Old Dog New Tricks: Exhibit C, Indulging in Aloneness

Barry and I spend lots of our free time together, but we also spend plenty of it apart.  When the two of us aren't together I occasionally hang out with friends, but more often than not I like to spend our time apart alone.  I often go to cafes and restaurants by myself.  I enjoy going to the movies on my own.  I like a solitary run or hike.  But I can't remember the last time I traveled on my own.  Barry has been out of town this week for a fun work-related trip, and I took this alone time as the perfect opportunity to get out of Portland on my own mini (very mini) solo vacation.  I planned a two-day, close-by getaway near Mt. Hood for my weekend.  The following will read like my old diary entries from elementary school in which I described every single thing I did and ate in a day.  The detail will probably be annoying for anyone other than myself, so you should probably stop reading here.  Scroll down for photos if you care to.  I'm documenting all of these details for myself because I had such a wonderful getaway that I may just replicate this easy little trip again.  The Old Dog is all about this New Trick.

I drove out to the Gorge for a hike at Hardy Ridge Loop.  The hike overall was nothing spectacular (there are others on the Washington side of the Gorge that I prefer, but I was looking for one I hadn't done before... New Tricks).  It was nice, though, to be outside under semi-clear skies with occasional views of the Gorge, surrounded by the fresh scent of fir needles, doing what I wanted to do at my own pace, which meant running at times and pausing to snap photos whenever I felt like it.

Several hours later, I was back in the car on Washington's Route 14 (a scenic drive that I love), headed to Everybody's Brewing in White Salmon.  I chatted with a couple gals sitting near me while I ate lunch, then headed over to Hood River where I'd stay for the night.  I checked in to my new favorite hotel and beelined it for their hot tub, which is set right on the Columbia River.  So, so good.  Once I'd had my share of water jets, I went to my room and took a bath in some amazing smelling salts from Barry that I'd packed for this getaway.  I lounged in my river view room (free upgrade!) and started reading The Association of Small Bombs.  When dinner time rolled around, I headed to Celilo for a glass of wine and a plate of gnocchi that was so damn tasty.  Back at the hotel, I read for a couple more hours and contently drifted off to sleep.

I woke in the dark early the following morning, read in bed for a while, then headed to the hot tub and then the hotel gym.  The gym also overlooks the river, so I was able to watch the sunrise while I worked out.  I had a delicious breakfast of granola and Greek yogurt at the hotel, went back up to my room, and applied a clay mask that I'd packed for optimal weekend indulgence.  I pulled out my jewelry-making supplies (who packs jewelry-making supplies for a two-day getaway?  I do!) and worked for quite a while on new earring designs while my mask did its work and old tv shows aired in the background.  Cable tv in hotel rooms is one of biggest guilty pleasures.

When it was finally time for me to check out, I headed out of town down Route 35.  I stopped at a favorite spot on the side of the road near a bubbling spot on the Hood River.  I ate a picnic lunch and continued down to White River where snow was lightly falling.  I strapped on my snowshoes and hiked for quite a while, enjoying the stillness and silence.  Eventually I made my way back to Hood River where I grabbed a beer at Pfreim, sat outside enjoying the fire pit all to myself, and read for an hour and half before returning home to Portland.

The solo weekend away was good for me for several reasons.  It was incredibly relaxing and decadent-feeling, even though it was easy, nearby, and relatively inexpensive.  More than that though, it was good for me to depend on myself for things that I often defer to Barry to take care of, things as simple as planning our hikes and driving to our destinations.  I've always considered myself independent, but I've fallen into the habit of letting Barry handle certain things that I don't care to and over time that habit has made me less confident in my ability to do those things.  Confidence restored, hikes taken, jewelry made, and (thanks to that clay mask), skin exfoliated, it was a damn good weekend.

1 comment:

Carolyn said...

what an awesome little getaway!!