Destiny is a mix of chance and luck. That’s the only way to explain ending up at the same campground that Andrew and Sarah choose! We rarely camp in state parks or national park campgrounds. Only when in need of a nice shower and that happens only when the dust on our body can be considered an extra skin layer. This time we stayed in a state park … and for $ 20 we had luxury. The whole tourist infrastructure in Stanch, both paid and not, works very well. Not only they exist but are also very well maintained.
Our spot was in-between two others already taken. To our left a couple, she Australian and he Canadian. It didn’t take long for us to start chatting. Five minutes into our nice chat and the neighbour to our right came to inquire if he had heard the word Poland or Holland. Poland, answered Marzena. It happened that he, Andrew, was from Wroclaw and his wife, Sarah, from the Philippines. The conversation got into the night so Andrew lighted a fire and made some drinks (Cuba Libre). Night talks ended with us being invited to their house! Sarah and Andrew live in Columbia River area, which divides two states – Washington in the north, and Oregon in the south. We were in the south of Oregon state, at the very border with California state. We just could not resist the temptation and drove 500 km back north, this time not along the coast, but trough state road (highway or road that we avoided when driving south).
Upon arrival we had a guest room with a bed! What a nice change from the mattress in the tent. Andrew had a full day planed starting in the next morning so we went, after a very nice shower, straight to bed.
The next morning, we headed for the river with our captain Andrew.
The morning was cloudy, but it did not remove the smile from our faces. Everything looks different from the river. In the afternoon the sun came out, and in the evening, Marzena and Andrzej, looked like crayfish. Sergio, being Portuguese, is well adapted to the hardships of life in a boat, therefor kept his natural wonderful skin colour! At home, Sarah was waiting for us with diner already prepared. Delicious. Not only the food but the conversation. We talked about Poland, about America, about the Philippines and of course about Portugal. This journey only makes sense if we take the opportunity to learn how people live in their country, how they view the world and compare it with our own. Such exchange is a rich experience, more than reading it in books or watching it on television. It allows you to get closer to a different culture, putting aside stereotypes and prejudices, letting yourself be carried away by the sheer pleasure of hearing about things unknown to you and telling about your own tradition.
On the labour’s day, as suggested by Andrew, we made a trip around the river, watching from the land the things we saw from the river. Andrew gave us all the coordinates of points worth visiting and helpful information, how and where to park, in what order, etc. And we could also see the river itself. A wide, navigable river with a beautiful canyon.
We took the opportunity to make a tour guided visited to the hydroelectric power plant. At the dam, we also saw a family of sea lions that came here to feast on fish and they were not disturbed by the sweet water river. They looked happy and fat.
The next point in the programs was climbing the Beacon Rock.
Tired but happy, we returned to our hosts. And, once again, Sarah was waiting for us again with an excellent diner. Incredible Mrs. House!!! This was our last night at our beloved hosts. The conversations ended almost in the morning. We even got food for the road. Awesome people! Philippine and Polish hospitality, that even after 50 years spent away from Poland, you did not forget! Great respect for you!
Sarah, Andrew, thank you once again for spending time with us and the opportunity to see your life up close. Thank you for your hospitality and we hope to meet you again – maybe in Mexico and maybe in Europe.
And we went one more time to the south, this time through the eastern part of the state of Oregon, which is almost desert.
Next post we will take you to Crater Lake.