Lucky me. when I went to Portland, the other week, I got to see Nyklus again.
Nyk has been written about a few dozen times on here, I swear, but I'll summerize it here.
I met him at King Street Station, in Seattle. We'd been trying to connect for over a month with no success and had given up. Then, as I was leaving for Chicago on the train, as it turns out, he was on my train too! Voila, friendship!
Three years later and we're still friends. Between the two of us, we've covered at least 19 countries and thousands of miles, grown leaps and bounds, dreamed dreams, and made them happen.
Nyk makes things happen and, in this case, he made a day together happen and for that, I'm very grateful. Nyk lives over by the coast, so it was a 2 or so hour for him to get to Portland. He picked me up at just the right time. I was needing some Nyk-time. He is hella grounding and super loving. The sort of guy where, when I feel like my anxiety is making me a nuisance, just asks what he can do to help.
We had our sights set on the hotsprings, today, but got another enjoyable activity.
The road out to the hotsprings was a refreshing shock to the system of beauty. Rich, deep forests and hills to weave over and around. Once Nyk knew we were close, he pulled over and asked a car-load of twenty-somethings if they knew the way there. We got some directions and continued on.
A short drive, left turn, and we were on two-lane road with one set of tracks cut through the ice. If you stayed on the tracks, you could drive pretty well. Up we climbed, hoping we wouldn't encounter another automobile. That would force us to leave the tracks and I'm not too sure we would'vgotten to far once we left them. The road was also narrow with sloping sides going down on one side.
My accident, the one that messed me up, was on black ice. This wasn't black ice, but I've since had a huge fear of driving in less-than-prime conditions. My head prickled and my stomach burned.
He kept telling me we were almost there but we weren't because we went around corner and corner and there were no hotsprings. After a good set of miles, we saw an extended patch of just ice with a huge turn off on the left. The whole patch was just gravel, not ice, and it was going to be the perfect place to turn around. Later we would learn that there would be nothing like it for miles.
I hopped out and Nyk got to work crossing some sheets of sleek ice to get to the gravel. He did a great job navigating a situation I'm not sure he's ever been in before. It didn't always look optimistic, as he maneuvered his truck to the solid gravel and turned around to face back down the hill we had come up.
Then, we got walking.
And, the beautiful thing is, that turned out to be our destination.
We set out walking for mile up mile. It was beautiful and pristine up there. It was just a road, and trees, and ice, and we could hear a river. We walked, hoping to find the hot springs, but pretty soon we realized that that wasn't going to happen. Every turn we took, we expected it to be there, ready for us, but it was definitely a no show. The swell thing is, two hours of walking in the snow can do a man and lady wonders, and we enjoyed ourselves.
The point of meeting up with Nyk was to see Nyk and be outside, and that's what happened.
Before it got too late, we headed back down. Nyk once again got to navigate over a sheet of ice while I watched from the outside.
We made it safely down and weaved our way through the trees till we found ourselves in Estacada. We got cups of tea at a florist, cafe, ice cream, greeting card shop. It made me think of Haines where every shop doubles as another shop. For example, the book store sells toys, the RV park sells chainsaws, and you go to the bakery for Thai food.
We looked around a bit more. Our second longest stop was at the drugstore, Hi-School Pharmacy. They had everything there! You should go. It's at 207 Broadway St, Estacada, OR.
I wonder why they have a Broadway in Estacada? Estacada has a lot of the boring street names, like Main and Beach, but here are a few of the other names of their streets:
- Boulevard Way
- Currin Street
- Short Street
- Shafford Avenue
- Zobrist Street
- Currin Street
- Juniper Street
- Clackamas Street (common in Oregon)
- Foothills Drive
- Cascadia Ridge Drive
- Wheeler, Tailor, Gardiner, Rockwell, Cooper, Lawrence, Woodland, Summer
- Funny Farm Road
- Moss Hill Road
- Independence Avenue
- Teeples Lane
- Summer Lane
- Tumala Mountain Road
- Medicine Song Road
- Surface Road
- Buzz Road
And tehere's a whole lot more. I'm not sure if other folks are as intrigued by street names as I am. I love the idea that there are people that know all these streets, as you often do in a small town (or you at least expect everyone to know your street's name). Their area of geography expertises are within the town limits. There are folks who have lived in Estacada their whole lives.
I also love meeting those people, when I travel. I love to meet the people who have never left. They never see a reason to. Estacada has everything they need. I'm jealous of them. I wish my feet weren't so itchy. Much has come of traveling, and I'm grateful for the stories and friends and growth, but I wonder what life would be like if I never felt the need to leave.
Another part of my trip with Nyk was this.. this.. I forget what's it's called. It's by Dave's Killer Bread and it's a long rolled up bread product oozing with cinnamon filling. It's heavenly. I've been wanting to take bites out of one since I first tried one in 2009 but never have 'cause dollars. I probably ate more than my share, but I enjoyed it so much and... and... oozing cinnamon goo. Nyk was gracious. Nyk's always gracious. Has that men ever not been gracious?
Driving home wasn't my favourite. Night driving in the rain can do things to me even if someone else is driving. I felt bad because, by the time we got home, I was all locked up and just wanted to head inside, so my farewell was a bit abrupt 'cause of weird head space.
I'm grateful, though. I was. I am. Still am.
Time with Nyklus is always something to be grateful for.