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Oh Spontaneity, where art thou?

November 20, 2010

I was always the spontaneous one, the person you could count on to hike the crater with you in the middle of the night on a moment’s notice. Always ready to visit a hot spring, taking the back road in with a compass.

That was pre-fatherhood.

The last five to six years has been a progression of less and less camping trips. Some combination of struggling with child camping and getting busier in self-employment has dwindled my spontaneity to a shriveled specter of its former self. I didn’t make it out at all last summer.

But things must be changing, because a few weeks ago I was feeling the urge, and even though it was early November I decided that E and I were going to camp out for a night at Bagby Hot Springs. She’s 5 and a half now, and such things seem possible. Maybe even fun. She can do the hike on her own and knows better than to eat strange mushrooms.

When the truck was half loaded A decided to join us and it became a family affair. Right on!

The trip was great but not enough, so we made plans for a bigger trip over Thanksgiving break – a three night, three hot springs cruise, winding through the Cascades and maybe seeing some snow flurries.

Two weeks passed. The trip got whittled down. First obstacle: A had been working hard, and 3 campsites in 3 nights sounded like a little too much for her. So we pared it down to Bagby one night, Breitenbush (with a cabin and 3 prepared meals) the next. Second obstacle: E had a wart removed from her foot, and though the doctor said she should be fine, she didn’t want to get in the hot springs. Fair enough. We postponed our reservation. Third obstacle: momentum. Did we really want to drive out to Bagby for one night again – in the rain or snow – when E wasn’t even going to get in?

The thing was, on that first trip I’d forgotten to bring firewood. And everything we found was soaking wet. But leaning against our garage is a sizable pile of boards; odds and ends from a year of carpentry. I really wanted to have a fire the first time, and it was pretty disappointing to have the trip postponed.

So I went into the backyard and started a fire. Got my $49.99 worth from that raised metal pit that’s been storing coals and water all fall. Eventually E and A joined me. We raked all the leaves off the concrete and scrubbed it with a mop and broom.

A downright urban camp-site. Maybe I should get a barrel instead.

Didn’t make a dent in the wood-pile, though. It might have to come along to the country.

 

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