Just got back from a lovely two week stay in Oregon with TheCop. While he had plans to hike and explore Mt. Hood, I was set to spend time catching up with my sister in Portland, taking day trips to locales of interest (read: wine, food, beach, yarn). This is one of the reasons the pacific northwest is so appealing to us — we can both do things together and apart that appeal to our varied interests. I love that. Our first day trip: to drop TheCop off at Mt. Hood for a five day hike along the Timberline Trail.

After we left TheCop at the trail head, we wandered a bit as we headed back toward Portland. Outside Hood River we found fruit orchards, wineries, and Cascade Alpacas of Oregon, an alpaca farm where we stopped to feed the alpacas and browse Foothills Yarn & Fiber, their yarn shop (yarn! in the middle of nowhere! have I got mad skills or what??!!). Alpacas are a funny bunch; very friendly, not a little shy, and more than a little hungry. My sister TheProgrammer was not completely convinced that alpacas are harmless, but it was a hoot.

I have to admit, alpaca farming in the shadow of Mt. Hood seems to be a pretty fantastic way to spend your days. More than a little picturesque nestled there in the mountains, isn’t it? And freshly shorn alpaca with that topknot mop of hair is just cuter than cute. Not to be outdone, the yarn shop was chock full of — you guessed it — yards and yards of fabulous alpaca. I tried like hell, but ended up not buying any alpaca to bring home and add to the stash; instead, I bought a crochet hook (!!!) to fix some dropped stitches on my Clapotis scarf. Oh yes, just call me Big Spender.

Nonetheless, this was, quite possibly, the best day of back country wandering I’ve ever had. Beautiful weather. Beautiful scenery. Beautiful alpacas. All less than two hours away from culture and city life. Why do I live in Pennsylvania when there’s such beauty here?

Alpaca think on that one awhile.

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