Spence here: While floating by Billy in a tiny yellow inner tube, beer in hand on the Clackamas River, I said obnoxiously, “Fun: Pass it on!” A few moments later, I floated into a dicey current and almost lost my glasses! However, neither did I lose any glasses or beers and truly, our recent camping trip was a success in every category…excellent company, great conversation about making out after puking, sunny weather, crisp, cold water features and beers, meteor showers, sand in my hair and sleeping outside without a tent. The Clackamas River never disappoints. Our friend Jane, (credit Jane for the action photos!) pushed the envelope, jumping off a gigantic log into the middle of an icy, swift current without hesitation. Her small dog bravely stood watch as lifeguard on sharp rocks, as well as napping 6 times a day. I kept pretty close to shore to guard the sandwiches and make leaning rock sculptures. Billy sacrificed his skin to the sun.
Sometimes, in the name of “Adulthood” I lose track of what is important! Sitting in a river with my friends and enjoying all that nature can offer in healthy ways of ‘takin’er easy’. The hot afternoons are slowly slipping into Fall. I noticed the shadows were a little longer than usual, the leaves a little yellow and the smell of campfire more of a welcome source of warm and less like a rampaging threat. We slept out like kids, our sleeping mats in the sand making indentations. We stayed up late watching the Perseid meteor shower, spying a particularly amazing meteor, which looked like a flaming, crashing spaceship. It felt perfectly normal to wear my clothes and shoes, socks too, into the river to cool off, knowing everything would dry on my person by dinner.
We hiked in an obscene amount of gear in the name of “Fun”. Since the camp spot is only a couple miles in, it is worth it to bring two coolers, books, journals, the “big tent”, floaties, binoculars, 3 bags of chips, the two burner Coleman camp stove and a ukulele! My mother would probably call this march the “Grapes of Wrath” syndrome. It is also worth it to set up a gigantic tent one has no intention of sleeping in if one can help it–as the weather is too good to be inside in any capacity, “just in case”. The summer is slowly waning… Have fun! And without haste!
Billy here. There are few things I love more than sitting by the rapids perched on top of a certain boulder at Alder Flat. The water melts off the glacier, so much water, and froths over rocks. I like to watch a certain part of the water flow down, hit a rough patch and swirl or broil, then flow further down. The more I watch flowing water, the more I feel that things start to unravel and make sense at the same time. The muscles loosen and the smell of the air gets through to the blood. Everything seems to be found in how the water flows. It is always different water flowing and making the same forms depending on the rocks around it. It gets caught in the pattern of its environment. Some water shoots up, some goes around and some gets caught in an eddy near the shore for a while. It all gets back to the ocean eventually, even if it evaporates and rains down somewhere else. It could take one drop a million years to take another’s path.
Drawing labyrinths in the sand – there is something shimmery about the labyrinth – an optical illusion masks the seed of something integral to life itself. To tell a good story is to organize the experience of life – in a way that weaves the heart and mind together in a unified whole. The lines of the labyrinth shimmer like the grooves of a record. They have recorded a song. What does the song sound like?