Last weekend I went camping with two of my dearest girlfriends. For approximately two weeks prior to the trip I had debated with myself about whether or not I would actually go. My debate most often centered on money and my desire to spend as little as possible due to a variety of unexpected expenses this summer. But as the date got closer, my need to get out of town, decompress and feed my soul was far greater than my penny-pinching-debt-pay-down ways.
Friday morning I had to drop my puppy off at the kennel. I always feel guilty about that, even if it’s only for a couple of nights. To ease my own guilt I took him for an early morning run. I reasoned he would be so exhausted from the run he wouldn’t have enough energy to give me his sad puppy eyes when I said good-bye at the kennel. For those of you not familiar with my puppy, here he is.
At a little over 200 pounds he is not a lover of the run, but he does love me and if I want to run with him he will run with me, for at least a little while. I’ve pushed him to run 4 miles before, but his limit is really 2. Friday we ran just under 2 and he was beat. After drinking a bucket of water, he sprawled out on my bedroom floor while I showered and got ready. We went to the kennel and said our good-byes with a minimum of sad looks.
Then I was off to drive 3 hours to my girlfriends home in Terrabonne, or as she calls it “TerraBama.” The day was sunny, the drive was lovely and Mt. Hood was a spectacular site.
I got to C’s house around 10:30 and while she and S finished getting ready I enjoyed a nice cup of hot tea while sitting by her koi pond.
Later I sat in her backyard with Frank. C’s standard poodle. You would never know from this picture that just seconds before he was all in my face attacking me.
C had purchased a month’s worth of groceries and after her husband helped us get them all out to the cars we headed to our final destination. Camp Sherman. We arrived a little before 2 and were allowed to check into our cabin a little early. When we got into the cabin we all just kind of stood there looking around in amazement. It was pretty spectacular. The photos online were nice, but actually standing in the cabin looking around was far, far better.
After dropping our things in our bedrooms we opened the French doors and lounged in the Adirondack chairs a few feet from the Metolius River and let the vacation begin. C (who is a master chef trained at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris), made Margaritas, fresh salsa and chocolate chip cookies in a matter of minutes. Instantly everything was right in the world.
Later that evening we walked around Camp Sherman for a bit before we had dinner at the Kokanee Café.
Dinner was to celebrate C’s 60th birthday that happened a couple months ago. The Kokanee Café was charming and even though we were in the middle of Central Oregon and the menu was pretty meat heavy I was able to enjoy a wonderful and oh-so-pretty beet salad.
Then we went back to the cabin, sat on the deck and I drank my first glass of bourbon. “Drank” is probably not the right word, it was more like “sip, let it burn down my throat, and then sip again.” Needless to say I was ready for sleep after that.
Saturday morning I got up while the cabin was still quiet and put my running clothes on. It was a pretty, bright and sunny morning and I couldn’t wait to get out there and run. I ran away from the river first, along a bike trail. So, so pretty. Constant reminders of why I love Oregon so much.
After that portion of my run I made my way to the bridge we had walked over the night before. I noticed there was a path that ran along both sides of the river so I followed the one on the right. It was amazing. I ran, walked, took pictures, ran some more and was happy to see other runners out.
When I got back to the cabin the ladies were up and on the deck. C handed me a cup of tea and I sat for a while before I jumped in the shower. When I got dressed and came out into the living room I was taken by this view. I had to take a picture. So, so happy I decided to come and be a witness.
We drove into Sisters and did some shopping.
I bought some olives (LOVE) and some Strawberry infused balsamic vinegar and C & S bought some clothes. Headed back to Camp Sherman that afternoon C advised S and me that it was time to do some fishing. “If we must” was kind of the attitude S and I had, but since we were gathered to celebrate C, and she wanted to fish, we were fishing.
After we got to the location we had to put on waders and boots. It was painful. The boots were the right size but they seemed to squeeze my foot so painfully tight I could have cried. C swore it would be better as soon as I got in the water but I didn’t believe her. Still we joked and laughed and had the best time, all while preparing to do some fly fishing. It was so fun. Again, glad I had come.
Then I stepped into the water and made my way out to the center of the river. Wow. I am not a fisherman. In fact, I don’t “GET” fishermen. I don’t understand why people fish. It seems boring, time consuming and silly. Um, until I found myself standing in the middle of this rushing river and loved it. Didn’t catch anything, in fact, I wasn’t really trying. Standing in the middle of the river as the water rushed around me, on a beautiful, sunny day brought a peace on me I had not experienced in quite some time. I loved it and while I won’t say that I’ll ever fly fish again, I will most definitely stand in the middle of a river with waders and boots on and hold a fishing pole, just to get that sensation back. Peace. Pure and simple.
After that excursion we went back to the cabin to claim our spots on the back deck, eat munchies and I think I drank a beer as we watched the water. Later that evening C whipped up dinner and after it got dark we walked back to the Kokanee Café to sit in the bar and have a drink together. Wonderfulness.
While C & S were staying one more night, I was leaving on Sunday. I wanted to get back by 1 p.m. to pick up my puppy from the kennel so that required I leave shortly after 9. I got up early to run and say good-bye to Camp Sherman and the Metolius and again spend some time being grateful for my life.
When I got back to the cabin I enjoyed a cup of tea, jumped into the shower, passed out hugs and headed home. I made pretty good time considering I went home over the Santiam Pass, which is a two lane road with not enough passing lanes and way, way, way too many motorhomes traveling. Since I made good time I stopped in Salem to see my niece. Her and her fiancé have a dessert company and they were selling their products at the Salem Bite & Brew. She was surprised and happy to see me since it’s been awhile and she asked me to hang around for a bit because her mother would be arriving soon. It was worth the wait! I was thrilled to get to see and chat with my former sister-in-law. It had been about 6 years since I’d seen her last. After that reunion I got it in gear and went to pick up the puppy.
When I got home I put my stuff away and lounged in my quiet house reflecting on the weekend and the joy of friendship and family that will always be family regardless of circumstances. There is a lot going on in my life right now, but all things considered I have very little, if anything, to complain about. I’m happy, healthy and content with me. Can’t ask for much more.
C got us a gift to commemorate our trip at Camp Sherman. The bracelets have the longitude and latitude location of the cabin we stayed at. So unique and thoughtful.
Until next time people! Be well!