September 7, 2008

Day 7 (or, in the Pines)

So, about those amazing Blue Mountains--

I pulled into Higard Junction State Park, which is a small state park that butts right up to the interstate in the Blue Mountains. I pulled in, there was a slight mist in the air. I chose to stop here for the night, one, because I was getting tired, and the next state park was several hours away still. Secondly, this park was cheap, really cheap to stay at, only 8 dollars for the night. I pulled in, and saw only two other campers in the small campground.

I got out of my car to go use the pay phone, because I had to call my parents and check in. Instantly, I was inundated by the smell of the pines. I still cannot properly describe them, but Pine-sol doesn't do them justice. It was one of the deepest, richest smells I ever had experienced. I would spend the rest of my trip trying to figure out the smell and the trees (those trees are only in that part of the state!)

As I worked on setting up my tent, I realized there only was really one other camper there, as the second camper was the camp ground manager, which was a really nice retiree and his wife. He came out at one point to walk their dog and asked me if I was going back to school (which was a logical question for a college aged girl camping by herself at the end of summer,) and I told him "nope, just taking a trip out west."

Having the camp ground manager talk with me comforted me a little bit, as I was breaking one of the rules I had given myself about campgrounds. My rule was that a campground needed to be at least 50% full or five people near by for me to stay. This way, I was likely to be noticed by someone. But I really liked this campground (the smell! the trees!), there were no bushes dividing spaces like the last campground (this was wide open,) and the manager had spoken with me, so I felt incredibly safe.

The night before I called my friend who had an old roommate living in Portland. I wasn't feeling confidant in finding the hostel, or there being space, so I had her call her old roommate and see if I could spend at least one night. That was my tentative plan for the next day, I still had to call Lynette in the morning. I knew I had a relatively short drive, and I would be up early, because there was construction on the interstate (which was right next to the park remember.)

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