July has been a big month for my bucket list, what with already buying a Peloton bike and working on my home gym, and now crossing off three more goals. Instead of one post per goal, these three smaller goals seem to fit together in one post.
#1 – Go on a moonlight hike.
The running theme of my bucket list this year is the ever evolving of my goals. Initially, the goal was to go on a moonlight snowshoe, which sounded super cool in theory (and I still hope to do it someday) but syncing a full moon in January/February with a clear night, on a weekend, was virtually impossible.
Instead, my friend, Liz, suggested doing a moonlight hike in the summer – so much easier! It’s warm, the nights are clear, and since we are teachers we don’t have to worry about getting to work the next morning. July was also known for it’s super blood moon.
What do you need for a moonlight hike? We opted for a short (2.5 mile RT) and somewhat urban route so that we didn’t end up lost or attacked by a bear in the middle of nowhere. We packed flashlights and headlamps, bear mace (mostly for human threats, not bears), and water – not a lot since it was so short.
Starting at Upper MacClaey on NW Cornell at sunset, we hiked through Forest Park to the Pittock Mansion since it would have a high view of the city. Though we crossed virtually no one on our trek up, we happened across a host of people having picnics on the Pittock’s lawn with the same full moon idea. After waiting for true darkness to set in, we headed back down for a slightly scarier hike full of spiders and horror movie sound effects.
#9 – Go to the Elvis Room.
Last fall, a woman noticed my Elvis tattoo and exclaimed, “Have you been to the Elvis Room??” Having never even heard of it, I replied no, upon which she insisted I check it out – hence this goal. While some things on my bucket list really require planning and preparation, some require me to simply do it. So a couple nights ago after several hours of karaoke, I wrangled a friend to check it out.
What is the Elvis Room? Basically, it’s a bar on SE Ash & Grand in Portland. It’s generally unassuming from the street but upon entering you find yourself in an extravagant, two-storied room of vinyl and velvet.
Since we were there late at night, I’m stealing higher quality photos from the Willamette Week:
Having read that the Elvis Room is operated by the owners of the Sandy Hut, it feels like the grown-up hang out for aging punks like myself (evidenced by the non-hipster rockers tending bar and the DJ spinning Joy Division & Pet Shop Boys).
We had several drinks but failed to check out their friend pickle burger, so I will need a return visit soon.
#16 – Grow my own mini garden. Check.
Technically this goal made last year’s bucket list, but my summer was slammed and we lived in a tiny condo so my dreams were crushed. As I knew we would actually own a home this summer, I knew I could give it another go.
What’s a mini-garden? you might ask. I don’t know – I just made it up. I literally can’t think of anyone else that eats more salad than me, so at $4 for each clamshell of spring greens that I can decimate every two days, salad gets expensive. Same for tomatoes. Fundamentally, my goal was to just grow my salads and save a few bucks. Hence the mini.
This summer, I grew several varieties of lettuce (spring mixes, arugula, etc), cherry tomatoes, lots of herbs, and beans. Guess what? My plan worked – now I have more lettuce and herbs than I know what to do with. Last night, I made a bucket of pesto on top of shrimp scampi and fresh pasta, with a large side of beans. Thor proclaimed it the best dinner he’s had in awhile.
There you have it. A summer full of goals checked off. In about 20 minutes, I’ll be greedily purchasing tickets for Lady Gaga’s Vegas residency (how many times can one go to Vegas for the same show, I wonder…?).