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Weekend Wanderer

Wandering the Weekends in California and beyond

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weekend trips

Lets GO – Chico

In the world of Birkenstocks and North Face jackets, I stood in my vans and RipCurl sweater. With Bruce – who was concentrated on where he could find the nearest Goodwill and look for some carhartt pants. We went up North as a Thompson img_0845Family + Bruce to cheer for the Chico State Volleyball team and celebrate Torey’s Senior Night. Back into the world of a small college town, I liked being able to park the car and walk around. We had lunch at what my sister Katey called a “Chico establishment”: Madison Bear Garden. Where we had our first round of Sierra Nevada, as Chico is the brewery’s hometown.

 

wait.

 

Can I back it up?

 

Let’s talk about Southwest airlines. WHERE I HAD NO IDEA YOU COULDN’T PRE ASSIGN YOUR SEATS. Thank goodness for Kasey whose ten foot long legs saved an entire row for Bruce and I.

Okay back to 50 degree weather and leaves falling from the sky: Chico was CHILLY. Not that we were expecting a heat wave, but it was nice to get away and wear sweaters and socks again.  Kasey and I stepped out of the airport, and immediately almost backed right back inside. The wind chill wall that hit you when you walked out was a 20 degree difference than what was in the airport…or in Newport.

There were no restaurant chains in the small town, seemed like most everything was family or small business owned. I love farmers markets, and the Chico Farmers market on Saturday mornings had some of the most produce I have ever seen at any farmers market. It was awesome being in an area where there actually are seasons. The leaves were on the ground, and falling as we were walking around. You HAD to wear a jacket outside at night or you would freeze you booty.

It was fun having the entire family all together, but I think if it was longer than a weekend – a few more arguments would have broken out. We kind of perfected the mean mug also this trip.

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I kinda of compare Kasey and Bruce’s friendship/relationship to that of Khloe and Scott. They’re more brother and sister than friends, and they’ll play tricks on each other, but then also team up against the rest of the tribe together. Especially, back to sharing a hotel room with them – the sassiness never stops.

Even though the weekend was centered around volleyball – it was also centered around having fun. With exploring the a new area, making jokes about one another, and playing games in the hotel room.

or shopping at the local Chico Wildcat apparel store – which by the way has Ugly Christmas Sweaters with the Chico logo on them. Epic.

 

We also took a Christmas picture. So that was chill. img_0858

Gorge Camping – Live Life Outside

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I’ve been back from the PNW for a week now, and I’m still trying to figure out when to go back!

While the 24 hour drive up was a ride from hell..literally. 104 degrees and no air conditioning in tIMG_6860he truck? While towing a trailer? guess were we took this Dodge 2500 hundred when we got back? That’s right – it’s blowing cold now.  Other than sizzling like fajitas on a cast iron skillet, the ride up was great! We didn’t stop, just trucked all the way through until we got to Val’s uncles house, at 4am Friday morning.

That’s when the real adventure started. Rows and rows of green trees, a small town full of super friendly people and the Colombia Gorge ready to be paddled on.

The river was completely difference than anything I’ve every paddled on. The river obviously runs towards the ocean, so the current is going opposite way of us. However, the mountains and cliffs on both the Oregon and Washington side create a tunnel, and the wind blowing on shore and push up to 20 kts! The race was epic. and hard. Epically hard. We don’t have surf like that in California and the whole time us girls are hootin’ and hollerin’ and having a great time. Our crew worked hard together and most importantly supported and trusted each other. Keeping each other honest in the canoe and then supporting each other through all 12 miles of the down wind race. There were parts of the race that got a little hairy, specifically when we had to cross over from the south side to the north side and go across the white caps. But knowing each other as well as we did, and blending together as well as we did we were able to keep calm and move forward. The short paddles we did before the race seemed like nothing compared to race day! 13708389_10154190018751655_8545151291604792409_oThe rest of weekend was spent relaxing at our campsites underneath 100 ft trees and hiking to 100 ft water falls. We camped at the Wyeth Campground which had incredibly spacious lots and an amazing camp host named Polly. There were close to 18 of us that took up 4 campsites. We were literally eating blackberries off the road, and watching the sun go down at 9pm.

Our hikes were based right off the Colombia River Highway, where there cIMG_7105lose to a dozen different waterfalls to hike to. Den Mother Deidre knew all the trails secrets!! They ranged from a 2 mile round trip, to a 10 mile round trip. Elowah falls was my favorite. A two mile round trip with cut backs and climbing (with the pug of course) that ended at a
free flowing (cold) water fall. It was gorgeous, eye opening and definitely must see if you are ever in Oregon. Another challenging hike, was Oneonta falls which was complete with climbing over a complete log jam and then walking a half a mile in 5 feet of water! And ofcourse we finished our hikes by stopping by our new favorite little Brewery, Thunder Island Brewery.  Which had an amazing view, and pretty sweet area to hang out in while we waited for the guys to finish their afternoon activities on the water.

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It may have only been a 4 day weekend up north but I love the area, and I love the people I traveled with. I love living life outside!

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Check out this video made by braddah Bronson about the trip: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QQi8aXqp138

 

Sneak Peak of Catalina

Sneak peak pictures of my weekend in Catalina. Two weekend in a row. See more pictures on instagram at @KelThompson

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