Does summer usually mean more traveling for you? Is it the time you typically drag out the tent and head to the beach for that coveted campsite you reserved months ago? It seems like most of Oregon’s population, and probably many of our neighbors to the south, and the north, and a few from everywhere else have the same idea. (Not everyone is happy about it.) Finding a campsite, a vacation rental, or even a peaceful, non-crowded trail within driving distance of Portland has become near impossible in the summer months. Shoulder season travel is different.
We now accept the fact that the secret is out about our adopted state. It just means we have to travel a little farther outside the popular areas, or search harder for the unpopular areas. Or we even hole up altogether during the summer months and travel during the shoulder seasons, early fall and late spring, when temperatures and prices are lower, and everything and everyone is a bit more zen.
This summer we mostly stayed close to home, with the exceptions of Lindsay’s road trip to California in June in between jobs and Peter’s travels to Washington, DC, for a non-sightseeing work trip. We made two little trips to Eugene: for the Oregon Country Fair, a three-day art and music and all-things-hippy-and-weird festival, and for a camping visit with Lindsay’s family. We holed up for a weekend in Welches, Oregon, for another family trip, and tried the beer at Mt. Hood Brewing Company for the first time. With Lindsay starting a new job this summer and Peter assuming bigger responsibilities in his, it was the perfect time to lay low.
Our love of shoulder-season travel is what prompted us to take a big trip this September. We’ll be spending almost three weeks in Slovakia and Austria. After more than a year of no international travel, we are officially and completely stoked. In addition to the familiarity of Slovakia, we will visit Zederhaus, Austria, a new location for both of us, for a week of outdoor activities and shenanigans with Peter’s sister Katka and her family. We’re looking forward to Slovak comfort food, Slovak family barbeques, and The Sound of Music parodies from the green hills of the Alps.
Watch our Facebook page and the blog for photos and Toothbrush updates from Central Europe.
Na zdravie (to your health)!