Saturday, June 29, 2013

The Reverse Oregon Trail

I am in Portland.

For the second time this year, I have flown to Portland to see my sister, hereto described as The Doctor. The first trip was for pleasure, this one is for purpose.

We are engaging Operation Reverse Oregon Trail.

For anyone not in grade school in the 1980s, and/or who never read their fifth grade American History Textbook this means that we are heading West... no, make that East... on a trail back to the midwest.

Bleh.  Why would anyone leave Oregon to travel back to Missouri?

But we're doing it.  And we're accompanied by Sophie the flatulent Labrador, and Andee, the allergy-ridden aerialist.  Needless to say, it's going to be awesome.

Except I'm already out of money.

Because apparently Discover Card is not readily accepted in Oregon.  The good news is, they don't have sales tax here, so after paying cash for breakfast by myself, I shelled out my last three dollars and fifty cents on the counter at Powell's Books' The Fresh Pot for a latte, internet access, and time to start the blog.

No matter!  I will find a rich banker on this reverse Oregon trail and trade him an ox... nay, I have no ox... how about an Aerialist? Wait, are there human trafficking police on the Reverse Oregon Trail?  Nuts. That'll never earn me enough points to get to Missouri. How about a sweet, but stinky dog?  Can I get some sweet green cash for this Lab?    

I'm not sure The Doctor will go for that, so maybe I'll just find an ATM.

Operation Reverse Oregon trail began without a hitch.  I cleaned "my room" at My Person's house (read My Boyfriend. Somewhere in my early thirties, I received an email from my grandma scolding me for continuing to use the term boyfriend to refer to people I date, and since I don't figure she's appreciate the terms My Lover, and My Partner usually causes people to smile at me and say, "I knew it," I've chosen the term My Person to refer to the other person in my non-single relationship status), I cleaned my room at my own house, I packed, and My Person drove me to the airport.  The flight to Portland had no stops (hey-oh!) and was essentially screaming baby, talking toddler, obnoxious teenager, chronic smoker, overweight leaner, chatty Christian free!  I sat next to a woman my age who watched a movie, iChatted with some guy named Jeremy and drank a vodka and diet coke for four hours.  Score.  I journaled, made photo collages on my iPad and slept scrunched up in my seat against the window - a definite plus to being only five foot one and 3/4 inches.

I didn't actually get to see my sister when I arrived, because I was greeted at the airport and stayed the night with my boyfriend's daughter who in turn stayed the night with her boyfriend.*

Yeah, life is weird like that.

But she's kind of the best, and she washed her sheets for me because she knows clean sheets are one of my favorite things, and left me a huge fan to cool myself with because when I left Texas it was 106 degrees and of course it's the hottest day of the year here in Portland where they have no air-conditioning.  Sleeping in 94 degree heat is arguably making this Reverse Oregon Trail more realistic.  I will persevere through the pain.

You know what else is painful?  Remembering what I've forgotten to bring.  Namely...
-My camera
-My glow-in-the-dark playing cards
-My toothbrush

Sigh.  We're going to the Grand Tetons!  How are we supposed to take pictures of ourselves smiling with our pearly whites while playing cards at midnight in the middle of God's great creation?!  I just don't know.
On the other hand, as I was trying to talk myself into feeling cold last night circa 11pm (1am Austin time), I noticed it was not dark here, so I grabbed my owl eye mask.  Why isn't it dark?  Is that cause I'm so high up on the map?  I thought it only stayed well lit in Alaska during the summer.  I'm confused.  And I guess I need to reread my fifth grade science textbook.  Get dark!  I need to sleep!

This Reverse Oregon Trail could have some hardships.

Like dysentery.  "Don't get dysentery!" two people warned me via Facebook.  However, My Person's daughter rooms with models.  Seriously, you guys, like super models.  I had forgotten this from our last visit where all 5'1&3/4, 120lbs of me felt dwarfish and fat.  So these supermodels running around her apartment at all hours of the night wouldn't mind getting dysentery.  Then they could eat a doughnut and not have do the hard work of being bulimic.  The Reverse Oregon Trail can take it's course!
Okay, I admit, that's not very nice of me, and I'm sure not all super models have eating disorders, but chunky-midget-Ann with her owl-eye-patch and earplugs apparently has to make fun of others to feel better about herself.  Don't be a mean girl; you have a long journey ahead of you.  Focus on fording the river safely, and not getting dysentery.  Only the bravest and strongest survive the Reverse Oregon Trail.

(In other words, "Don't choose to be the banker," my best friend warned me - "They never make it.")
OMG.  I won't, and I can't.  They don't take Discover here.

*use of the term Boyfriend in this sentence instead of Person was for alliterative and impact driving purposes.  

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