This has been one of the best spring breaks ever!  One of my close friends had an old friend visiting from Germany and I was invited along to do a bunch of fun sight-seeing with them for a week.  We met up for coffee downtown, did a bunch of thrift store shopping, went to a brew pub, and we introduced Kathrin to Powells, the bookstore mecca.  Another day they came over for a crepe brunch, we did more thrift store shopping on Hawthorne, then I had some additional friends come over for a big homemade pizza dinner and we went to a tango at a nearby dance hall.  We had a lovely night of dance, then went to get some drinks and a late happy hour downtown.

Columbia River Gorge

Another day we went for a drive in the Columbia River Gorge, hiked to the top of Multnomah Falls, and had lunch at the Full Sail Brewery  in Hood River. It was a fun drive and a slightly snowy hike at the falls.  Still, it was a great time. The following morning we met up to go to the Oregon coast for the day.  In spite of a slight mix-up, and some additional snow gear being packed along, we had a beautiful sunny day at the coast and explored some muddy trails at Ecola State Park.

Oregon Coast

When we were at Powells I picked up some much-needed spring break reading.  I bought The Big Burn: Teddy Roosevelt and the Fire that Saved America, by Timothy Egan.  The book is about the fire of 1910 that ended up being the largest fire on record in North America, burning three million acres in a single weekend.  It is neat too, because I’m interviewing for a number of summer internships and jobs, and one of them happens to be in the Great Burn area of Idaho/Montana.  So having an understanding of the burn’s history will be useful.

Missoula, MT

I decided that it was time to drive east to Montana on spring break.  I have relatives in Missoula, and it happens to be one of my favorite places to visit.  I used to spend the summers out here, and it is just such a wonderful place.

University of Montana 

Spring flowers

I had a wonderful time visiting, hiking at least once per day (there are trails all over, and many start right in town), checking out some watershed restoration projects, trying some Montana breweries, touring the U of M campus, and going to a Wilderness Institute lecture on the Clark Fork River restoration project.  The weather has been very nice, although today it is a little bit rainy.  It is going to be hard to leave Missoula!

In other news, Graduate school is getting more and more stressful.  Not really sure what I am doing or how on earth I am going to graduate ever.  But that’s okay, because I am on vacation for a week.  I can worry about it when I return this next week.

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