Category: Journal

Dough Zone, Portland, OR

Soup Dumplings for the Win

If you’ve never tasted soup dumplings before, you simply DO NOT KNOW what you are missing. There’s this indescribable combination of rich flavor along with the sensation of the dumpling bursting and hot broth flooding your mouth (and the inevitable burnt roof of the mouth that results from being too impatient to wait for them to cool). Dough Zone does them the best. I’m getting my fix in before leaving the west coast behind.

Your Notice Has Been Received

In 42 days’ time, we will Tetris-pack a modest accumulation of possessions back into the bus and hit the highway. Destination, Wyoming. Life is calling and it’s time to move on.

The charm of this city wore off pretty quickly. I really do love Portland for its whatever-goes weird vibes, historic charm, great food, and extreme walkability. Portland also has a lot of parks and trees, enough greenery to still feel semi-sane while living in an urban environment. But the homelessness problem is just so bad here. There is trash everywhere in the streets. Homeless camps have invaded our neighborhood (which was once one of the most enviable places to live in the city), and it’s rare to go out without being accosted for something. There’s no respect for personal property. If you park your car on the street it will be broken into. If you don’t give cash they will smash things into the ground at your feet and yell in your face. It feels dangerous. Sometimes, they wander through the streets without clothes on… Zombie apocalypse? Rather than enjoying all that the city has to offer, my existence has become one of isolation, staying inside my loft and only venturing out to buy groceries. It’s not a great way to live, even for a happy introvert like myself.

Chilean Memorial Beach, WA

Olympic Coast Backpacking

Red sunset over the Olympic Coast

With each tide the Pacific kept spitting out these gorgeous rocks right at our feet, already tumbled to a smooth finish. Each one was more beautiful than the last. After a while I had to stop picking them up. Beach backpacking with 10 pounds of rocks in the bottom of your pack is a tough workout!

Swift Creek, WA

Baker Blues

The intention was only to canoe camp at Baker Lake, but at the last minute we decided to follow an obscure lead for Washington blue agate (“Baker Blues”, not to be confused with the rarer “Ellensburg Blues”) at the confluence of some nearby creeks. Yes, we found it! Most of the agate was still encased in the host rock, but I’m guessing that these will clean up really well in a tumbler. The blues range from sky blue all the way to white. I also found a nice slab of pyrite (too heavy to backpack home), and this striped stone that I absolutely adore. This spot was really special.