When I say that, I'm not talking about the Utah known for its snow and ski resorts. I'm not talking about the Utah where all of my family lives. I'm not talking about Moab, Park City, Sundance or anything even slightly interesting or exciting. Utah, for me, is school. Utah is the two square miles I live in all year. I work, study, and play within that square mile for most if not all of the year. That's why all weekend long we said, "Oregon! It's way better than Utah."
Now that's out of the way, I'll explain what I did in Oregon.
Last semester, Audrey, a girl from my ward, invited a bunch of people (more like 3 or 4 people) up to Oregon to go rafting. I ended up being the only one that stuck with it, and thus had to travel up to Oregon all alone. MapQuest said the trip would be around 11 hours, so I told myself I could do it in 10. When I finally made it to Audrey's house, I'd been driving for 12.5 hours...and I was tired.
I was trying to take a self-portrait as I got onto the freeway in Boise. Traffic started moving while I was posing, thus explaining my worried face.
I drove up on Thursday and got to Oregon around 8 pm. On Friday, Audrey took me on a tour of the local waterfalls. They were beautiful. The best part may be that they were within about 20 minutes of Audrey's house in the Portland area.
As if it couldn't get any better, after the waterfalls we went to Burgerville. I ordered a burger, which was good, but I also ordered a raspberry shake, which was divine. We ate there on Friday and Saturday, wished we could have on Sunday, and Monday as I was driving home a sign on the side of the interstate that said, "Last Burgerville for 84,000 miles," or something like that, prompted me to get off the road and buy another shake. I miss Burgerville.
Friday night we went to a YSA sponsored boat dance that went down then up then down and up the Willamette (will-LAH-mut) River. The river passes right through downtown Portland, and gave us a great vantage point to the city.I stayed at Audrey's house all weekend, where I met her mom, sister, brother, brother-in-law, aunt, niece, 2 uncles, 2 dogs, cat, and friends. Hopefully I didn't leave anyone out of that. I enjoyed meeting all of them, but I especially enjoyed meeting Louis, the chihuahua. He may have been yappy and cursed with bad breath, but I loved him anyway, and by the end of the weekend was ready to bring him home with me. The sad part is that I think Audrey's family was ready to let Louis come to Provo as well.
Saturday morning was the big day. We woke up not too early to drive out to the Deschutes River. There were six people in our group, three of whom I already knew (Audrey, her friend Colin, and Rachel Aina who lives in Oregon but was in our ward last year). Jennifer and Erin were the other two. PS, the thumbs up was very much included in as many pictures as possible.
Audrey had told stories about a certain rapid named Boxcar (pictured above somewhere in the background). Last year she fell out of the boat at that rapid and was recycled under water in the current for some amount of time. I think she hit that rock right behind her head in the picture. She still has a game hip from the accident. She made sure we all remembered that and respected the river. I think we all gained an appreciation for the power of the river when we turned around after a rapid and realized our guide had fallen out! He was okay and managed to keep his hat and glasses on through it all.
I took this picture after we crossed the class 4 rapid. Unfortunately, I can't remember its name. It was an exciting ride and kept us on our toes for a good minute. That's Colin (the guide) with the hat and glasses.
This is a picture of Charlotte, as in Charlotte's Web. She's a stupid toy that Marianne got from Burger King or something. She's been to Hawaii and Lake Powell and almost made it to Nashville and Honduras (I accidentally left her in my car). I decided I needed some company on my trip, so I brought her with me to Oregon. She didn't actually go rafting, mainly because my only pocket was over my butt and I didn't want to be sitting on Charlotte all day long. I left her in the car.
On Sunday we went to Church, sat around for a while, and then went to Washington (the state) so that I could say I had been there. One more state off the list (or on the list, I guess).
Monday morning Audrey and I went to Krispy Kreme, thus fulfilling a lifelong dream of mine to eat donuts in Portland. I left Portland at about 11 am, and made it back to Provo by 10:30 pm. Taking account for the time change, it only took me 11.5 hours to get home! I would've died if it had taken another hour.
And now you know why we said, "Oregon! It's way better than Utah."