Snate's Six-Month Sojourn travel blog

Possibly the most picturesque Firestone sign in the country (Mt Hood)

Wildflowers at the top of Angel's Rest on the Columbia River Gorge

Self portrait: Angel's Rest (tip of Mt Adams just barely visible)

Withered tree at the top of Angel's Rest

The living room

The HUGE closet that will double as a study and second bedroom

The cluttered bedroom (which also has a huge walk-in closet)

A very cluttered kitchen

Another large closet off the kitchen

Bruce is a bit perplexed

End of an awesome journey: sunset over a field by Corvallis

The end of the six month sojourn has finally arrived. Sam and I are greeting this with mixed emotions: we're both very excited to have a permanent residence and to start our Master's programs, but it's always a little sad to come to the end of a great trip. Sam had her orientation today and starts classes tomorrow, and, after getting everything in order, I am going to find a way to occupy myself until classes start in early September (my first class is a field research class that involves six days of backpacking).

So, a quick summary of our return to reality: we spent our first weekend back in Oregon pounding the pavement in Corvallis and checked out some ten to fifteen apartments in the area. We were both amazed at how AWFUL some of these places were, but then again, we've got pretty high standards. Like, for instance, knee high grass in the front yard is not acceptable. We also aren't terribly fond of rotten carpeting and mildew. Nor houses with large, inflatable beer bottles hung from the front window. We DID, however, find an awesome 1000 square foot, 1 bedroom apartment in the top floor of a house right in downtown Corvallis. The main downtown area is about three blocks away and the university is 9 blocks in the opposite direction. We really like the place and are now trying to figure out where all of our stuff from our three bedroom house will fit!

After signing a lease, we headed up to Portland and hung out for a bit, and on Thursday we began the horrendous task of moving ALL of our stuff from both our storage locker and Bill and Stef's basement (with a short break for the Pistons game). Woo hoo! The process was pretty crazy since we had to decide which stuff needed to be moved to a new, smaller storage locker (same floor, same building) and what needed to go on the truck or in the front seat of our car. Man, we were sore after that day, and our truck was packed to the gills. Friday we drove to Corvallis, emptied the truck and began unpacking boxes - Friday night was the first time in six months that we sat and watched a movie on our own couch!!!!! Sunday we drove back to Portland to finish cleaning out Bill and Stef's basement and to pick up our kitty, Bruce (thanks again Sara and Tita). The reunion was especially tender and tear-filled, though Bruce has a slight weeping eye issue, so we weren't sure if his tears were for real or not.

Looking back over the past six months, we both realize we've learned so many different things (a bit of Spanish, some budget travel tricks, backpacking skills), but here are a few of the most important:

* First of all, it IS possible.

* Six months of vacation requires six months or more of planning and some vicious work at the beginning and end.

* No matter how frequently or rarely you cook, eating out every day can get tiring.

* The back of a Blazer doubles perfectly as a hotel.

* In order to appreciate time off, it's good to have a bit of time on as well. (School was great, but we would definitely do some volunteering next time around).

* The United States is an amazing country with unrivaled diversity.

* A couple can spend nearly every minute of every day for six months together and still be in love.

Okay, I think this is getting long enough. This is the last posting, but we aren't dropping off the face of the earth, so keep in touch. Here is our new contact information in Corvallis:

Address: 446 SW 5th St, Corvallis, OR, 97333

Cell phone: 734-945-4674





Until next time (which there may well be),



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