ground of a bear, mountain lion, or Sasquatch, we unsheathed our knives and backed out of there before we joined the bones.

Many hours later we safely arrived at our destination of Beaverton, just outside of Portland, where we stayed with family friends of Paul’s, Ed and Angie Silva. They cooked a wonderful dinner and treated us like their own. Pat made an instant connection with the kids (Aaron and Zach), mainly because he is still a kid, but also because of Minecraft (a computer game or something like that). Oh and of course we all played Halo, after Patrick challenged Aaron to a virtual duel.

We went out that night with a mission and one mission only. GIRLS! Were we successful??? Eh, that’s debatable. Not because we weren’t smooth or stylish, rather, there was a lack of them. We went to the popular watering hole “Kell’s Irish Pub” in downtown Portland. Pat bought us our first round of beers because he lost a bet. We spent the evening enjoying live Irish music and drinking. We ventured onward to Ash St Bar which was more of a Punk/Hipster dive bar. We had another round and played some pinball. I won with the high score of 13 Million and change. Pat had 11 and Paul: 10 Million (But Pat and I both had 2 tries, VS Paul’s single). Our final stop was at the ever-famous Voodoo Doughnuts to get Angie and her family a gift for putting us up for the night. While there, I played the smooth wing-man and set Paul up with the lovely girl behind the counter. An instant spark arose followed by a blushing girl from Paul’s smooth talking. The only problem is that neither of us could remember her name the second we left the shop, although we came to an agreement that her name was Kiara or something foreign like that. Needless to say we didn’t go home with any girls that night, but rather, we went home with an even stronger bond among us.

This morning we awoke and said our goodbyes to our gracious hosts, and headed out to explore downtown Portland. Patrick decided that since it was “Equality Day” that he’d give Carlos (his gender-neutral Halo action figure) [its] opportunity to get [its] picture taken. Currently I am writing this while on the road to Seattle. We’re somewhere on the I-5 north – I don’t really know. Paul has been driving and I’m staring at this screen. More adventures will come from Seattle!!!

I’d like to share with you a brief conversation between Paul and Pat at Angie and Ed’s place. Please not that they had many animals, and Paul refused to pet ‘Kitty,’ initially…
Paul: “This whole trip is about saying yes to things, Patrick.”
Pat: “Oh I see, like you petting cats and eating wasabi peas.”
Paul ended up caving to the cuteness of the cat, but still refuses to eat Patrick’s wasabi peas.

And don’t forget to check out Patrick’s new pictures from the trip, right here.

L8R, G8R.

~Joseph

 

PS. At a stop light, Pat stared unblinkingly at 2 girls very awkwardly with large, menacing eyes, while eating a muffin, slowly. 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