Becky Feagan’s Retirement Trip
Published: July 30, 2015
After two weeks of cleaning out my things from the school attic and class, I finally finished, turned in my fob and school keys to Mrs. Castle, walked back into my class one last time and looked around at the blank walls and the desks piled up. It was time to say goodbye. With a few tears welling up I closed the door one last time saying goodbye to my "school home". It was a sad moment but within three hours my husband and I were on our retirement trip to the west coast. And what a trip we had—first traveling to northwest Montana to see my brother. We arrived there Tuesday night, June 9th, and the very next day the three of us went to Glacier National Park. It was neither my first visit nor my last. It was wonderful to dip my toes into its icy waters and gaze upon its majestic mountains. But even more exciting was the helicopter tour over Glacier National Park the next day. We had never done such an adventure before but since we were on a new adventure in our lives, we decided to experience Glacier from above. Amazing!!
We continued our retirement journey through Idaho, Washington and the Columbia River Gorge stopping to see Mt. Hood from a distance as well as two high school classmates that we hadn't seen in many, many years! As we traveled down the river gorge I reflected on the journey of Lewis and Clark. I had been out this way about twelve years ago with a Peru State College class- celebrating the bicentennial commemoration of their historic journey. I envisioned them canoeing and hollering "Ocean in view!" as they saw the Pacific Ocean for the first time. Seeing it again I too hollered out "Ocean in View" and marveled at the estuary located at historic Astoria, Oregon which we visited for two days/nights. We heard sea lions from our hotel room and also heard about how Astoria [pop.10,000] had just celebrated the 30th anniversary of the movie "Goonies". We could not imagine 12,000 visitors coming there the weekend before our arrival. We crossed their 4.1 mile bridge across the estuary, traveling into Washington to see the Cape Disappointment Lighthouse named for the disappointment felt by the Lewis and Clark expedition upon not finding a ship at the coast.
Before leaving the area we visited Ft. Clatsop NHM, a replica of the Lewis and Clark quarters that they built after arriving at the Pacific Ocean. We visited a windy beach before heading down Hwy 101 along Oregon's beautiful coastline. Crater Lake was our next destination and what a magnificent site to behold! The majestic lake created from a volcano that imploded was an unreal blue just like the photos in books and postcards! We traveled back towards the coast where Mr. Feagan allowed me to get out at a state park in order to climb a sand dune that was more difficult than I first thought. I guess I'm not as young as I used to be but I made it to the top! I have always been adventurous and though he wished I wouldn't, I did hike by myself to see Oregon's third tallest waterfall. It wasn't like hiking at Philmont, New Mexico and there were other tourists a ways behind me as I hiked up to stand right beside it! In thirty minutes I was back!
I had never been to California so I was excited, thinking it would be hot and sunny. I was surprised to find the northwest coastline to be chilly. We walked through our first grove of Redwoods shortly after crossing the border. I gazed up at these magnificent trees wondering what they could tell us about all the history they had lived. They were the highlight of our two week journey. We also visited Lassen Volcanic National Park before heading to I-80 for our long trip home. As we crossed the Great Basin I saw a highway sign for its national park not realizing it was a national park. That's on my list for next time along with Yosemite, Sequoia, Death Valley, etc.
For photos of the trip click here.
Where did you go this summer?? Share your adventures and experiences!! Send the adventures from your child's perspective to Jackie Ortega.