Mother Nature & I

This weekend was much needed. My partner in crime at work was on vacation, and usually that’s okay, but this time things got a little hectic.  And that didn’t take into account my mid-week work travel, which always just completely throws me off. So when 2 p.m. rolled around on Friday, I clocked my 44th hour and booked it.

The car was packed, the mercury was climbing, and we had great ambitions.

As soon as I got home, Helen, Bella and I drove to Estacada where we met Adam and Bentley and made the rest of the trek to Olallie Lake. Unfortunately, everyone else in America also decided to go, so when we arrived, campground after campground, we were without a spot.

We kept driving up the forest road, over some terrain my little Accord shouldn’t have traveled (have I mentioned I need a truck?) and finally found a few rustic spots that were just shy of mediocre.

After high-centering the Accord and miraculously wiggling my way out, we abandoned my car and piled into Adam’s, driving farther up the road. At each spot we found that was halfway decent, we’d leave Helen, Bentley and Bella behind and continue scouting. We’d happen upon another spot, I’d get out, Adam would go pick up Helen and the dogs and bring them back. We repeated the process until we finally found a spot on the lake.

We set up camp, made some dinner and had a few beers while we waited for Erin and Alex to find us. The sun went down, the stars came out, but Erin and Alex, Rudy and Athena were nowhere to be found.

We left paper plates, right?

And then… THEY ARRIVED!!!

The fire was stoked, and we carried on.

The next day, we headed out early for a hike and about 15 steps into the portion of the Pacific Crest Trail we were planning to explore, we stumbled upon an amazing site.

It overlooked a swimmable lake and was right along the path for our hike. So we left the ladies and the dogs, and Adam Alex and I packed up site number 1 and moved everything to site number 2.

With everything in order, we continued on our hike, stopping along the way to enjoy the scenery.

About two miles in, we stumbled upon some lakes. Hoping for a swim, we abandoned our gear, only to discover that the bottom of the lake was essentially quicksand (we sank to our knees)…

And mosquitoes owned the place…

After freeing ourselves from the mud, we hit the trail, watching one anothers back for  hitch-hiking blood suckers, and headed back to camp.

Once we returned, Tess & Joe arrived, Adam departed, and we decided it was time for a real swim.

I wish we had photos to document this, but since we were all in the water, that didn’t happen. Let’s just say there were three mid-teen boys that had been swimming. As they were getting out of the water, we asked how to get down (the path was a rocky cliff). After following their direction and climbing down the bank, all six of us pile onto the dock when we realize it doesn’t actually hold our weight. As the dock half sinks and violently rocks back and forth, we run from corner to corner screaming, giggling, falling and flailing.

The three boys? They’re on the bank, staring with their mouths open, as six seemingly normal adults temporarily reverted to childhood, clinging onto one another for dear life as though falling into the water would have killed us.

Eventually, the balancing act becomes impossible and we all go overboard into very chilly yet refreshing water. And the fun? Unparalleled.

After swimming, we returned to camp, gorged ourselves on bread, cheese, meat and pickles, and finished off the night around the fire.

This morning, we packed up camp and headed back down the mountain where the temperature is in the high 90’s (sick) and reality set back in.

As I’m thinking about the week ahead, I’m really envious of a few guys we ran into on our hike. On April 25, they started hiking the Pacific Crest Trail in Mexico. They’ve been free from responsibility for 4 entire months. Their only mission: enjoy Mother Nature (and stay alive). I want that. Now.

Guess I’ll have to settle for warm zucchini bread slathered in butter. Mmmmm.

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