Kashi (husband) and I went backpacking together for the first time. I took him up to Dickey Creek and Big slide Lake out past Estacada in Oregon. I figured that I would use this post to introduce photos to the blog, since Kashi took some nice ones of the trip. He really captured the mood of the place:
This was mine and my brother’s go-to hike all through high school. I think we did it several years in a row for a while–while we both lived at home at least. The 6 mile hike is divided by Dickey Creek. The first have being relatively easy, while the second half is straight up until the end. It wouldn’t be as bad as it invariably turns out to be, if I didn’t do it strapped into a backpack with all the gear a person needs. Usually we had the place to ourselves, and I was disappointed this time that we shared it with at least five other groups of backpackers.
We didn’t socialize much, as I embarrassed Kashi when I seemed incapable of interacting with the other fellow campers when I commented on how BUSY it was up at the lake. That’s right, the hike ends at a lake, which is perfect because I have sleeping in a sleeping bag when I am all sweaty and sticky. Lakes fix that problem.
It was hard not to be disappointed by the crowd. I had imagined a romantic weekend getaway, just the two of us in that little valley in our little tent. There is something magical about floating in the middle of the little lake, looking up at the sky, and knowing that you are the only person there. When I hike in there (or out of there), the alpine slopes remind me of books I read as a kid/teenager. Books about independent women, who learned to live in the woods on their own. Books like Sarah Bishop or a book about a girl who runs away to find otters, but I can’t remember the title. I daydream about a little hut in the woods, nestled among large, old growth trees. A hut muffled in my moss and pine needles, with a near by spring for water and maybe a goat for milk.
I dream about being a hermit when I am there, so when there turned out to be 15+ people, you can imagine my disappointment. It was hard to reconcile reality with the dream, when they were so far a part. It was hard to give up the dream when I know that valley so well and based on past experience could feel assured that we wouldn’t share it with any more than two other people.
I’ll get over it. We did have a lovely time, and I still got to daydream on the way in and the way out. I got to spend a whole lovely afternoon, reading in the woods. There isn’t much better, but I want to go up there in the off-season. Maybe in September, when the crowds are gone. I want Kashi to have a real chance to fall in love with the place. To love it the way I love it. It’s not the same when all you can smell is all the little camp fires, all you can hear is other people talking, and all you see are other campers going about their business.