Reflection and Relaxation 5/27 – 5/30 2022

Memorial Day weekend. A time to before anything else, thank those that gave all so we can have our freedoms to go and enjoy the things we do. Thank you.

Thank you.

Our outing this trip was to Kettle River Campground in Washington. The campground has 13 sites along the river and are all reservation only sites. No hookups, dump station or potable water but there is a pit bathroom. The road in is paved as well as the parking pads for each site. Bonus to those of us with the federal access pass or other type of pass, 50% off the camping rates.

Our first time camping here.

Friday was a rough day for us. Bad news, broken things at home, made the get out of town even more needed. More about that later.

We arrived at camp and got set up in our site. We had a great site with a view of the river. Although the river was 12 feet below where it was the same time last year. We brought our inflatable kayak but soon realized that will not be used. With the water level so low that made the river flow very fast in the deep channel and nothing but dry land in the area that would have been nice to paddle around in. Bummer. This part of the Kettle River depth is controlled by Grand Coulee Dam much farther down on the Columbia River. The dams are open still anticipating the spring runoff. We have had a cold spring and runoff is still going slowly. At least we still had a view of the river, so it is what it is, I guess.

Site 8

Nice big sites.

Ready for the weekend.

After camp got set up, we walked down to the river. Yeah, that water was flowing way too fast to get the kayak out. Fine if you wanted to float downriver but good luck trying to paddle upriver. Still, the river provided a nice view.

A look downriver.

A look upriver.

Joanne and I walking on the dry riverbed.

Looking back to our site.

Kettle River.

Back at camp after our walk, Joanne made us our dinner. I got a fire started and we ate while sitting next to the campfire.

Dinner time.

Reflection. Now sitting and not moving around being busy, thoughts of our Friday hit. We found out that morning that a friend lost his life in a motorcycle accident. Then later that day Joanne called me at work telling me we had a water leak in a pipe at home. I had to leave work right away to get that fixed. My heart was not really into working either. So, thoughts of the day were running through my head. That and, it seemed that I have not really acknowledged all the deaths of family and friends in the last few months. Sadly, there was a lot of that.

Lots of tears came and went, memories of each person running through my thoughts. People who I will not see again. It was a rough Friday night.

People who know me well, know I am very far from being a religious man. But it is being out in nature, camping, hiking and so on, that is my church. Spending time out with our camper regularly is what gets me through another week or two of life. This trip was very needed. Even more that I first thought.

Listening to music while sitting around the fire, a song came on that made me reflect even more. A song by Alan Parsons Project, Time.

“Goodbye, my friend (goodbye, my love, now I)
Maybe for forever (must leave)
Goodbye, my friend (who knows when we shall meet)
The stars wait for me (again?)

Who knows where we shall meet again
If ever?

But time
Keeps flowing like a river (on and on)
To the sea
To the sea”

How fitting it was as we are sitting next to a river that flows into the Columbia that then flows to the sea. Was it part of my church, nature…that was telling me something? I think so.

We were then blessed with a pretty sunset at camp. I feel it was another sign of nature telling me something.

The end of the day.

The next day was a pretty day out. We spent time walking around and just plain ole’ hanging out at camp. We had no plans to go anywhere this trip.

Looking at our spot from across the campground.

Again, very large sites.

Joanne cooking us up something to eat.

The day drifted by. Still filled with moments of tears and sadness. Lots of time for reflection. Night came and we talked about saying our goodbyes to those we have lost recently. We gave a whiskey toast and said each name out loud as we poured a whiskey toast for them into the campfire. The day came to a close for us.

Relaxation. The next morning it was yet another pretty day. I also felt relaxed after coming to grips with everything that I never did really acknowledge before. I felt very relaxed, better than I have in a while.

We walked around the area, looking at flowers and all parts of nature. I even tried to get a picture of a butterfly I chased after but never got a good picture. The flowers didn’t get away at least.

Pretty.

Even more.

More and more.

Two pretty views.

Lilac.

Apple.

Not sure what this one was.

Almost ready to bloom.

Kettle River.

Soon the day was over. A peaceful day for me.

The next morning, rains had come. We still sat outside for a while and Joanne made breakfast. That is what our popup is for. After breakfast we would leave.

Rain or not, we still are outside.

As some of you have learned or already know about us, when do we really do a direct drive home? No, we usually take scenic out of the way routes. No exception here. We drove north to check things out and to try and find a geocache or two. After that, we then drove south towards home.

Day use area along the Kettle River.

Found a cache.

Still in use school from 1910, Orient Washington.

Boulder Creek.

Spring stream.

Time to go home now and stat another week. This trip was a very healing trip for me. I think I am ready to get going once again.

RIP

Patricia D.

Virginia H

Patrick H

Ashley S.

Darin R.

Dave O.

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