April 9, 2016.
This weekend I met up with a couple of friends for some relaxing camping and hiking that was convenient to both Portland (where they live) and Corvallis (where I live). We decided on the Little North Santiam area off of Highway 22.
We found a dispersed campsite to spend the night. The next morning we slept in, ate a hearty camp breakfast and waited until the afternoon to lace up our hiking shoes.
For once, I had no agenda. We’d walk until we didn’t feel like walking anymore, turn back and then enjoy some more social time at camp. It was as lazy as lazy days got for me.
We hiked up the road from our campsite and popped onto the Little North Santiam Trail. It was a delightful path leading through pretty forest. The river ambled by, trailing alongside us every step of the way. It flowed over small cascades, circled in blue-green pools and spread out in broad, shallow channels. At times it was still and at other times it was raging. A moody, but beautiful scene. We walked past dramatic rock formations, popular swimming holes and quiet glens. It was a lovely afternoon.
It was made even more lovely by the company of friends. As much as I enjoy hiking solo, I also like to share the outdoors with my buddies. It was nice to just get out and walk, talk, be silly, take it easy.
After three miles we decided we’d had enough and returned to our camp. We spent the evening grilling food, drinking beer, playing games and savoring each other’s company before going back to our respective homes. I’m grateful that we all made the time to let this camping trip come together. It’s easy to let life get in the way, but it’s important to reserve time for keeping friendships alive.