Portland – Coffee, laughter and a yurt.

Not having Romi with me was and still is an adjustment, but life must continue and there is just so much to be grateful for. On our way to Portland, Oregon Gustaff and I decided to hop off the I-5 and get over to Hwy 101. The only road we found was Hwy 36 through a thick forest. It was such a beautiful drive, but it definitely took us a lot longer than we had expected. I did my best to enjoy it despite only having one hour of sleep the night before, since we decided to leave right after I dropped Romi off at the airport in Sacramento.

A photo of the view from Highway 36 in California
Middle of nowhere on Hwy 36.
Selfie photobombed on highway 36 with a tree full of shoes.
Gustaff photobombing my selfie with a tree full of shoes.
Photo of some elk on the road to Portland, oregon
We even got to enjoy some wildlife on the way.
Photo at the state line of Oregon towards Portland
Finally crossing into Oregon.

We were relieved to reach the 101 to see the ocean again and fill up on gas, as we were dangerously low. The view was spectacular as we winded our way north following the shoreline through funky northern California towns. Again I was doing my best to enjoy it, but it really seemed like we weren’t making any progress and my energy was fading fast. So we decided to find the next rout back to the I-5.

After crossing the Oregon state line we made one last stop in Eugine for lunch before finishing up the rest of the drive to Portland. Once we hit the city we continued through the maze of bridges offering one more gorgeous view while the sun-set in the background. Finally we arrived at Chelan and Noah’s home in the northwest of Portland. Even though I was drained, I had enough energy to join everyone in an impromptu devotional before bed.

Gustaff and I had three shows in the Portland area; one just across the border in Lyle, Washington; the second at the Portland Baha’i Center; and the third at the Beaverton Baha’i Center. All three shows went really well, and Gustaff and I both agreed that we were truly finding our groove together. Chelan and Noah supported us the entire time by getting there early, helping us set up and take down, singing along with us and being our biggest fans.

EP Shadows road trip show in Lyle, Washington in a cabin with Gustaff Besungu and Stevie Vagabond
First show in Lyle, Washington.
EP shadows road trip show at the Portland Baha'i Center in Oregon
Performing at the Portland Baha’i Center

We connected right away with Chelan and Noah, and during the in-between times we were able to make some great memories together. Twice we made the trip out to Lyle where Chelan’s mom and dad live in a cute and cozy cabin tucked away in the woods. Gustaff and I got the pleasure of spending both those nights in their yurt named “the forest cupcake”. We froze the first time, but by the second time we had learned our lesson and I kept a fire going the whole night for us. The drive to Lyle was an adventure in itself which hugged the state-line of Washington, the Columbia River. Chelan and Noah took us to a few cool little places for coffee and different kinds of food in the small towns along the way such as Hood River and White Salmon. Though time was always pushing us to keep going we also got to make a quick stop at one of the many waterfalls on the Oregon side of the river.

Cabin in Lyle, Washington
Chelan’s family home in Lyle.
Photo of the outside of a yurt in Lyle, Washington
First time ever experiencing the Yurt (Instagram: @stevievagabond)
Photo of the inside of a yurt in Lyle, Washington.
View of the inside.
Baha'i decorations inside a yurt in Lyle, Washington.
Some of the lovely Baha’i decorations inside the yurt.

Back in Portland our days consisted of so much laughter that we often forgot of time and place. We played a lot of music, ate a lot of food, drank coffee, sang songs, had many conversations, told stories, and simply enjoyed each others company to the level of comfort that one only has with their closest of family members. We made such a special bond that Chelan and Noah plan to meet us at one of our next stops in Seattle.

A photo of flowers and the sunset in Portland, Oregon
Some of the flowers during sunset in Portland.
A photo of a man sewing a patch on jeans.
Noah fixing my jeans.
A young couple in Portland, Oregon
Looking forward to our soon to come reunion in Seattle.

Gustaff and I packed up on Wednesday, April 6, and in the early afternoon set off towards Tacoma, with new gifts of homemade LipChap, deodorant and even a new patch on my old jeans, for our next show that evening in Gig Harbor, Washington.

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