Wednesday, August 19, 2015

3 weeks in and going strong

I've misled you. This adventure has been about much more than our family of 4. We've been referring to it as our familymoon, and I'm not sure that descriptor fits exactly. I've been letting my mind wander over what really stands out over the past 2 weeks: from downtime in Lynn Valley, to wedding celebrations in Vancouver, to Mt Rainier in Washington, and finally to Corbett, Oregon. It has been beautiful - each stop has held magic, and it's become clear that our trip so far has been about the partnership between place and people.

Family, and friends, and friends of friends have opened their homes to us, and we are no small footprint! We are travelling with 4 clear plastic tupperware bins, a dry food tupperware, and a cooler at the very minimum. The rest hangs out in, or under, the Boler if we're staying in a home. And we can't overlook the omnipresence of the two small boys who accompany us. One asking zillions of questions and wrangling partners in his world of play; the other with bright smiles, five-alarm shrieks, the will to scoot everywhere and chew on anything. And still we have been welcomed with arms and hearts wide open. We've even been out TWICE without the kids, thanks to our beautiful hosts! To Joanna & Tiara's impeccable & totally enjoyable wedding celebration, and to Little Bird in Portland with Becca and Martin (so very tasty).
Jo & Tiara

While we were a little concerned about the longish drives (we've planned for no longer than 5 hrs), it seems we've worked out a flow that works. Driving to Mount Rainier from Vancouver with a stop in Sedro-Woolley has given us the confidence to keep taking the scenic route. If we time it right, Russell falls asleep almost immediately. When Otis starts to feel sleepy we hear a soft request from the backseat "Mommy, will you hold my foot?". This is new, this foot holding thing, but it works.

Becca & Martin met us at Mount Rainier National Park for our (so far) annual reunion. It was SPECTACULAR! The campground (Cougar Rock) is nestled at the base of the mountain and the sights and hikes in the park were as wild and beautiful as if we were backpacking in.

For our little family, it was absolutely ideal. We asked Otis what he particularly noticed about our first hike up to a set of waterfalls, across a wooden plank bridge laid over a raging river. He said "ummm, the rocks". We asked "what else do you notice about this forest?". He responded "...the sticks". Otis spends a lot of time throwing rocks these days.

We descended from the lofty mountain heights into Corbett, in the Columbia River Gorge. We were so happy to stay at The Stand Farm where Becca's good friends Susan and Janette opened up their home, yard, kitchen and hearts to us. It was a full house for this sweet family with a couple other friends and our little unit, and we couldn't have been shown a more beautiful example of hospitality.

Janette sharing some bee time with me
We wandered through Portland with food on our minds, ate at the Tin Shed which we would definitely recommend (even if we didn't know Janette whose restaurant it is!) and had a pint at the Oregon non-profit pub. Dreamy! We also spent a couple lazy afternoons at the river, the perfect complement to our holiday pace. Otis and Russell were in seventh heaven with so many willing adults ready to love them up and be bossed around "Ingrid you swim to where it's deep and I'm going to splash you"..." Uncle Martin, throw this rock". Russell's less exacting but no less demanding! It has been such a joy to have all these people with us over the past two weeks.

And now we've taken our leave, which wasn't easy. But in our regret at saying goodbye to great friends is our gift of simply having such great friendships. We've made new friends on this journey and look forward to hosting any number of wanderers to Little Langy and our Boler guestroom.

Next stop Crater Lake, OR. Just the four of us for real now.

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