Last week, Barry and I celebrated 12 years together as a married couple (17 years together, 18 if you include the year that I had a huge crush on him before we started dating... but I guess you really shouldn't include that year). I say it with regularity, but I'll say it again here in honor of our anniversary: I am so lucky to be married to my best friend. There is nothing in my life that makes me happier or more content than my relationship with Barry.
To celebrate our anniversary in the city, we visited Loyly for massages which were followed by a ridiculously good dinner at Ava Gene's. I cannot recommend both places enough. But the big celebration took place outside the city - way outside the city. We went on a backpacking trip - my first backpacking trip ever - in the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest.
We certainly have gotten our fair share of camping in this summer. And this year we've managed to find campgrounds that have been almost empty on our "weekends." But we've also moaned and groaned about campgrounds that are overrun with people, where the sounds of generators and car doors slamming break the silence that we look for when we go camping, and where we don't quite feel removed enough from the comforts of civilization. The answer to overrun campgrounds is, of course, backpacking. Barry had been backpacking plenty of times when he was younger, but I'd only been car camping. I was worried about how happy I'd be schlepping all of my camping supplies on my back for days and about not having my cast iron dutch oven with me for serious campfire cooking. But I wanted to really escape for our anniversary, so I was up for giving backpacking a try. From car camper to backpacker. That was my graduation of sorts.
Guys, it was awesome. Phenomenal. Amazing. Beautiful. This trip blew me away. The part of Oregon we visited is insane. The gorgeous mountains and lakes we saw looked unreal at times. Seeing so few people over the course of four days and setting up camp wherever it suited us was so peaceful. Hiking into new places every day with a 30 pound
pack on my back and to be rewarded with stunning views was so gratifying. And taking care of all of our needs using only what we could carry was completely satisfying. I officially have the backpacking bug.
I was camera crazy on our trip. Over the next few days I'll be posting photos from the trip here. Please excuse the excessive amount of photos that I'll be sharing. My head and heart are bursting with goodness from our little backpacking adventure.