Monday, September 27, 2010

A Pleasant Surprise

Since I moved to the Pacific Northwest in the beginning of May I have been trying to make the most out of my days here. I wake up early in the morning to kayak, spend a day working hard at Wet Planet and finish the day with an adventure with friends. On this particular day, I was beyond exhausted and couldn’t image doing anything after work aside from sleeping. Even though a group of my friends were heading to my favorite Hot Springs after work, I decided to go home and sleep on the couch (aka a van seat). It was 9:00pm and I had been sleeping hard for a good hour or more. I was awoken from my sleep by a voice saying, “Lori, get up, it’s time to go to bed. Lori, you should really go to your bed.” I opened my eyes to this voice that sounded unusually familiar to me. There, in my living room, at my home in the woods stood my mom and Lenny. I quickly jumped up from the coach and began to cry. I was so shocked and overwhelmed I didn’t know what to do with myself. All I could say was, “Mom, I can’t believe you’re here” or “how did you find me?” After the initial shock and many tears, I composed myself enough to show them my tent, the office where I work and found them a place for the night.

I went with them on their journey to find this cozy bed & breakfast tucked on the top of a high hill overlooking the White Salmon river valley with an amazing view of Mt. Hood. Still overwhelmed that they were here visiting me, I insisted on staying with them their 1st night.

I was fortunate to get the next day off of work to give them a taste for the area which I now call home. We started our day with a delicious meal at the Husum Highlands Bed & Breakfast. This filling breakfast would be much needed for their day with me J Our first adventure was to hike up 400 feet in elevation to the top of Steamboat Mountain. After a little huffing and puffing on the way to the top, they were able to enjoy a classic view of the area. The peak of this hike reveals 4 snow covered mountains: Mt. Hood, Mt. St Helens, Mt. Rainier & Mt. Adams. I was very grateful to share this amazing view with two people I care so much about. Once we took our photos and enjoyed the view with a gentle breeze, it was time to make our way down for the next adventure, whitewater rafting with Wet Planet!

Yes, for those of you who know my mother well, this adventure may seem unfathomable. For a woman who dislikes being wet, cold and terrified of swimming willing signed up for whitewater rafting on the Wild & Scenic White Salmon river. Lenny didn’t have any time any problems signing up for this adventure too! After getting outfitted we were on our way to get a sneak peak of the grand finale, the legendary Husum Falls. Keep in mind this is one of the largest commercially rafted waterfalls!

After a short drive to the put-in, Lenny & my Mom were about to get a taste of whitewater. From the moment they both sat down on the raft an instant smile came upon their faces. As we made our way through the first rapid, Triple Drop, I heard my mom giggling like never before. This was an uncontrollable happiness followed by spitting out any water she swallowed and finished with a smile. When it came time to jump off a 20’ cliff into the water, they both passed.
Finally, at the end of our journey came the legendary Husum Falls. This waterfall has an established reputation that gives even the most experienced rafters butterflies in their stomach before going over it. In fact, the rapid just before it is named Butterfly just for that reason. Much to my surprise, my mom & Lenny both chose to go over it. Even though I have photos & video to prove this whole excursion took place, still people don’t believe it. The woman who hates being wet, cold & swimming perhaps overcame one of her biggest fears. My mom, Lenny & I all got to share this experience as our first time over Husum Falls. Even though I have lived here for months, I have always walked around it. I am thankful that my first time going over this memorable waterfall was with people that I love so dearly. In the end it was beyond rewarding to show my mom & Lenny the river that I spend most of my days on. Thank you Wet Planet for going above and beyond to make this happen for us.

They weren’t done with their adventures for the day just yet. We made a journey into the little town of White Salmon to try some local micro-brews at Everybody’s. We started with the sampler which included 9 different beers. After the taste testing we each ordered our favorite one. But, we didn’t have much time! We still needed to go back to my home and cook supper. I wanted my mom & Lenny to get a true taste for life out here. We finally finished our supper at 10:30pm and they were off to bed.

I woke up early the next morning to pick some fresh black raspberries & plums to send them on their way. I wasn’t the destination for their road trip, just a stop along the way. Thank you Mom & Lenny for visiting; it was truly a pleasant surprise.