Thursday, June 10, 2010

Quarter Century

This weekend was a breath of fresh air.

I must admit that one of the hardest adjustments for me in moving to Portland is the lack of outside time. Being used to the warm sunny deserts of Tucson AZ, I'm not very enthusiastic about camping in the rain. Also, it takes so much longer (and so much driving) to get to a good hike. I miss being able to drive 15-20 minutes to Pima Canyon or Sabino Canyon or Saguaro National Park and get out on the trails...

But N and I took four days this week and drove up to the Olympic Peninsula for my 25th birthday. It poured down rain on the drive up and back, but the weather was gorgeous while we were there. We took a short hike into the Quinault Rainforest, where I was super duper excited to see berries ripening!! This time of year I always have my berry vision on, my eyes eagerly scanning the trail for bright spots of red or blue. N gets a little annoyed after a couple hours of me pointing out every berry I see!

We saw some huckleberries, and some thimbleberries and salmonberries just beginning to ripen.

Then we headed out to Oil City to backpack on the beach. Oh, the weather was beautiful. I wore shorts and actually got to run barefoot and splash in the waves! We saw barnacles, and touched squishy sponges and poked starfish and stared at anemones. We climbed on huge old trees washed up on the beach and found one eyed monsters in the rocks. N balanced rocks and drift wood. One of the things I love about being with N is how well we play together.  We are goofy and silly and excited as kids.

We had some exciting times because we were trying to hike impassable portions of the beach at pretty much high tide. We ended up racing the waves down the beach and pretty much rock climbing along the face of the cliffs to get past. I was missing the security of my harness! But what's a birthday without a little adrenaline, right? We had a lovely campsite to watch the sunset.

After we hiked out from the beach, we headed over to Olympic Hot Springs. I neglected to take any pictures of the springs themselves, because I was just too relaxed soaking in the warm water and listening to the river rushing below. I did take some pictures of our tasty dinner though. Fanciest backpacking dinner I've ever eaten. :) We totally splurged and brought heavy food.

Here we are heating tortillas and roasting sweet potatoes and onions in the fire.

The finished product with some homemade tomatillo salsa. YUM! All in all, a wonderful birthday. I'm one lucky gal.

Also, I can't wait to get back to the Olympic Peninsula for some more adventures!

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