After landing at the Portland airport we boarded our bus to the beautiful Mt Hood campsite. We had our own private section of the campground tucked between the trees. Between a BBQ dinner and roasting s’mores we continued some fun get-to-know-you games before turning in for the night.
The next morning, half of the group headed to Mt Hood and spent the morning tearing up the slopes. While skiing, some even explored a beautiful part of the mountain with gorgeous views and a hidden, bubbling little stream. And a hard core group of participants practically skied until the hill closed.
At the same time, the other half of the group biked the alpine trails. One of the guide’s dogs Bara ran alongside the group leading the way. The trails were challenging, but our trip members handled the three mile course like rock stars!
Eventually, we all regrouped at a scenic overlook and then spent the afternoon zipping down alpine slides and playing some great icebreakers and name games. During the game we learned that Spencer is a Colts fan from South Carolina, Ulysse is a Portuguese speaker from France, and that Sherise recently arrived to the USA from South Africa.
After our fun we arrived back to the campsite where the Trip Members prepared an amazing meal. Our campsite manager taught them a few tricks for cutting peppers and onions, and soon they had chopped, sliced, and diced up all of the fixings for an epic Mexican fiesta. The food was so good – and banana boats for dessert were just as scrumptious.
The following day we began the King of the Northwestern Odyssey Scavenger Hunt. It started off with a bang during the Seattle Mariners game. After we took some time to take in the incredible views from our seats, trip members started to hammer through items on the list. Sydni gave a stunning public performance of Hamilton; Shayna, Jenna, Harrison, and Brooke made it onto the Jumbo Tron; and Matthew tore across three sections of seats to secure a picture with the Mariner’s mascot. Even though the Mariners lost, each scavenger hunt team left with some big wins.
The next morning we began to delve into the heart of Seattle. Our journey started by kayaking across West Lake, where we saw the entire skyline and watched seaplanes take off and land directly overhead. Henry and Oliver wound up racing a trip leader for a full quarter mile and managed to eek out a narrow, but decisive victory.
At Pike’s Place Market, we went out to lunch, and discovered the joy of cheese curds at the market’s cheese shop. We also saw the famous gum wall, and many of our trip members decided to add in their own sticky masticated contributions. So gross.
Later we went to the music museum. We saw several great exhibits, including one with journals from Jimi Hendrix, but the highlight was definitely the recording studio. Our trip members donned costumes and instruments; formed bands with names like the 32s, Tiff and the West Gents, and the Cheese Curds; entered a sound booth, and recreated several of their favorite tunes. Perhaps you’ll see some of them on the Billboard 100 soon!
The first half of our Seattle adventure ended with an unbelievable night of whirlyball. Several of our trip members excelled, especially Jackson who scored a ton of points, Sherise who drove like Jeff Gordon, and Spencer and Alex who came up big as substitutes for a number of teams. Yet even at their best, the Trip Members were no match for the staff team, which remained undefeated throughout the tournament and who treated the trip members to a rousing round of ‘We are the Champions’ on their way back to the hotel.
Our time in Seattle was capped off with a visit to the water park and the famous space needle. Everyone had a blast! Stay tuned to learn more about which team will earn the title of Scavenger Hunt champs and all our stories in Canada. Until next time!
The Westcoast Blogger