Sometimes, all you need to rejuvenate is quality time with close friends. Rob, Cass and I drove 7 hours from Missoula to the Columbia Gorge to spend a long weekend with friends in Mosier (pronounced Moe-sure for real, or MOE-zee-eh, if you like to add in a fake French accent like we do). We decided we were due for a “homesteading” weekend, which — in our modern definition — meant chopping wood, wandering in the woods, making cookies, and knitting. Basically, hanging out around a fireplace with your favorite people.
Kipp and Christine are leasing a sweet house in the oak-scrub foothills above the Columbia River for 6 months. Perfect for homesteading. Our friend Margi came out from Portland, as did a few other Portland buddies. Collectively, we call ourselves “family,” “the band,” “the wolf pack,” and “awesome.”
We were missing a few of the pack members this weekend, but it was still easy to fall into a rhythm. The rhythm might change tempo depending on our location (cabin, car, raft, trail, sailboat) or our ultimate mission for the visit (wedding, backpacking, Thanksgiving, wolf-watching, costume party, river trip, relaxing). But we manage to maintain the same daily mix of making music, eating good food, sharing fancy cocktails, finding birds, playing with doggies, and exploring nature’s nooks and crannies. And laughing … a LOT.
We didn’t get in the car once during our 3-night stay. In fact, we didn’t even leave a 2-mile radius of the house. But we managed to make the minutes stretch and the days count, as we made more memories to add to our collective bundle of shared experience. Sometimes those experiences are as wild as getting lost in Joshua Tree National Park until the wee hours on a 20-degree night, or portaging 100-yard log jams in heavy rafts in the Bob Marshall Wilderness.
Other times, they’re as simple as watching a new puppy in front of a wood-fired stove, playing Apples to Apples, recording 3-part harmony in the bathroom, jamming out with a violin, egg-shakers, piano and guitars (with makeshift picks) or making killer tacos. No matter what, it’s the sharing that makes our pack’s experiences stand out as stellar.
We sure hope they come out to visit us in the South Seas. After all, it’s time to pioneer how to homestead on a sailboat.