In what’s turned out to be a pretty unhappy summer, last week was special. You might even say it was a mountain-top experience. After learning that I needed to suspend my interferon shots for a week, I quickly headed to the coast to paint another bedroom at the beach house. Both are now different shades of the ocean. I also managed to squeeze in a couple of beach runs around a two-day rain storm that would not have been unseasonable for March. We’re into a 10-year plan for upgrading the beach house. It’s starting to look respectable again.
I drove home on Thursday, picked up Allie and some camping gear, and headed east. Weeks ago we’d planned an ambitious car camping trip around Oregon, so this was the truncated version: two nights on the banks of the legendary Metolius in a Forest Service campground. It was great. We hiked 10 miles on Friday to a gem of a lake in the Mount Jefferson Wilderness (Carl Lake), and then did a leg-searing 4-miler up and back on Black Butte on Saturday. That’s where this picture was taken. All the Cascade peaks were lined up like bowling pins. My daughter is an amazing person, and a terrific camper and hiker. We breathed deeply the clean mountain air, had some penetrating conversation, ate really disgusting meals, and froze our toesies together in the 35-degree temps on Thursday night. If you want to know your kids better, take them camping. I’ve also spent time with Nick in the outdoors, and it’s a great way to bond with them.
My head was pretty clear since I wasn’t on interferon last week. That was so nice. The shots resume tonight. And my daughter left for college this morning. And my son leaves on Thursday. It feels like another summer rain storm coming on, only this one has nothing to do with the weather.