6 Month Solo Road Trip: After spending two weeks with Mark in southern California I say goodbye and I drive the long road trip to Bend, Oregon for a doctor’s appointment. From there, I drive through the beautiful Hood River where cherry trees are in full bloom. For a week I hibernate at an inexpensive Airbnb in Parkdale recuperating from a procedure. I’m exhausted from the long drive and the stress of being with Mark 24/7. It’s nice to be alone again.
The simply furnished studio is in an old wooden barn close to the owner’s house. It’s not high-end by any means but it will do. The owners are a young friendly couple. They show me around and we chat for a few minutes. After they leave, I gather my belongings which include a stockpile of Trader Joe’s dried fruit, nuts and other staples including my Natures Harvest healthy drink. I know it doesn’t look like much but it will do.
French doors lead to the lush green back yard where the neighbors horse and llama greet me. Forsythia bushes are in bloom as the snow-capped Mount Hood rises in the distance. It’s the beginning of April but with the warm weather you would never know it.
After a week of relaxing, I drive the beautiful, Historic Route 30 which winds along Interstate 84 and the Columbia River Gorge. I love following back roads, there is so much to see at a slower pace. I stop at the famous Multnomah Falls. The year, 2002, was the last time I was there. It’s still as beautiful and lush as I remember. A concrete foot bridge spans high above one of the waterfalls. It’s mesmerizing, watching the water, pummeling over the cliff as it cascades off the rocks to the pool below.
I stay for an hour then continue my road trip to the town of Troutdale. I remember stopping there with my friend Louise years ago. We had lunch at a General store in a green Victorian. I guess I’m curious to see if it’s still there. That was the first time that I had a turkey sandwich with stuffing, cranberries and smothered in gravy. It was delicious. My mouth is watering just thinking about it.
I find a parking space and yes indeed, the General Store is still there. It looks different but that was 13 years ago, things change and memories fade. It’s two stories with a 20′ wide central wooden staircase. Even though it’s large, it still exudes the charm of an old general store. I feel as though I’m transported back in time. There’s an old fashion ice-cream parlor with a long wooden-bar filled with various toppings. Seven wooden round seats, fixed to the floor. It’s adorable. I taste a few flavors and finally settle on the butterscotch praline ice cream in a waffle cone. I sit on the round stool and spin around, feeling like a kid enjoying her ice-cream. I’m glad I came this way as I make my way to Portland on my 6 month solo road trip.