Because doing a triathlon wasn’t enough for one long weekend, Ryan and I also decided it was perfectly feasible to attend a wedding in Walla Walla, WA (in eastern WA) the next day. His friend Jordan was getting married, and this would also give me an opportunity to meet a few friends of Ryan’s I hadn’t met yet, all of whom are named Tyson.
So after the race, we stopped by my house so I could wash off the sweat and river, and then hopped in The Little Blue Pig and headed northward. Ryan drove the whole way, since my legs were a bit on the dead side. All things considered, though, I felt pretty good. We left about 1:30 (after grabbing some In ‘n’ Out), and the drive took a little over 12 hours. It would have taken a little less, but we had to stop every hour so I could go to the bathroom (all that Gatorade!) and walk around so that my legs wouldn’t fall off. Also, Oregon’s speed limits are comically slow and their cops are vigilant.
We listened to a bit of The Lies of Locke Lamora and grooved to a Mumford & Sons mix on Pandora. We ate dinner in the little town of Chemult, OR, which had the most desperate sign as we were leaving town: “Please Come Back” with a sad bear on it. Poor Chemult.
We got into Walla Walla around 2:00am. I was, needless to say, a bit tired. Ryan dropped me off at his friend Gary’s house and went to help with last-minute reception set-up stuff. I crashed.
The next morning, we helped the groomsmen (all Ryan’s friends) get ready for the wedding. We helped out wherever we were needed, but also snuck in some time so that Ryan could show me around Walla Walla, where he went to college. We also devoured some delicious milkshakes from Ice-Burg, since it was about a million degrees outside.
The outdoor wedding was lovely, but hot. They had everyone on the groom’s side move over to the shady bride’s side so that there wouldn’t be any heatstroke. Thankfully, the reception was inside! It was a quick little reception, but gave me a chance to get to know the Tysons a little. Ryan said they approved of me, which is good, because I didn’t want to have to ninja any of them. That night, after tearing down the wedding stuff, we went back to Plural Tyson’s house (since he’s not single anymore) and played 7 Wonders, a board game that took me far too long to understand completely. In fact, I’m still not quite sure I grasped even a portion of the game’s depth.
The next morning, we bought ourselves some Walla Walla Sweet Onions, gathered one of the Tysons and headed west, toward Portland. We drove on the north side of the Columbia River Gorge. We stopped at a WWI Memorial, built to look like a complete, not-falling-apart Stonehenge. In a parking lot. Not gonna lie — it was weird. But it offered lovely views of Mount Hood in the distance.
We continued along the Gorge and it just got more and more lovely. Though I’ve not spent much time at all up in that part of the world, I know I’d be so happy living up there. It’s so green and lush and beautiful! We stopped for some really delicious pizza with Tyson in Stevenson, OR, and found out later that his parents had walked in just a few minutes after we left. Of all the places between Walla Walla and Corvalis, OR, we ate at the same pizza joint. Small world!
We then headed to Multnomah Falls. I’d been excited about seeing it ever since Ryan said we’d stop there on our way home. It’s right off the freeway, so we just pulled in and hiked up to see the falls. It was fairly crowded for a Monday afternoon, but it was still beautiful.
We decided to hike to the top of the falls, thinking that a mile-long hike to the top wouldn’t be too bad. It turned out it was a bit longer than that, and it was all somewhat-steep switchbacks. My calves were like, WHATCORISTOPNOW the whole way. But it was great to be outside in the woods and see the falls from the top.
And then we realized it was 5:15pm and we were still ten hours from home. And we both had to work the next morning. We hopped back in the Little Blue Pig and drove as fast as we dared home (sometimes we hit 70mph. TAKE THAT, OREGON.). We played several hours’ worth of Twenty Questions and ate a ton of candy that we stole from Gary in Walla Walla. Toward the end of the drive, I was about dead. Thankfully, Ryan was awake enough to get us home. He dropped me off around 3:30am, and just three measly hours later, I got up to go to work. Surprisingly, I wasn’t as exhausted as I could have been — it was more like I’d had a power nap rather than a good night’s sleep.
Crazy weekend? Yes. Totally worth it? YES!!