This Weekend We Went Out

Out in it.  Out in the fog, in the grey, in the rain that made this weekend really feel like the start of autumn.  And it was a beautiful start at that.  Barry and I went to Indian Heaven Wilderness for a quick two-day backpacking trip.  Our first day out, we explored meadows booming with yellows, oranges, and reds, and bushes that were full of ripe blueberries and huckleberries.  We wound our way past lake after lake and eventually set up camp next to one.  We got cozy in the tent as the temperature dropped, reading to each other and playing cards until we got sleepy.  When we woke the following morning, we found that the moodiest fog had blanketed the area.  We waited for it to lift, drinking seemingly endless cups of coffee and reading more from Heart of Darkness.  The fog came and went and came again, so eventually we packed up camp and started our hike out, deciding against hiking deeper into the wilderness.  It started raining and, being prepared with waterproof gear from head to toe, we were able to enjoy the scenery as we wove our way back through the meadows we'd crossed the day before.  Raindrops in diamond-like pools on leaves, treetops in layers of grey receding into the distance, punchy greens of mosses and oranges of fungi jumping out from the grey surrounding them... we were treated to scenes that we might not have seen had it not been for a bit of dreary weather.  Lunch at Backwoods Brewing in Carson, WA, was the perfect stop before heading home to dry out the tent (Barry got serious about that process - see below).


Last Weekend I Stayed Put

After several weekends of heading out of town to spend time in the wilderness, it was really refreshing to stay in Portland last week and enjoy some of my favorite parts of the city.  I spent day one on my own, on my bike, cruising around a bunch of different neighborhoods: stopping at Palace for a little shopping, Crema for some coffee and reading, Artifact for a bit more shopping, and Roman Candle for a proper meal.  Day two I spent with Barry, starting with a great lunch at Locale followed by dessert at Sweedeedee.  We had a lazy afternoon of wandering around taking photos, reading and napping in a rose garden, and checking out the beautiful new Solabee location.  I got my fill of great food, photo-taking, and sunshine.  For as antsy as I get about how much Portland has changed recently (you haven't heard me talk about that here, but I am very antsy about it), my weekend in the city made me really happy to call this place home.


Fifteen Years In, and In the Wilderness

To celebrate our fifteen year wedding anniversary last week, Barry and I took a day off work to enjoy a three day weekend in Goat Rocks Wilderness in Washington.  We've had a couple awesome backpacking trips in that area in the past* and decided to explore a new-to-us destination this time around.  We hiked through a hot, dusty meadow and then climbed through a forest to spend our first night on a teal blue lake nestled in the trees.  The next day we hiked up and out into one of the most scenic alpine meadows imaginable with a bubbling creek and dramatic waterfall, wild flowers galore, a stunning peak and a glacier looming above us, another perfect little lake, and a dramatic view from above of the lake we'd camped at the night before.  It was silly how gorgeous it was, and we had it all to ourselves - there wasn't another soul in sight for two solid days... unless you count the flock of about fifty mountain goats we saw grazing for their dinner one night (check out the second to last photo - they're up on the steep mountain there).  We're still high from this amazing experience, and we're still celebrating the fact that fifteen years ago we made an official commitment to a best friendship and a love that started five years earlier.  Still going strong, in fact better than ever.

*In the post I wrote about the first trip we made to Goat Rocks in 2013, I mentioned a stolen wallet.  Just a couple weeks ago, three years after I wrote that post, I found that wallet wedged under the passenger seat of our car, where I swear I'd looked for the wallet a million times before deciding it must have been stolen.  For three years it sat in our car!

* In the post I wrote about our second trip to Goat Rocks in 2014, I promised that this space wouldn't turn into a backpacking journal.  I take it back.  And I'm pretty happy about that.