Sunday, July 08, 2007

Best Laid Plans

So I was 0-for-2 in predictions in my last post. No Olympic Peninsula, no GA.

When we left Oakland, we drove more than 12 hours up to Breitenbush Hot Springs in southern Oregon, where we tried our damnedest to relax, without really succeeding. Then we visited good buddy Shauncito in Corvallis, where he is finishing his PhD, and living with his PhD advisor and the advisor's family. Great to see Shaun, and wonderful to meet his hosts, but by the time we were driving North, backpacking was the last thing either of us wanted to do, much less any more time in the car, plus Sarah was sick and feeling crappy. So we detoured to Seaside, OR, and a youth hostel we'd stayed at on our bike trip. Man, did we stay there! Four nights, altogether. We cooked, read, hiked, canoed, went out for dinner...really swell, low-key vacation.



Where the River Meets the Sea


Sunset From the Back Porch of the Seaside Hostel



Shipwreck @ Fort Stevens State Park, North of Seaside

Sadly, our vacation wasn't all sunsets, unicorns, canoes, and shipwrecks. We got a call from Sarah's dad Barry in Michigan the first night we spent in Seaside. Her grandmother, Gaga (aka Rosalie), had fallen at the nursing home where she was recovering from a stroke, and then had another stroke and things weren't looking good. Four days later, on our way to Portland for GA, we got another call from Barry. We had stopped for lunch at a McMenamin's off of Hwy 26, The Rock Creek Tavern, when we got the call. Gaga was unresponsive and was getting hospice care at the hospital. She was getting neither food nor water, and it was only a matter of time.

We found an internet cafe (coincidently only one block from our erstwhile GA host Gabe's apartment), found not-entirely-unreasonable plane tickets to Lansing, and found Gabe. Our flight left in two days, giving us one evening in Portland, a 12 hour drive back down to Oakland, a night to pack, and an early morning flight from SFO. Gabe, as one might expect, was the consummate host, and Portland in the summer was beautiful, but it was a really surreal evening.

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