Report of the
Portland Gathering

August 2-4, 2002

By Dianne

Tuesday morning July 30, 5am, we are off, that is Hiker and I. Oh what an experience this is going to be. Me my first time to a resort and Hiker all the time telling me ďno problem you will do fineĒ. Ok I will believe her cause you know? WHY NOT!!!!!!

I mean what a day we have ahead of us, first thing was to stop where my girlfriend was flagging oh might I say it was raining hahahaha. We stopped to say hi and her reply was ďB*t*hĒ now you guys know me now, why would a friend say that to me?? Ok get up off the floor I retract that statement.

Nothing exciting happening until we get to the Fraser Canyon, might I add for the people that donít know what that is like well on one side you have mountains and on the other you have the Fraser River, both sides have cement no-post and it is twisted worse than a dogs hind leg, speed limit is 40klm or 25 mph in some sections. Oh I might want to add it is raining no it is pouring out there and we are doing a bit of hydroplaning. Just before ďHellís GateĒ that is named for the river cause when you are in the canyon you are there already in Hell!!! We see some people stranded on the side of the road and donít think to much of it until we round a corner and see a young girl walking, we pull over to see if we can do anything, she asks us to phone for help, we agree and go on a few feet and say to each other, lets pick her up and take her to a phone so she isnít walking on the highway. Now the people that where at the gathering seen my pickup, there isnít room for 3 people in the front, I would like to correct you, there is if you donít travel far and they stay off my gearshift hahahaha, we dropped her off at a cafť and small repair shop a little ways up the road, as she gets out of the truck she thanks us and says she will hitchhike back to her vehicle, at the same time we both said tell us a lie but donít tell us you are going to hitchhike, to dangerous we told her. Mother in us I guess. J

Again it is boring just driving but we do see sun up ahead, time for another good deal, we are traveling down the freeway at 60 mph and a car pulls out onto the freeway beside us and the backdoor is open, a baby is sitting in a car seat back there, Hiker motions to her and they pull over. That is about the end of our excitement, we stopped to see a relative of mine and then off again to stay over night and have supper with my sister and Hiker is going to go visit her sister.

Wednesday morning, Ok so now it is really starting to sink in where we are going. Not good cause I am starting to get cold feet but I canít back out now, Hiker would kill me and not literally but honestly to goodness kill me, why do I say that cause she told me. Oh I should mention that when I get nervous and uptight I get migraines and along with them I get sick, want to guess the night and morning I had? I had hoped to be on the road by 6am, as I pull myself out of bed around 8am, and go downstairs they look at me and say do you have a migraine? Not sure why they would say that?? I assured them I was ok and off we go, ok I made it 20 miles to the border before Beulah called again. All the time Hiker is saying are you ok, I assure her I am, we get through the border crossing and about 1/2 hour drive I am pulling over for a rest. Ok only 5 minutes I am ok again, Wrong, but once you are back on those freeways in the states the only place to pull over is a rest area, we find another one and this time Hiker has to amuse herself for an hour, I flaked out, but of course I am not nervous about the gathering. I am finally feeling not bad and we are off and running again. I might add Hiker is in charge of the map, no one mentioned to me she is good at getting lost. We get to Longview, Washington and stop for groceries, nothing wrong with that now is there???Wrong again, we are convinced we are in Oregon and we donít know how to get back to the correct road cause it says we are on highway 4, now how can we be on that? We are in Oregon, as we are sitting in the truck trying to figure out how come the map is so screwed up we see a Department of Washington Highways truck, now to two normal people that should have been a clue that you where in Washington right?? Wrong again, they pulled into a stall ahead of us and I said I will just ask them, they pulled out to park somewhere else, where that didnít deter me I followed and being cheeky I said to the fellow as he got out of the truck ďyou can run but you canít hideĒ now he knows we are crazy and really need help. We ask him how to get to Highway 26.God donít ask those fellows or in fact any fellows we where more confused after we left then before. His instructions ď go to where the town thins out and take the truck route, turn left and just go across the bridge and then take the highway 26 exitĒ. Now those are simple instructions right?? First off the town really didnít thin out, there was no truck route sign and we had to make several left and right hand turns before, off in the distance we see a bridge and just keep heading for it.

Hiker assured me she had traveled this part of the highway before and knew it, hahahaha. RainyOR (Doug) had sent us some instructions but in our wisdom we kept on the highway, and Hiker is saying when we get down to Portland we are going to hit rush-hour traffic, I AM NOT GOING TO PORTLAND I assured her. As we are traveling along I seen a sign for Cornelius Pass, now that was on Raineyís email he had sent me telling that it was a nice route, we cut off and it was beautiful it is something like our Fraser Canyon without the mountains and river but winding and lots of curves. We both enjoyed that route. Oh I might mention that Hiker was concerned cause it was around 4pm and it gets dark in Oregon by 7pm cause they are further south then us in BC. And she doesnít want to have to find the cabin in the dark, as hard as I tried to convince her it isnít dark at 7 she wouldnít believe me. We followed the instructions on the map and arrived around 7pm and might I say it was still light and was so until around 8:30 but what do I know. A.O. (Bob) was there to greet us and gives us much-needed hugs, he ask if we had trouble finding the way, cause he had been there since 3 waiting for us. What can I say Bob, Sorry!!!  

We signed in and went and sat in the hot tub, and that is about as long as it took for me. There werenít very many people there at the time so it was a lot easier to be nude for the first time. We took our stuff into the cabin, now this is the neatest cabin; it isnít big but just great and thanks to Ron for the use of the cabin. We hadnít had supper so we cooked up a couple of fried egg sandwiches and we were off to bed. 

Thursday morning we are up at the crack of dawn, we go have a shower and sit in the hot tub, it is a beautiful day just for sitting around the pool and getting a suntan (errrr I should say sunburn). In the afternoon as we are sitting around the pool listening for FuzzyBareís Honda motorcycle that sometimes sounds like a lawnmower or we thought it did. He is the next of our clan to arrive, after hugs and greetings he says gee you guys are getting abit red, me being the sensible one goes and covers up, now Hiker on the other hand well what can I say? She wins the Scarlet Globe award. A little while later Bob comes and more greetings, then Dave shows up more greetings and hugs and there is great planning as to where he is going to put his trailer and how. After some discussion and pushing by hand the trailer is in place and we start to get settled in. Soon Ponca Paul shows up and more hugs and greetings, gee these places are great for hugs. J The guys get all settled in their places and now it is time to get to know each other. A lot of just sitting around telling stories and then it is time to start supper. At this time Bob has to leave and go back home, sure wish you could have stayed and joined the evening fun Bob. Dave is a wonderful cook; we just sat back and let him do it ahhaha. After supper is finished and dishes cleaned up it is time for more story telling and then crib. Now we are out camping and having a great time, around 8 Hiker says it is time for bed and goes off to the cabin, and the next thing I know the guys are saying the same thing, so this leaves me, ok it is 8:30 and I never go to bed before midnight, just what am I going to do? What else is there to do but go to the cabin and go to bed?

Friday morning everyone wants to be up at the crack of dawn cause they went to bed so early, me a couple hours more sleep would be nice, I am not used to getting up at 6am.Dave cooks up his famous Gathering Breakfast, Paul is mixing up the Sausages with jalapeno peppers, eggs, hash browns, we must not forget the coffee, or if it be known it is really varnish, man it will dissolve a spoon if left in there for very long. Great Breakfast Dave and everyone for helping, thank you. 

It is sunny and warm another day of just sitting around and enjoying each others company, this is the first time I have really had a holiday where you just sit around most of the time, hard for some people to do hahaha.

Fuzzybare heads off into North Plains and when he gets back he tells me of this great deal he heard on the radio for car stereos, knowing I need a new one for the truck. We are all sitting around the pool and he mentions it again, and then RainyOr appears; now that was a pleasant surprise. Everyone convinces me to head out and have a look, it is in Portland at the Meadows Raceway, ok no problem it canít be that hard to find.It is 2:45 off I head and it as about 10 min before I hit the Friday afternoon rush hour, we had all forgotten that it was Friday or they just wanted to get rid of me for hours, I arrived at CarToys at 5:15 bought my stereo and was out of there by 5:30.As I pulled into the resort 6:15 everyone stood up and cheered they had thought I got lost, Wrong again guys bad pennies keep coming back hahaha. Heck I even had a few of the people sitting around the other edge of the pool cheer. My groups first words were, did you get lost??? No guys what day is it?? Ahhhh oh my gosh we forgot it was Friday and rush hour to boot. In the mean time RainyOr had left and I really never got a chance to chat to him, oh no problem he is coming back later tonight they said, he never made it back, but will be here Sat afternoon. We decide we need to start supper and off we go to get the helpings. 

I started putting the stereo in the truck with an interruption of ďDianne supper is readyĒ I finished it after supper, nice sounding I might add but a $133 stereo just cost me $217 by the time Visa added their exchange on it, would have been cheaper to buy one at home hahahaha. But look at the fun I would have missed out on.  

I might mention boy did we have good meals, steaks, potatoes, fresh green beans. After supper it is more just sitting around and playing crib and relaxing. Oh I might mention that everyone is in bed again by 9. L

Saturday morning, up and at it again at the crack of dawn, showers, hot tub and Dave is cooking breakfast again.

FuzzyBare was smarter this morning he comes to the cabin and makes coffee for him and I, the rest really do like that varnish. After sitting around awhile I figure it is time to head out to meet Rustyís brother and family for lunch on their way through for their holidays, so I leave knowing that I have to pick up pork chops cause Bob and Doug are going to be having supper with us tonight and I can visit in the afternoon with Doug, as I am driving back to the resort who do I pass about 10 minutes from the resort but Rainy again I missed chatting to him. L It is such a beautiful afternoon we are sitting around the pool and decide to go for a swim, as I am swimming under water there is splash beside me as Bob jumps in the pool right beside me, he tried his best to scare me, it didnít work. More sitting around the pool chatting and enjoying ourselves. Bob has to head home also as his son has had an operation (hope all is going good Bob) and he is taking care of him. We learned how to play shuffleboard while down there, that is a lot of fun, boy do I need practice and the broom they supply has no bristles so how can I sweep those pucks from one end to the other. Ok more pork chops then we can eat in one meal, no problem we have them two nights in a row hahaha. We spend our last evening just having a great time and really glad we all made it to this years gathering, there is talk of next years being in July as Amor and his wife will be in the area and would like to attend. Paul headed for bed and then Hiker headed back to the cabin for bed, I didnít want to give up so easily tonight cause this was our last night, I kept Dave up playing crib until around 11 and then it really was time for bed, I headed back that long lonely trip to our cabin.  

This by the way is a direct quote from hiker:  ďmaybe it was the brown pop the rest of were drinking that put us to bed early???????."

Sunday morning and really no one is looking forward to this day. It means that some of our group will be leaving. L We had breakfast and tried to stay warm, it was cool and once in awhile it rained a few drops, then the sun would come out, what more could you ask for, we are sitting around the camp again just relaxing. We had someone take a picture of Dave, Paul, Rusty, Hiker and I as we where sitting around the pool, boy we did spend a lot of time just sitting around either at the camp or pool didnít we? And then came those dreadful words that no one wanted to hear, Paul was heading out L with lots of hugs we bid him goodbye. Then Bob came back out for another visit, we got more pictures of this group, and it is to bad we couldnít have gotten a picture when everyone was there. Another game or two of shuffleboard, hiker is getting good at this but still manages to lose to the guys, obtw Bob is an expert as this game, we need more practice for next year. Now it is about time for Dave to leave but he is procrastinating as long as possible. We get him all packed up and then sit around visiting again, finally he has to leave, more hugs and goodbyes. Now Bob is heading home also, again more hugs and byes. Now we are really alone just the three from BC. Rusty makes supper for us and I must say darn he is a good cook. We clean up and just sit around talking about the great weekend we had, and talk about our plans for driving tomorrow. 

Monday morning, we are up and at it around 6, Rusty makes us some good coffee again. J We all head up for showers and then we start packing things into the truck and Rustyís bike. One more of our group is leaving and like I said to them, it is easier for us, cause everyone else has had to say goodbye to us and we are now just the stragglers and it isnít so hard for us. Rusty heads out and as we are standing by the truck I look down and see the strap for his glasses, I hooked up the CB and called him, he waited at the bottom of the driveway and I drove down to give it to him, one more goodbye, up the hill and Hiker and I say goodbye to the people that have come over to say goodbye, not sure if maybe they are doing that cause now they are going to have peace and quiet, we did do a lot of laughing and acting like kids over those 4 days hahahaha.  

I must say I really enjoyed myself and hope to be able to make next years gathering also, that is if they will allow me back there. J I honestly donít know if I am ready for a large resort but I guess time will tell.

Bye Restful Haven you will never be the same and you have a year to regain yourselves before we bless you with our presents again. J