31 October 2017

Q&A with Current LC Students

Happy Halloween everyone! The end of October is finally here and I know that a lot of you are putting in applications for college around this time. It's stressful (trust me, I've been there), but I promise you'll get through it. For some extra help, I asked three LC students about their experiences applying to colleges, how they narrowed their choices, and why they felt LC was the right pick for them.

Sydney '21 

What/who eased the application process for you?

The people working in the LC admissions office helped me a lot with the application process. Don't be afraid to contact school's and ask them your own questions! The LC admissions office was really open to answering all of the questions I had beforehand.

What are some tips you would give to students applying to colleges now? 

DON'T STRESS!! I stressed way too much when I was applying for college, which made the application process miserable. Just remember, college is going to be a great experience and that all the work you are doing now to apply is totally worth it.

What made you feel that LC was the right pick for you? 

I knew it was right for me as soon as I saw how beautiful the campus and city was. I also loved the small size of the school and the small class sizes that it offered.

Erin '21 

What was stressful for you when applying to college? 

My goal is to become an athletic trainer. What was stressful for me, was finding a school that would offer me opportunities to get involved with working with student athletes. I also needed to attend a school that had a small student to professor ratio because that is the environment I need to efficiently learn. The difficulties I had was finding a school that catered to that.

What advice would you give to students who are having trouble with narrowing their choices? 

On paper, schools looked similar to me. My advice would be to GO VISIT! The feeling you get while being on a campus tells you a lot about whether or not you should apply. On my visits, I was able to see if they had the opportunities I needed to fulfill my own goals.

What made you feel that LC was the right pick for you? 

The moment I stepped on campus and I saw students interacting amongst one another. They looked so happy and it made me see how my future as a pioneer could be just as successful as theirs!

Serena '19

What helped you with easing the application process for college? 

I was always asking my teachers and counselor for advice, whether it be about which schools to apply to or looking over my essay's. Also, do not procrastinate! It can be a little overwhelming with all the deadlines, so I would set mini goals for myself to stay organized. For example, on one day, I would finish a supplemental essay and then next week, finish another one.

What was your main concern when applying to colleges? 

In high school, I played high school basketball, AAU basketball, was a part of two clubs, worked, and took challenging courses. Due to my busy schedule, I wasn't able to study as much as I wanted or needed too. My grades were good, but they could have been better if I had not done so many extracurriculars. Due to this, my biggest concern was how much colleges took into account the amount of extracurriculars a student was involved in.

What made you feel that LC was the right pick for you? 

I felt that LC was right for me because the community emphasized well-rounded individuals. I am able to play a sport, take interesting classes, meet with the Career Center, and participate in clubs, like College Outdoors.

I hope this helped all of you applying to schools right now. Just remember, have fun with it! If you have any questions, feel free to shoot me an email at jillianjin@lclark.edu. 

Until next time,


Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween everyone!!

Did you dress up today? I wore my unicorn onesie all day and went downtown with my friend, Karli, to get chipotle because $3 boorritoヽ(ヅ)ノ

Karli and I 
As said in the last post, I am going to show you the lab that I did for General Chemistry! In this lab, we were testing water samples to find their concentrations of Ca2+ and Mg2+ ions and the hardness (the milligrams of calcium carbonate per liter). The first step was to create our EDTA solution which was used to indicate when the ions were no longer present in the water sample. For us to see when the ions were no longer present, we put in 4 drops of calmagite which turned our water sample a pink-purple color and when it turned blue, that meant the water sample had no free Ca2+ and Mg2+ ions!
EDTA solution

Water Sample with Calmagite

Water Sample after titration using the EDTA
What's super nice thing about lab is that because we have such a long time frame to get it done, there really is no rush. Plus, the discussion questions are left to do the next week so there's no pressure to get everything done at once! 

Other than the lab, my friends and I rented a projector from IT and decided to watch the new season of Stranger Things which was amazing!! Originally, we said "Oh, we'll just watch the first two episodes" but we actually did waaaaaaay more than that! We ended up staying up until 4 AM and finished the entire season which I do not regret at all. 

Okay well, it is time to tackle the large amount of homework that I have to get done because ya girl procrastinated a little bit too much today so it's time to get down to business! Remember to always take care of yourself and your health comes first!

If you have any questions or just want to talk, you can reach me at:


Here's the quote of the week!

“A story should have a beginning, a middle and an end, but not necessarily in that order.” - Jean-Luc Godard

♥ Jessica

29 October 2017

Stressful Times with Better Ahead

Hey friends,

(sorry I didn't post yesterday, it was a busy busy day)

This week has been a bit rough; everyone says "Mondays are the worst" but in my case my Monday and Tuesday seem to be my best days. My Wednesday is always long, I go 9am-9pm with one 1 hr break. This week in lab we were running a digest and a gel to check our products; we're running the same assay with two different reporters (because just if it works with one, doesn't mean it's true for everything - correlation doesn't mean causation). Anyways, lab is scheduled for 5 hours normally - which is already INSANELY long, but this week it went 6 hours - I had to leave after the 5 hours to go to another 3 hour lecture. After those 6 hours only one of our digest worked >.< Our professor said we would be fine to just continue with the one that worked (HIS3 worked - our LacZ failed - both of those are reporter genes we use to see if our mutation in the promotor worked) but our professor said that we could continue our report with just our HIS3. However my lab mate wanted to redo our LacZ; which meant going into lab for 6 hours on Saturday (something I really really really didn't want to do) and then I also last minute picked up a shift at Maggie's to cover for someone who was away this weekend.

My dance choreographer had also cancelled rehearsal on Friday a few weeks ago, but then on Wednesday she said her plans were cancelled and that she was re-calling rehearsal. I was a bit annoyed at that, especially since I had made plans to go with friends for ramen and then some halloween festivities. 

Lately it's just felt like my time isn't mine anymore. I have a lot of my plate, but I've been trying to pay for my plane ticket to Australia and then also my Visa. It's so bloody expensive and I've been working overtime.

We've been having Australia meetings every Thursday and I'm getting SO SO SO excited!!! The pictures of everywhere we're going are so cool! I can not wait to go, it'll be such an amazing time, it'll be busy and a lot of work but it's going to be such a good break to be off campus and in a new country. I will be posting next semester whilst abroad as well - I don't know how regularly I'll be able to post, but I'll try to get a blog out each week.

This is Bondi Beach in Sydney Aus, It'll be only a few miles away from where I'm staying in the first part of my study abroad
The only thing I'm not ready for are the huntsman spiders. **I am such an arachnophobe and I'm going to the place with the largest and most poisonous spiders on the planet live.


This is a huntsman, apparently they're EVERYWHERE and I am SO SCARED

Anyways, with that I'll keep you guys posted. School can be really stressful, theres a lot happening and always something to do - either homework, work, laundry, grocery shopping - anything... adulting is exhausting, but you need to find a balance and if I bust my buttocks this semester so I can have some extra traveling money while in Australia then it'll all be worth it. 


If you have any questions you can reach me at ksaylor@lclark.edu

24 October 2017

Practice, Practice, Practice

Fire Arts has our annual Dance of the Damned this weekend which means we’re practicing every day now.  Everything is a little (very) chaotic as we try to pull everything together.  Getting the choreography down for half a dozen or more people who are swinging fire around takes time, especially when you have a lot of numbers to contend with.  This year’s theme is “Dead Men Tell No Tales” so it will be very nautical themed for a fire show.  Of course, lots of fight scenes are planned (which adds to the choreography chaos).  It’ll be great with just a few more practices though.  We did our first lit run through today and it went fairly well. Mostly we just need to work on our transitions and figure out what time each prop needs to be fueled.  The show is scheduled for October 27 & 28 at 8:30pm in front of Maggie’s (the campus store) feel free to come by if you happen to be in town. 

Other than practice, my adventure this weekend was a rainy trip downtown.   Four of us took the Pio (Lewis & Clark’s shuttle bus) into Portland and took the opportunity to visit Powell’s, a huge used/new bookstore.  Not everyone was up to visiting Saturday market because of the downpour so two stayed in Powell’s and had coffee while the other two of us walked to the river to look at the booths of various artists.  It was a fun walk and very pretty, but because of the rain I didn’t get any pictures

Questions? Feel free to email me at ameliaberle@lclark.edu

Walk Through My Monday With Me!

I hope you guys enjoyed the video! Shoot me an email at jillianjin@lclark.edu if you have any questions or comments :) 

Until then, 


23 October 2017

Happy Mole Day!

Hey everyone! How's are you? How's it going?

As you can tell by the obvious blog post title, it's mole day! What is mole day? Well, in chemistry, there's this number called Avogrado's number which is 6.022×1023 so on October 23 (10/23), Mole Day is celebrated! I don't know how I'm going to celebrate Mole Day this year but I'm going to find a way to. (ノ´ヮ´)ノ*:・゚✧

Being the exciting person I am, I spent my weekend volunteering and studying for a super-amazing E&D midterm!! It sounds sooooooo fun doesn't it?? Okay, well, volunteering on Saturday was the best part of my weekend, except for when the wind blew our tent away and so the rain got everything wet. 

A little video from Saturday

What was I volunteering for? Well, one of the aslc committees is the Community Service and Relations Committee and ya girl is part of that committee! One of the main focuses of this committee is to fundraise for this student-run fundraiser called Pios for Pios! What is Pios for Pios? Like I said earlier, it is a student-run fundraiser for students who need a bit of help paying for tuition due to circumstances far from their control. So, for example, you filled out your FAFSA (which is a reminder for all you readers to get that done because the sooner the better!!) and then one of your parents loses their job and you can't pay your full tuition and just need some more money. That's where Pios for Pios comes in! You would come to us and we would work with you to help you pay that, maybe, last $200! If you have any more questions about this, you can email me or check out this website: https://aslclark.org/pios4pios/ !

I was freezing while volunteering on Saturday but it was fun to have such a super close view of the game, despite having to duck for my life when the football was heading our way. Let's just say I may or may not have had a very long shower and nap afterward ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

That's all I have for today and next week, I'll be telling you all about the Water Hardness Lab that I will be doing this Wednesday for my General Chemistry Lab Class! Remember to always take care of yourself and it is okay to take a day to relax!

If you have any questions or just want to talk, you can reach me at:


Here's the quote of the week!

"When I meet you, in that moment, I'm no longer a part of your future. I start quickly becoming part of your past. But in that instant, I get to share your present. And you, you get to share mine. And that is the greatest present of all." - Sarah Kay (my all time favorite Spoken Word Poet ever)

♥ Jessica

22 October 2017

Dance Till You Drop

Hey friends!

So I put off posting until Sunday for a few reasons.

1. Yesterday I was totally swamped with hours (and I mean 7 hours) worth of homework. I did my normal morning run, in the rain, and then camped out downtown at Starbucks for the remainder of the day to work on my molecular bio problem set, doing my molecular bio exam reflection, reading my 3 articles for disease ecology, reading and responding to my psych article, researching and creating my pysch panel presentation, researching and creating my study abroad culture presentation. I didn't even start studying for my Chinese midterm I have tomorrow, that’s happening after this blog post.

2. Today I had my first Dance X showing! A showing is basically a closed mini performance of just the choreographers and dancers to show what we have created so far and to receive feedback. It's really cool to see where all the other pieces are in their process and to get comments on our own piece, especially since we never see the other pieces. We have auditions the first week of school and you're cast into a piece. The rest of the semester you only work with your group and only see the other people at the two showings and then at performances so it's cool to get a sneak peak and inside view into the other pieces that will be performed in December.

This year we have 7 pieces to perform. We have 5 student choreographers and 2 guest choreographers; one is an alum and the other is a professional from another school (maybe U of O...?)

During the showing we run through our whole piece twice; the first time people watch and the second time we write little comments and feedback that our choreographers will later get.

This was the first time we had run the entire piece nonstop with all the music transitions and lemme tell you. Omg. I was dying. Our piece is high energy a mix of jazz, and fosse almost? It’s really exhausting, but I think it’s coming together really well :D

I was waiting so I could post pictures from today, but it turns out I think the photographer who was there today won't get us pictures until later :( so sorry folks, but I'll post photos when I get them!


If you have any questions about dance X feel free to email me at ksaylor@lclark.edu

Sunday ...fun day?

Good morning y'all,

It has been a LONG week and despite having plans today, I think I may just stay home all day to prepare for the week ahead.

So as far as updates go -- I had a mid-term in one of my classes, which I did very well on, so that's exciting.

Random side note -- my tia (aunt) had to travel down to San Francisco earlier this week to visit the Chilean consulate (it's like the embassy) to pick up her renewed passport that got lost in the mail. Anyways, earlier this year I went and applied for my dual-citizenship pretty much as a back up plan in case some crazy shit goes down with this administration. So she was able to check with them about the status of my application and good news.. everything went through! So ya boy is officially a Chilean citizen. 🙌
I think I'm gonna try to go back down this upcoming February to order my passport. The reason I go to SF in February is for the Bay-Area Two-Spirit Powwow (BAAITS). This is one of the largest two-spirit powwow's in the country so a lot of my friends who live all over the country and even Canada come together for the weekend.

I participate in a lot of two-spirit events here in Portland, as well as other parts of the country. Two-spirit is a termed used by indigenous and First Nation peoples as a way we culturally fit into our tribal communities as LGBTQ+ identified individuals. Portland Two-Spirit Society organizes events throughout the year, participates in collegiate conferences for queer and students of color, and other events that pertain to First Nations/LGBTQ+ type of stuff. This has been a huge source of community for me over the past several years and I'm honored to be a part of such an amazing group of people.

So, now that I'm off that tangent I can tell you about some of the events that happened at LC this week.

My sociology professor Dr. Layoung Shin is a postdoctorate fellow for the ASIANNetwork-Luce Foundation. She did a presentation this week for the Asian Studies department on queer youth in South Korea. It was super interesting to hear about her research and the issues queer youth face in S.Korea. Then we had a rice ball party with faculty from a few different depts. (history, SOAN, religious studies, world language, etc.). The faculty went around and introduced themselves, what dept. they teach in and what classes they're offering for spring semester. This was a great way to connect with a number of depts. and meet dept. chairs as well. It was super fun, the rice balls were delicious and so was all the Japanese candy they brought.

Then the following day I saw a lecture by  Adrienne Alton-Gust, Ph.D. candidate in ethnomusicology at the University of Chicago. She did a presentation titled UndocuQueer Artisvism. Here is the little blurb about her talk:

Abstract: In my talk, I will share some highlights of the ethnographic research I have conducted over the past year with Trans Queer Pueblo. This autonomous LGBTQ+ migrant community of color in Phoenix, Arizona does social justice work in several areas, including legal defense, family acceptance, and economic justice. In their Queer Artivism(o) program, they use the performing arts--especially drag, dance, and theater--as a platform to educate people about issues such as the need for comprehensive immigration reform and for racial justice in LGBTQ rights movements. I argue that there is an even greater benefit to the participants. As they place their multiply-marginalized identities at the center of artivism projects, engaging with the performance process empowers and heals the community from within. 

Cool, huh?! 

She was stellar in presenting her research and the work she's done to support undocumented queers in Arizona. It also turns out she knows a mutual friend of mine who is working on her Ph.D at University of New Mexico! 

Both of these presentations were super informative, so I was real happy to be able to make it to both. The bummer about LC is that there is always so many fun events going on that I can't seem to find the time to make it to nearly everything. Once I figure out how to clone myself I'll be doing better cuz then I can do all the fun stuff and then the nitty gritty as well. 

I'm working on drafting the beginning of this research project, I gotta write a paper for my Buddhism class, and study for chem.. so woo hoo, I got PLENTY to do. 

One of the wonderful perks of being a non-traditional student is that on top of going to school full-time I work two part time jobs.. IT SUCKS. I mean I love the work I do, and going to school but damn it really sucks to have to constantly be on the go. This week I ended up working 4 different jobs, good news is I made enough money to cover rent/bills for November so now I don't have to stress about living. My work looks like -- Working at the SLS (student leadership) office, I clean houses on the days where I only have morning classes and then I worked all day Saturday. 

The job on Saturday was awesome though.. I was working on a focus group for Metro through Coalition of Communities of Color (CCC). Metro is a Oregon regional government that provides services to the tri-counties (Multnomah, Clackamas, and Washington county).  The work I was doing was setting goals for specific departments to address how they conduct diversity, equity, and inclusion within their organizations to provide services to communities of color in the Portland metro. The director of the Oregon Zoo, the metro council president, and a district 6 official were in attendance so we personally got to speak to them about the racism and systemic oppression that occurs in our city and how to work on fixing it. I will tell you it felt damn good to tell them that we will not tolerate white supremacy in our city and that we want better! Despite all the horrific stuff happening nationally, I can tell you that the citizens of Oregon are working hard to create a better future for the next generations. It is when I'm doing work like this that I feel proud to be an Oregonian. 

Last i'll add a couple hints of color by showing you pictures from Friday night when I went out on the town with my old roommates.

 This delicious place that serves Bao.. they're like little baskets of heavenly goodness aka fluffy bun, stuffed with meat n thangs.
 It is called Baoser (like Bowser from Super Mario) so the whole restaurant is themed with Super Mario characters.
 Here's my friends, they didn't know I was taking the photo, featuring me being a creeper.

Have a great week y'all.


17 October 2017

Roommate Shenanigans

As I mentioned before, I’m overloading this semester and, as should be expected, that means I don’t have as much time to get up to cool things such as hot springs, visiting home, or general fall festivities.   Nevertheless, I had plenty of fun over break, in addition to spending some time studying.  Earlier this week, my roommate’s service dog, Luca, got herself into some trouble (see photo below) when she was unsupervised.  When off duty she’s like any other dog and had decided that she wanted to lick the butter out of an empty popcorn bag.  I came back to the room not two minutes after I left and she’s waving her head around with the bag stuck in it.  My roommate and I both found this hilarious.

My roommate and I get along really well together.  (We were roommates last year as well).  A big part of getting along well is returning favors, helping each other decorate, and keeping up traditions.  Well… kinda.  See last year during the beginning of fall semester she started hiding sticky notes with “noot noot” written on them in my stuff.  I swear at one point or another there was a noot noot in every single one of my books, the pocket of every coat, and hidden in every piece of furniture.  So of course, as a good roommate, I had to return the favor.  While she was gone I did a bit of redecorating: plastering her wall and ceiling with 400 of the things.  (Honestly, over the course of the year she probably gave me more than 400 of them).  Pictures can be seen here: https://reallifelc.blogspot.com/2016/11/revenge-is-dish-best-served.html   Since she went home for fall break I was again left with time on my hands and decided to do a little surprise decorating.  She loved it and is already planning her revenge.  I’ll keep you guys posted as to what she comes up with.

Any questions about life here at L&C?  Send me an email at ameliaberle@lcark.edu

Busy Week Ahead

Hey everyone!

Fall break has come to an end. It was nice being able to get a little break in and hang out with a couple of my friends on campus before school started up again. On the last day of Fall break, a group of us went to the women's soccer game and had a fun movie night in Copeland Hall.

The stands were packed for the soccer game!

Fun fact: You can rent projector's at school to host movie nights like this.

Yesterday I had my first college practice - it was fun, but hard because there were so many new things to learn. What makes it a little easier though are my teammates and coaches! They are so encouraging and are willing to help me through everything. I have practices throughout the week (tonight we practice and lift from 6:20-8:20), but on Friday I have an off-day. 

Shoutout to my roommate for getting flicks of me after practice.

This week is looking pretty busy! On top of having practices, I have a midterm on Thursday for my Logic class. I'm also already sorting my classes out for next semester (yes, I can't believe it either how fast these months went!). 

To keep organized, I've been writing what I have too accomplish throughout the day.

It's a little stressful, but I get a lot of help here at Lewis & Clark. Right now, I have two different advisors to help me figure things out my first year and make a four year plan. My faculty advisor (something that every single freshman is given) is open to meeting whenever to talk about things like my major or which classes to take. I have a meeting with him in a couple of days to see how I'm doing and get an idea of what classes I want for next semester. My other advisor is specifically going to help me with making a four year plan - this is basically to make sure that I stay on track with completing my prerequisites and major so that I can graduate on time. There may be a lot going on right now, but I feel relieved knowing that I have these people here on campus to help me out!

Well, that's it for tonight! I'll be back next week, but if you have any questions or comments feel free to email me at jillianjin@lclark.edu. 

Until next time,


Break to Business

Hi everyone! How are you? How's it going?

Fall Break was this weekend so we had Friday and the weekend off! My friends and I used this to our advantage and had movie nights! On Thursday night, we first went to Japan Club's movie night where we watched "Once in a Blue Moon"/ "A Ghost of a Chance" which was really good but really confusing at times. Then we went to my friend's room in Akin, laid out a bunch of snacks, and watched "The Little Vampire" which, to me, reminds me of my childhood. We all decided to sleep over in Akin because of how late it was and that was the start of my Fall Break.

The next morning, I actually had to wake up around 10 which was a bad idea because we didn't go to sleep until around 2. The reason I had to wake up around 10 was that I was volunteering for LC's open house! If you went, I was one of the people with the bright orange LC shirt with all the signs on it. My job was to make sure that people parked in Gate 5 and if they were walking, I directed them on how to get to Templeton. I really missed volunteering so it was super nice to be able to do it again.

When I finished volunteering, I just kinda chilled the rest of the day and did some of my E&D reading which was Book 7 and 8 of The Aenid by Virgil. I guess the best part of my break was that my cousin, who lives in Portland, took me out on Saturday and we went to eat Pho. It was sooooooooooooo good!! I did take a picture of it and put it on snapchat (too make all my friends jealous lol jk) but, of course, I forgot to save the photo so I can't share it here  (╥_╥) 

But now that fall break is over, it's back to classes and working. Today, I had a meeting with my College Advisor, Krystle Perkins (who is amazing btw), and we created a draft of my four-year plan. The more I look at it, the more intimidating it looks but nothing is set so that kinda relieved some of y stress. 
Four Year Plan with Study Abroad!
In about half an hour, I have my second class of the day which is Calculus 1 with Professor Sweta so for lunch I went to the Trail Room with my friend Allie and we just chilling before class. The Trail Room is where you go to grab things like pizza, burger, whatever kind of noodle bowl they have, and such if you don't have time to grab lunch at The Fields Dining Room.

I gotta head to class now so I hope you all enjoyed my blog post this week and that you all have an amazing rest of your week! Remember that you come first so remember to take care of your health, both physical and mental!

If you have any questions or just want to talk, you can reach me at:


A quote of the week for you to think about:

"Logic will get you from A to Z; imagination will get you everywhere." - Albert Einstein

♥ Jessica

15 October 2017

Back from my totally excellent adventure!


I don't know about you, but I know for myself that I had an incredible weekend!!!!

This post is mostly gonna be photos because they speak a million more stories then I could write.

Brief synapsis of what the rest of my week looked like... I pretty much busted butt all week and took off to Eastern Oregon Thursday night with my good friend Cyndi. Fun fact about Cyndi: she was a professional body builder for several years and holds numerous gold and silver medals from competitive power lifting. Sooo, she's pretty much a badass. 😎   Her and I have been friends for about four years, we used to train together at the gym, and then we built a pretty tight bond with one another.

 Night number one we drove out to Joseph, OR and camped at Wallowa Lake. As you can see, it was SNOWING! We weren't really anticipating the snow, but I went well prepared so despite it being a bit colder than anticipated, we were alright.

As you can see the lake is gorgeous and I was thrilled we went this time of the year where the trees are changing colors.
 Then we stopped at Chief Joseph's gravesite. For those of you who don't know who Chief Joseph was.. He was the leader of the Wal-lam-wat-kain band of the Nez Perce tribe. He lead his people during the time that they were forcibly removed from the Wallowa valley, onto reservations in Idaho.
If you're interested in history or Native American studies I suggest reading Thunder in the Mountains: Chief Joseph, Oliver Otis Howard, and the Nez Perce War by Daniel Sharfstein. If I remember correctly it took Sharfstein about twenty years of researching to construct this beautifully written story about the mechanics of American power, and the limits of what the government can and should do for its people. (A topic that is still very relevant today)

This was really special to me, as a Native man to pay respects to a respected ancestor and elder. I have many friends who are Nez Perce and it has been important to me as an Oregonian to learn the history of the land I inhabit and the people who lived here originally.

 Then we headed back towards La Grande, where we paid a visit to Hot Lake Hot Springs! This place has been on my bucket list for a while, so I was thrilled we got to stop for a relaxing and rejuvenating soak.
 Oregon has hot springs throughout the state, due to all the mountain ranges we have. One of my favorite things in the whole world is going to hot springs.. there is nothing more relaxing then being in nutrient rich waters that detox and cleanse your body.
 Found an awesome Antique shop that is totally volunteer run by the locals and the money from items purchased goes right back into the community to fund different things like the library and activities for kids and seniors. Cyndi found an awesome coffee cup that says "Nasty Woman".. LOVE IT.

 We kept driving until we saw this old dilapidated cement factory from the freeway. We quickly took the exit and found our way up to this artistic oasis.
 We roamed around the grounds, which clearly said NO TRESSPASSING.. we decided it was worth breaking the rules. SO WORTH IT.

 There were a number of brick blocks that were painted of different designer purses.. Chanel, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Givenchy..etc. We thought that was really creative and fun.
 Then we drove into the night, ended up briefly in Idaho, where I stopped to visit a friend.. We drove back across the border into Oregon and drove for over an hour on a gravel road, in the pitch black, oh and by the way it was POURING DOWN SNOW!!! hahahaha. We were cracking up the whole way there because it was so freaky and awesome. At one point we were turning around a corner and then all of the sudden it looked like we saw a bunch of lights, only to realize they were COW EYES!!
 Here is our tent, you can't see anything else because it was totally black outside. The view was phenomenal.. I could clearly see the Milky Way.. Oh also it was 26 degrees outside.... BRRRRR!
 This is Leslie Gulch during the daytime. It is dubbed Oregon's Grand Canyon. It was stunningly beautiful and luckily for us the sun was shining so even though it was 32 degrees most of the morning, the sun helped keep us a bit warmer.

 We hiked around the canyons for a while and got a ton of awesome pictures.

 Video clip of us driving in the night, through the snow... It's dark and really crappy quality but... it is also really funny.

 Us standing on the boarder of Oregon and Idaho... if you look closely you can see all the gunshot holes in the sign.. (this is one of my favorite features of rural areas... the signs ALWAYS have gunshot holes)

Did I mention I love hot springs??? We actually ended up going to two more hot springs. The picture on the top left is the private tub we rented for $10. This was in Crane, Oregon aka THE MIDDLE OF NOWHERE. The one on the right is the "Russian Bathes", a 'secret' spot of mine where you hike out about a mile right off the Breitenbush river. I love going to this one cuz it's about 1.5hrs from my house and if you go at the right time no one else is there. We hiked in the dark Saturday night and snuck in a nice soak before heading back to Portland. 

The bottom photo is the outdoor soaking pool at Crystal Crane hot springs. Once again, SUPER DREAMY. 

All in all, we drove wayyyy over 1000 miles. We trekked across Oregon and pretty much did a big loop. We saw so many amazing sights, and the perks of driving in the middle of nowhere is there is no traffic,, so I took advantage of that and drove like the speed demon I wish I could be. Too bad the traffic is really crappy in Portland.. I now know to drive out to eastern Oregon to get my fill. 

The moral of the story is, Oregon is awesome. I can say that I live in one of the most beautiful states in the US. Annnnd I have amazing friends that like to give me the best birthday presents EVER. So if you decide to visit Oregon, do keep in mind, Portland is cool (I guess), but the rest of Oregon is way more interesting. ALSO -- if you are a rockhound like I am, there is so many sweet places to find all kinds of cool rocks. [I collect rocks... my room is littered with rocks all over the place] 

If you have any questions about any of the places I visited or anything else, please feel free to hit me up!