Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Washington, Oregon, and Us - Day Seven

This was quite the busy day.

The morning began early with a drive down to Salem, Oregon's capitol. We met with William Michaelian, an author I have been in communication with, to discuss a short story of his which I am planning to adapt into a short film. The trip there was quite nice and much different than our previous drives. William Michaelian was kind enough to accept us into his lovely home and we had a pleasant meeting with him. I wish we could have stayed longer, but there was a long list of things to do. We left with a copy of one of his books, which he had signed for us.

The next stop of the day was the State Capitol, which was a wonder to see, considering Salem was the first state capitol we had been to in our lives. We climbed up to the Gold Man on the top of the building, which was a total of 121 steps. The view was lovely from up there. The building itself was quite interesting to see, especially the separate rooms for the House of Representatives and the Senate. We also took a brief stop at the Oregon State Hospital, which was used as a location for One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.

We drove back into Portland afterward to drop in on the Hat Museum. The tour of the museum was probably the most interesting part of our entire trip. The history, stories, and origins of hats and fashion was such an interesting thing to hear. We saw hats from all periods of times, including the early 1800s. The museum also had hats and memorabilia from films, including hats from Chicago and Gangs of New York and a teapot that was used in Casablanca. The entire place was rich with history and I only wish I owned some of their hats.

We had been planning on kayaking on the Columbia River Gorge today, so we looked up the address for the place we had to meet the instructor. I assumed the place would be near Vancouver and Portland, but it turned out to be in Hood River; all the way near Mount Hood, over an hour way. We were going to be late, so we drove as fast as possible all the way out there. We were less than 20 miles away when our fuel started running low and the gas light came on. We were 12 miles away from the nearest gas station and we feared the car would stop in the middle of nowhere. We fortunately made it to a gas station and the kayak school in time!

The kayak tour was the best part of our trip so far. We were each in a separate kayak and the entire experience was a little scary at first. We paddled into the river for about a mile and a half into the sunset. The views were spectacular, the fresh water river surrounding us, along with fresh air and green trees. We were hit by a rough wave that completely soaked us. We headed back in smooth water where we saw a beaver splashing its tail. I can't begin to describe how peaceful, beautiful and amazing the experience was.

We stopped by for something to eat at the Sixth Street Bistro and Loft and later headed back into Portland, where we checked into our new hotel near the airport. This is our first night sleeping in Oregon, but it's been quite the ride so far.

I hate to say this, but tomorrow is our last full day. I don't want this to end!

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