The best thing ever about working in the hinterlands of Gresham (sorry, Greshamites, but it sure feels like the hinterlands from my house!) — the best thing about that is that it’s actually closer to get to work from an old-growth-forest campground than it is to get to work from my house. Which means that when I feel particularly crazy, I can hightail it out to Oxbow Regional Park, sleep in the quiet woods, get up to birdsong the next day, and make it to work no problem: my own little mid-week oasis.
Late Monday night, for example, I decided that for the sake of mental health I should go sleep out; after doing a bit of work from home on Tuesday morning, I packed up my bike and took off. Funnily enough, I stopped by my office on the way, not to work any more, but to pick up my pocketknife, which I’d left in my work bag, and to drop off my lunch for Wednesday.
After a fantastic afternoon and evening of trail running, hiking, reading, journal-writing, sitting by the river, jumping in the river (so cold!!) and sleeping in my tent — all the things that make me happy — I packed up super early Wednesday morning and went to work. (Ironically, from work, I took my crew back to Oxbow, since we were working there for the day.) And after work, I’d planned to go home again but decided that another night of sleeping out was in order, so back to Oxbow again to tuck myself in with the evening chirrups of robins, to hear the Sandy River to my north and the soft rain on my tent, to get up this morning feeling happy and full.
Tomorrow, I go back to Oxbow with my crew for work. This is how I’m going to have spent four out of five days and two out of four nights this week at one of my favorite places ever (have I mentioned that I love my job?). Without even changing anything about my life except where I sleep at night, I feel like I’ve had a great mid-week adventure, all while maintaining gainful employment and being a (mostly;) functioning member of society.
I’m not totally sure why I don’t just sleep at Oxbow every night, except that maybe at $22 a campsite, it’d get expensive fairly quickly. (Though sometimes the fact that I know and work with most of the rangers there helps with that.) But man if that wasn’t exactly what I needed this week. I feel so, so grateful to live somewhere where this kind of thing is possible, and with someone who understands my particular breed of crazy. Life is lovely.