This is What it’s All About

It’s easy to forget. Rushing to work, and pushing your limits of how many hours you actually have in a day.

It’s easy to forget how important it is to connect with the people I share a house with, share a life with.

This past Friday, we set out on our first camping trip of the summer. We stuffed it all in the car. I was out of practice on pulling my stuff together.  I couldn’t find the camera batteries. I couldn’t find my knife with the fire starter in it. Did we have enough ice? Where is my hat?

We really just threw it all together. We didn’t even know where we would camp. Usually we have a more mapped out plan, but we didn’t. We just needed to get away.

We live only 30 minutes from Mt. Hood, on the Mt. Hood National Forest in Oregon. Admittedly, it’s really easy for us to find somewhere to camp so planning didn’t really need to happen.

We ended up driving around for awhile, but it was starting to come up on sunset, so we really needed to find a spot, and soon.

Just before the sun was about to set, we drove up into an unmarked area, and found an amazing place, remarkably empty! It had an amazing view of Mt. Hood with nothing to distract from its own beauty, on the east side.

Across the clearing, we saw a deer look up, and dart off into the woods. Maybe that was a good sign. My husband has been into photography his whole life so finding this “room with a view” as he calls it, for sunrise, locked us in.

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Mt Hood photo by Lisa Coriell

The sunset was amazing. The sound of the wind in the trees helped cancel out the typical chatter that goes on in my head in normal daily life. We felt like we were a million miles away, and only an hour from home. I took a deep breath and started to relax.

Then we started a fire…

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Mt Hood at sunset photo by Lisa Coriell

In the morning, we had a lot of time to wait until the tent would dry and we saw a high hill of steep rock nearby, so we set out for a hike.

We hiked up this towering, steep hill of rock to get a different view of Mt. Hood.  A great way to get in our exercise and start of our morning.

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Mt. Hood National Forest, photo by Lisa Coriell

This was my first hike since my double knee replacement, so I was pretty proud of the accomplishment, and fitting that it was on National Trails Day. I told my doctor, and my physical therapist that the one thing I really missed was hiking…

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Mt. Hood, Photo by Andy Coriell

It was no Pacific Crest Trail hike but I am pretty proud. It was just one of what I hope will be many more…

After spending some time on the hill, we descended the other side, and ran into a short trail that wraps around it, and leads back to the road, near our site.

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This was a brand new place for us to camp, and being near so many other great campsites, we decided to spend the day exploring campsites, views, and trails all over the east side of the mountain in areas we hadn’t yet explored in depth.

We found so many great spots we never knew about just tucked away down roads we hadn’t yet traveled. We also checked out some marked places we hadn’t camped yet, like Badger Creek and Fifteen Mile.

We finished the day at Rock Creek Reservoir, and drove home tired, a little sunburnt, but mentally well-rested.

I’ve been working a lot. Cranky. Trying to get so many things off the ground for work. My husband’s been doing the same, and about to break into his busy time of the year, when wildfires happen on the mountain.

Camping, hiking, and just getting away from the noise of daily life for a little forest therapy helps me re-gather the focus on the things most important to me.

When I am in nature, the people I love come into focus more clearly.  I remember how to laugh. I see the amazingness in the beauty of our natural world. I breathe again.

When I am in nature, I remember what I’ve lost, and know I am exactly where I am supposed to be, and that being in nature, for me, is what it’s all about.

 

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