In the Wilderness

Adventure, oregon, Personal, Photography

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Last week I spent seven days in the Malheur National Forest camping. Seven days. No cell reception. No wifi. Not even a landline. Camping.  That is the longest amount of time I have spent, 1. camping, and 2. without any outside communication since I can ever remember.

It was a time spent with family, chatting, hiking, eating and playing Old Mexico.

Since there wasn’t facebook or instagram to distract us we were able to focus our attention on one another, and head to bed earlier and wake up way earlier than usual. This meant I got to see seven sunrises, some I saw with Seth by my side, others on my own.

I always hear people talking about quiet time, but up until this trip, I had never truly realized the importance of being quiet. At rest with my thoughts. Disconnected. It’s amazing the things you can observe and hear (or not hear) once you shut everything else off.  I learnt to listen to and recognize the sounds of the wilderness, deer running, coyotes howling, and a black bear creeping – trying to go unnoticed.

How much time do we honestly take to do this? To have absolute quiet time and gather or expel our recurring thoughts. We don’t. I don’t. This trip showed me how I’m letting the noise clog up my life, leading me to feel disillusioned and ending in a game of constant comparison.

I’m not where I want to be.

Am I failing at my calling?

Is this even my calling?!

Pointless, and hindering little thoughts.

These are some of the things I struggle with as a result of the daily noise. & sometimes it takes a trip into the wilderness to separate the important stuff from the trivial, what really matters and bring things back to perspective.

So today I’m encouraging you to take a trip to the wilderness – whatever that means to you. & then tell me how it went.

An Adventure + An Engagement

Adventure, Personal, The Outdoors, Travel

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Just over a year ago my brother in law started hanging out with this pretty awesome girl called Jana. Pretty soon we all knew she was the ‘one’.  Not just the ‘one’ he was going to date, but the ‘one’ he was going to be with… like, forever. But sometimes when we’re the midst of things it’s so easy to not realize that the other person feels the same way about us as we do about them and as he figured things out, as a family we started to panic that the moment may go by and he’d miss out on being with this amazing girl!

A few months of playing what we’ve now come to call the ‘boyfriend and girlfriend game’ they finally got together and we all not so secretly cheered them on. Fast forward a year later he invited us to go backpacking with them, they’d head out a few days earlier and we’d meet them halfway and bring them home.  At first I kind of panicked because, well, I’d never been backpacking before and the thought of carrying a backpack for 10 miles was a little daunting; but I also had an idea of what was going to happen during that trip, so the obvious answer was yes!

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So Seth & I packed our sleeping bags, camping food, lightest cloths and set out on the trail to Obsidian Falls.  About 4 miles in, once I’d gotten used to the 30+lb backpack and managed to get a rhythm so I could keep up with my husband, we find ourselves in 4 ft of snow and struggling to find the trail, and just as panic was beginning to creep in, as if on cue, we heard screams and shouts and saw the happy couple sliding down hill on the snow!

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Being a girl the first thing I did was grab Jana’s left hand and look at her finger and realized that yes, after all the games and 12 months of dating, he’d put a ring on it! I really thought we’d do some screaming and jumping, but I’m pretty sure that the 4-mile hike in and their encounter with mosquitoes had something to do with the calmer yet excited hugs and embraces!  Nevertheless we went up the hill and found the campsite, set out a blanket, pulled out the cheese, crackers, summer sausage and wine and listened to how he asked her if ‘he could make her last name sound a little more like his’.  We then celebrated by jumping into 32f water (or at least it felt that cold) and watching the sun set

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The views were absolutely stunning and included The Three Sisters, The Husband, Mt Washington & Mt Jefferson and more on the horizon.  If you ever get a chance to do at least part of the Pacific Crest Trail, this is a beautiful spot to go on it.

Seth & I had planned to sleep under the stars, but we didn’t realize how many mosquitoes there would be so we jumped in with Eli & Jana into their two-man tent and slept like sardines. Next time I’m taking a sleeping pill… or bringing my own tent. But what would any trip be without a good tent story!

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All in all I absolutely loved backpacking, more than I thought I would – it may have had something to do with the views and the company though 😉