Thursday, August 21, 2008
One of the nicest things I did this summer was an impromptu camping trip with Birch and Cory.
We packed a haphazard assortment of food, coolers, tent, sleeping bags, and flashlights, and drove west out of Corvallis toward Sweet Home at 8:30 p.m.
After 45 minutes of highway and another hour, almost, of bumpy, unmarked, potholed dirt road, we turned off at the pine tree and parked in a little clearing.
I had never been to this place before, but B. had been with Tyler, and was going by memory. We collected all our gear (oops! too bulky and heavy) and set off galumphing into the night. After about fifteen or twenty minutes of wandering through the woods (me with my GPS), we decided to pitch camp in a clearing that was - we thought - near the trail. A creek tinkled nearby, though we couldn't see it, and we put up the tent by flashlight. Luckily for us, it was a very easy tent to pitch, a pup tent belonging to Birch.
We made a fire and roasted taters and ears of corn with lots of Earth Balance margarine, and had chips and salsa and juice. Girl Scouting came in handy here, as we foraged for firewood and I made layers of tinder, kindling, and big log pieces for fuel. Then we tied the food up in a tree, just in case.
Snuggled up we three in the pup tent, we all slept til mid-morning.
Vietnamese coffee boiled on the campstove and granola with wild blackberries tucked away, we zipped up the tent and tromped down to the lakes.
The lakes were nearly deserted, save for a lonely fisherman on one shore. We beat our way through the brush, jumping over fallen logs and swatting away spider webs. Finally, an out-jutting log was pronounced a satisfactory swimmin' base, and we hung our bag on a tree and teetered out over the clear water. From there, we slathered on the sunscreen, sharing the space with curious swimming salamanders and skating water bugs. Plop! went C., into the lake. Splash! followed B. I eased into the water slowly, then all at once.
I dropped my camera in and it fell all the way to the bottom and I had to go under and retrieve it, and I didn't even care.