Sunday, September 14, 2008

If you were stranded in the desert...

So I told you that I would post about the rest of our Labor Day adventures.

After church on Sunday of Labor Day weekend we drove with Brian's parents to Bend, Oregon, which is smack dab in the center of the state. It's in what's known as the 'high desert' and people there are all sorts of outdoorsy. Think Moab meets Great Northwest.

History lesson: Since the volcanoes in Oregon are part of the 'Ring of Fire' much of the state has been shaped and reshaped by eruptions. There are tons of cool lava formations and other neat things to see, but by the time we got to the Newberry National Volcanic Monument, it was getting late and all we had time for was the 'Lava Cast Forest.'

Basing my ideas of this place on the online description, I thought we were going to see tubes of lava sticking up into the air. Instead, there was a massive field of lava and every once in a while there would be a huge hole in the ground. These holes were formed when the lava from an eruption 7000 years ago flowed around the trunks of trees. The trees have since rotted away, and all that's left are the molds the lava has made. It was fun, but cold, and not as impressive in real life as it was in my mind.

This is Brian standing in a 7000 year old hole in the ground.

And here is a picture of a minute portion of the lava field. Let me just tell you, the old 'run to higher ground' thing wouldn't have worked for you here. Pretty sure you would have been a goner. A crispy little goner.That night we stayed in a hotel where we played cards and drank whiskey. Ok, ok. But we really did play cards. And dad won. As usual.

***Correction: Brian informs me it was HE who won, and not dad. Silly me.***

The next day, Labor Day, Brian's parents left early for the 14 hour drive back to Utah. Brian and I had planned on renting a car to take us back to the town we live in, 3 hours away. We had called a rental place on Sunday before we left, and they had told us they would be open on Monday aka Labor Day, and we would be able to rent a car. So, being smart, planning people, we stayed in a hotel right across the street from the car rental joint. Monday aka Labor Day morning, while I was still asleep, Brian walked across the street to rent our car. And they were closed. Apparently the person he had spoken with the day before HAD been drinking whiskey, and lots of it. Not only were THEY closed, but so was every other car rental place in Bend.

Brian returned to our room, where I was still sleeping, and ever so quietly and desperately tried to solve the problem before I woke up. He didn't want me to worry, you see, because that's just the kind of guy he is. Later he would say he seriously considered renting a U-Haul truck to drive home in.

When I woke up, Brian calmly informed me that we had no way of getting home. I must have acknowledged him and then in a sleepy stupor, stumbled to the bathroom and got in the shower. It wasn't until after I turned on the water that I realized that we were stranded in this hotel room, and the toilet wouldn't even flush. My heart started to pound, and I began sputtering out ideas. We could take a cab, no, too expensive. A greyhound? Weird. Walk? No, too far. Helicopter? ...

Eventually though, we did find a way to get home (and to the High Desert Museum), and this is how we did it.

Step #1: We took a cab from our hotel to another hotel across town, where a shuttle picks people up. Cab fare: $15.00

Step #2: Took shuttle from pickup location in Bend to the Redmond Airport. Shuttle fare for two: $25.00

Step #3: Rent car from Redmond airport, the only place within one hundred miles where you can rent a car. Feel sorry for yourself and cry a little in the tiny airport foyer while rich people who wear loafers with no socks stare at you. Rental Car fees: $50.00

Step #4: Return to Bend in rental car two hours and ninety dollars later and spend the rest of the day as planned, in the High Desert Museum.

I can definitely say that the High Desert Museum was well worth all the hassle it took to get there. First, they had fish, which are RAD.

Second, they had owls. Real ones. And they were ALIVE.

I heart you, owls. I heart you a whole lot.

After the museum, we returned home in our most superb rental, and thus ended our Labor Day weekend of cheap hotels, cabs, and whiskey.


Kimba said...

So maybe just because I've heard this story already, but the first thing I thought of was holy crap, did you say a car rental fee was only $50?!??! Put another point on the board for Oregon. :)

Abby said...

I know! I couldn't remember how much it cost, and I asked Brian and that's what he told me. I thought it was low too.

bridge said...

I could NOT believe this story when Kim told me! But seriously, what an adventure. And it made for a very entertaining post. Silver lining, Abby, silver lining.

Lloyd said...

Amazing story and a great adventure that you will remember for the rest of your life. Thank you for this wonderful blog. It is truly a bright spot in my day. You are a gifted writer. I love you. Tell Brian that I love his hair cut. He is looking more like me every day. XO Dad.

heather said...

So um, that sucks. I'm glad you got to see some fish and owls. Hey, if that makes you feel better than I say fish it up! You're too funny.

C.J. and Jackie said...

I heart you Abby, I heart you a whole lot! I love reading your blog. It always brightens my day. You write the best stories and I literally laugh at loud every time I read your blog. We miss you guys tons. One day we will come to Oregon and maybe have an exciting adventure of our own.