I ran away from home this weekend.
I didn’t run far, but I did run (figuratively) and barely looked back.
I spent the weekend with Blue Eyes in Washington.
Blue Eyes is a mailman. He usually works on Saturday. Every Saturday. Maybe two or three times a year he can ask for and get Saturday off, but for the most part, at least until the beginning of 2014, he always works on Saturday.
For some reason, (other than because he asked), he was given last Saturday off. It was an oversight, a mistake, an error, what have you, but when the boss figured it out and approached Blue Eyes about it, Blue Eyes told him he’d come in if he was needed, but when he saw he had the day off, he had made plans. The boss appreciated his willingness to come in, but covered it so Blue Eyes actually DID get Saturday off.
I packed my bag Thursday evening, made arrangements with the older boy [i.e., paid him] to take care of the dog and when work was over on Friday I went to Washington.
It’s 20 miles from my work to his house. On a normal day it can take half an hour. Last Friday it took one hour and 15 minutes, thanks to the sun being out and it being Friday. Didn’t matter though, I was running away from home and time is not an issue in those circumstances.
Friday evening we walked over to a new taproom in his town and tasted some beer, then we went to the local beautifully redone old theater and saw The Croods in 3D, for $3.00 a ticket. I’d wanted to see The Croods, but never made it to the theater while it was out (there were too many other things I wanted to see) – it was a cute movie and I was happy it only cost $6.00 for both of us.
Saturday we got up early and drove up into the Gorge on the Washington side. Knowing Blue Eyes would have the day off I told him I wanted to go for a hike. There are tons of hikes in Oregon and Southwest Washington and I spent days trying to figure out which one I wanted to go on. I really wanted to do a “new” hike, but I also wanted it to be SPECTACULAR — as I read on the various hikes I would find myself falling back on the familiar, hikes I had done that I knew were great – Dog Mountain, Angels Rest, Beacon Rock, etc. I finally decided to go for “new” and chose Falls Creek, north of Carson, Washington.
It was a lovely, lovely day full of sun and clear blue sky. It was a little over an hour’s drive from his house and every inch of it was natural beauty. The Columbia River was to our right for most of the drive, and green trees all around. Once we turned left toward Carson I fretted a little (yeah, I know this doesn’t surprise you, since we all know I like to fret).
I thought “geez, we’re going away from the river, the beautiful Columbia River – maybe this particular hike is a mistake. . . “
After driving 14 miles out on this particular road, we turned onto a gravel road that we followed for two miles. While the forest around us was pretty, two miles on a gravel road, with large pot holes and only enough space for one vehicle . . . well . . . let’s just say I worried some more.
Finally the road opened up to the trailhead parking area. It was around 10, and there weren’t many cars. Maybe 8 or 9. That meant one or two things. It was either a sucky hike or a well-kept secret. I hoped it was the latter.
When we got out onto the trail I was instantly assured it was the latter.
The trail wound up along-side Falls Creek. The creek was a fast-moving piece of water, it was gorgeous and loud. Every now and then the trail would turn away from the creek and send you into the woods and it would become incredibly quiet. But the second you turned back towards the creek the noise increased dramatically. It was amusing.
We reached the first official “falls” on Falls Creek and it was really pretty. I think the green surrounding the falls added to the beauty.
I was feeling pretty good about my choice in hikes, but when we came around the final corner a mile further on and saw THE Fall Creek Falls I knew we’d hit pay dirt. Spectacular was certainly achieved.
After the hike we headed into Stevenson to Walking Man Brewing where we sat in the sun and drank beer. Then we headed to Hood River to watch the wind/kite surfers in the Gorge. When we arrived there weren’t any out on the river which was totally disappointing.
We went to Big Horse Brewery (yep, in case there was a question, we like beer)
and had a late lunch/dinner. As we sat at Horsefeathers, the restaurant at the Brewery, (this isn’t my picture of Horsefeathers, I snatched it off the internet, since I neglected to take one of the building)
we people watched and were delighted to see surfers getting into the water.
After dinner we sat down by the river and watched. Usually there are hundreds out on the water, and there likely would have been that many later on in the evening but the few we saw were incredibly impressive and fun to watch.
Saturday night we went to the movies again and saw The Purge. Not my typical kind of movie, but I went anyway (because I am a movie freak). It was an interesting concept, but I’m not quite sure it was worth the price of admission. The jury in my mind is still out on it, but I’m pretty sure I didn’t like it.
Sunday morning I went home to find my kitchen a mess after the apparent 19/20 year olds gathering that happened the night before. I cleaned my kitchen before I even took my bag upstairs, that’s how icky and gross it was. When I finally got upstairs I found the oldest boy wasn’t there. A later text informed me that after visiting with his dad he had decided to go to Sun River with some of his friends for a couple of days. So I had the rest of the day/afternoon to myself. I did some laundry, mowed my front lawn, picked up dog poop before trying to mow my back lawn, couldn’t get the mower to start when I reached the back lawn and took that as a sign. So I went to the movies alone and saw Now You See Me.
THAT was a good movie.
All in all it was a wonderful GREAT weekend. With no running, but at least I hiked.
While I don’t often feel the need to run away from home, and certainly don’t get the opportunity to do so with so little effort, I really, really did NEED this weekend away. It was fun, relaxing, refreshing and everything a doctor might order. So grateful for Blue Eyes. . .
Have a good week people!