August came in with a rumble this morning. Tara woke me from a sound sleep to inform me it was “thundering out.” Before I could even question whether thundering was a legitimate word, it started thundering out. Woohoo! That woke me up. It was right overhead, too. That’s the best kind of thunderstorm.
So. August. Months ago, in looking at the calendar, I realized this would be the busiest month of the year for us. We have two trips planned (Oregon coast, Nevada). Two concerts to attend (Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, Beck). The Clark County Fair. The Bite of Oregon. And Heidi and Ross, whose wedding we attended in May, are planning a tentative visit. Whew! Somehow, we’ve got to squeeze other things in there. Like work. And breathing.
As busy as this summer has been, it doesn’t really feel like we’ve done anything. I mean, we have – there was that trip to California and all – but I think we set the bar high for ourselves the past two years. It’s harder now, especially with a kid (albeit a pretty special one) living with us full-time – not to mention Tara’s work demands. She’s been in the office more weekends than not. All the more reason why we are looking forward to our adults-only weekend getaway in Pacific City…which begins today!
I mentioned we set the bar high these past two years, but it was high even before Tara was part of my life. Truth is, I got in the habit of doing fun things by myself years ago – pretty much before the ink had even dried on the divorce decree. (Pretend for a minute the whole thing wasn’t digital. I’m going for drama here). Yesterday, I stumbled upon some photographs from the summer of 2009. You know what I did five years ago? This:
“This” is Loowit Falls, a waterfall located in one of the most inhospitable places on the planet: the crater of Mount St. Helens. And I hiked right up to it. Well, it’s a little distance away from where I was standing – zoom lens and all – but still. Impressive, huh?
For a few years there, I was a pretty avid hiker. I still love it, but it’s been hard to find the time to get out and do it. In the summer of 2009, I learned there was a “hidden” waterfall in the crater of Mount St. Helens, and decided to check it out. This was no small feat: it involved a two-hour drive to Windy Ridge, the non-touristy side of the mountain, and then a 9-mile hike across the pumice plain and back with no shade to shelter me from the blazing sun overhead. Even with hiking shoes, my feet were badly blistered – and I didn’t pack nearly enough water, which led to a near case of dehydration and heatstroke. It remains, to this day, the most challenging hike I’ve ever been on. But totally worth it.
So you see, I always think of summers as being filled with adventure. And this month, we’re going to start making up for a relatively slow one ourselves.
How has your summer been?