It was difficult for me to hold my pace down. After many, many family hikes from vacations long ago, my legs just wanted to get into the usual semi-fast-and-steady-hike-mode. But little children wanted to stop and look at every funny rock or fluorescent lichen piece fallen on the path. At one point, however, T and I were alone out ahead of everyone else, me adjusting my gait to his shorter legs, he stopping to poke his stick at every other bush. It seemed so natural that we were walking along this trail together. As I looked around at the tall silent trees, it occurred to me that the last time I had hiked in an Eastern Oregon forest was the summer before B and I married. So much had happened between then and now, yet the then didn't seem so far away and I could imagine the "then me" smiling in approval that things had come round full circle. Now the "future me" was hiking here with my son.
I hope there will be many more forest hikes.
K collected armfuls of sticks, bark, and Ponderosa needle bunches and carried them with her so she'd have a selection of items ready to throw into the river.
Then it was back to the cabin to pack up and head out. Goodbye, Eastern Oregon hills. Hope to see you again soon.
photo by K