German Invasion!

I mentioned before that our old friends from our days in the Autozone parking lot, The Dancing Fireflies, made their way back to us through Mexico. They’re still camped out in our driveway, working on the van (of course!) and tweaking their website. Sophie is also putting out some great, short videos of their time in the US on their Youtube channel.

Taylor is working and I’m studying hard and flying as much as possible in order to get my Private Pilot Certificate before the end of the summer. Despite that, we’re still finding time to do a little exploring together, and of course share countless dinners, movie nights, and bottles of wine. 

We made our way up the gorge to hike a few waterfalls and show off what I think is one of the most beautiful areas in the world. It was fun to introduce them to the ubiquitous waterfalls that Taylor and I have become incredibly blasé about. Again, it’s always good to try and see your home through someone else’s eyes- most times you’ll gain a new appreciation for things you’ve taken for granted.

Although Taylor had to work, Peter, Sophie, the dogs, and I carved out a few days from our busy schedule of ignoring each other all day working intensively on our individual projects (Peter-Van, Sophie-Website, Me-Airplanes); and hightailed it into the Mt. Hood National Forest to escape the heat with a little mountain time. We spent a glorious few days cooking over the fire, working on the van (of course), and just enjoying each other’s’ company. Sophie lead a grueling workout each day, followed by a run down to the river for a dunk in the icy, glacier fed waters. I introduced the Fireflies to mountain target shooting, and they introduced me to ‘stick bread’.

All three of us could easily have fallen into the routine we’d begun and stayed up there for weeks (or months), working out, cooking, hiking, shooting, and spending plenty of quality time in the hammocks.

I think those few days in the mountains were the closest to what I’d imagined our entire trip would be like. I think once we’re in the vast open spaces of South America, there will be a lot more backcountry time. I’m definitely hoping for it.