Team #SmileHarder with Guide Brad (left) & Pilot Chris (rear)
*Special thanks to Andrew Wilder of Eating Rules, who took most pictures from this post unless otherwise specified.
Remember summer camp? Whistling with ten crackers in your mouth after swimming the length of the lake? Getting asked to the end-of-week dance by Petey Goldwyn (heir to the MGM crown) and turning him down because Gary Warsaw was way cuter? Ok, so maybe you didn’t go to summer camp with the spawn of Hollywood royalty, and frankly I’m not sure why I did either, but you remember the experience, right?
At the beginning there was an impending sense of dread. What if they don’t like me? What if I wet my pants on the top bunk and it dribbles down into Shiela B’s perfectly-plaited hair? But by the end, you’d sooner streak naked through the mess hall than abscond to the eager arms of your ‘rents.
That’s what the long weekend I spent in Oregon hosted by Travel Oregon and managed by Maxwell PR was like. Before I went, I didn’t love Oregon. I lived in Portland for a year just out of high school and found very little to do there besides get into the kind of trouble that involved copious bong hits and regular rave attendance (along with the accoutrements of that lifestyle). The tragicomic denouement was a weeklong sojourn in my car because I was too embarrassed to call home and admit I’d been kicked out of my apartment. When I left Portland I commemorated it by shaving my head to the quick and leaving the pile of blond half-dreadlocks behind in favor of a new zen lifestyle.
So it was with great trepidation that I returned to the heart of my late-adolescent angst. I needn’t have worried. I took a train to Portland, which was delayed because a drunken man took up residence on an underpass above the tracks and refused to come down from his six inch perch. When we finally got the all-clear to pass, our train was well-behind schedule, thus depositing me late into the throes of the welcome reception. Read more