I visited the Grotto, and was enjoying Portland, until my car window was smashed in. I was warned about the rampant break-in’s from all of the homeless people. I just didn’t think it would happen to me.
You might think the city is named Portland because of the port activity, but it’s actually because the two founders had an intense coin toss to determine who could name the city. I learned all about the history of Portland on a bike tour.
I met with a friend who I had met while hiking the John Muir Trail two years earlier. He took me to the rose garden, which was beautiful. Then I went to a clinic to get a nasal balloon clearing.
I checked into a hostel in Portland and walked around. I ate some Voodoo donuts and went to see a movie. The night scene in Portland was hipster.
I went on a beautiful hike close to Hood River, Oregon. I was also able to meet up with a former co-worker who had just retired. We watched fireworks for the 4th of July and I was thrilled to have the company.
I met a friend of a friend for a beer and her family was great! I was also able to meet up with another friend while I was in Bend. In addition, I spent some time hiking.
I headed to Worthy Brewing Company where I saw on Facebook events that they had an observatory on-site. When I arrived, I saw that it was a restaurant, brewery, and after going up a narrow spiral staircase, an observatory.
Feeling this incredible darkness made me unable to feel anything else. I hated that I couldn’t stop it, that I couldn’t fix it. I hated not being in control. I felt alone, deeply alone.
In the United States, I still sometimes struggle being alone. I don’t need pep talks because I focus more on the enjoyment of what I’m partaking in. But dining alone takes some getting used to.
I was starting to get in the rhythm of road-tripping solo. I saw an outdoor sculpture garden and had to stop. Isn’t that what road trips are all about? Random stops?
In that moment of loading up my car at this crappy 2-star hotel, I thought, “Is this what my life has become? Is this my new normal? Oh no.”
I still couldn’t process anything. It’s a weird feeling knowing you should be feeling something, but you just can’t. I had lots to do from finishing projects at work, packing, and throwing a fantastic going-away party!
In 2016, I separated from my husband of almost ten years. I hiked the John Muir Trail that year, solo, which gave me the strength I needed to move forward. In 2018, I decided to sell my house, quit my corporate job, and travel full-time around the world.