The vacation I just took was one of the most exhilarating times of my life.

I never thought I'd ever make it out to Oregon, because, who actually chooses to vacation there? It doesn't seem as appealing as the Caribbean or as exciting as Italy or Paris. Certainly, no one I ever knew dreamed of going there.

The closest thing to Oregon I ever got, well, was the floppy-disk game in grade school where entire families and livestock died. Remember The Oregon Trail? Outside of that, I never thought it would be 'the place' for me. To my surprise, it was in every way.

I 'oohed and ahhed' around every curve as I drove through the mountains. You know it's a good day when you see Stormtroopers in costume. YES, the next Star Wars film (for real) was being filmed somewhere around the lodge I took a potty break at. I laughed when I was standing in snow on the side of the mountain and it was 80 degrees outside. I marveled at the sight of every snow-covered mountain on one side of the road and on the other, rocky terrain and high desert. It was like two different worlds colliding.

I climbed 1000 ft up the most difficult trail. It's name was Misery and I thought it would be  just that. But it wasn't. It was a workout, don't get me wrong. I was huffin and puffin like the wolf that blew down the little piggies houses, but to see the top, to have that victory, was worth it.

Just when I didn't think that could be topped, I climbed to the top of a beautiful waterfall and back down to it. To stand next to a rushing, real live waterfall, was among the most gorgeous things I've ever seen. I also got to stand behind it, getting soaked, of course. To see the sun shining in and the rainbows it made, was breath-taking.

Then, I climbed up to nearly 7,000 ft elevation and was 6 miles from the top of another mountain. I have never climbed through snow. I have never even climbed an actual mountain until a few days ago. The reward was one of the most beautiful lakes I have ever seen on a flatter, meadow on top.  Something in me wanted to get to the actual top of that mountain but it was too late in the day. That is going back on the bucket list.