Before we met, my husband did a fair amount of backpacking, which for those of you who haven't been, involves loading gear into a pack and hiking into the wilderness to stay overnight in the woods in unofficial sites. He has taken Julia on a short backpacking trip but this summer he wanted us all to experience backpacking. The fact that he's home for his sabbatical allowed us to take off midweek in early July for just such an adventure at Opal Creek, a most beautiful setting in Oregon's Willamette National Forest!
The trail into Jawbone Flats, an old mining town turned into Opal Creek's Educational Center, was about 3 miles. The lush forest (and snacks and water) lured us on, despite mosquitos and normal kid exaustion. It was so exciting to get closer and closer, the destination our reward.
Here, the heart shaped rocks abounded. Since we were backpacking though, only a few made it home with us for grandma.
One of the best things about the spot where we camped was being down on the banks of the creek throwing rocks into the water with first Avery and then later Julia. Simple: just rock skipping and throwing, just conversation and laughing. When Avery conked out early in the tent, Julia was especially thrilled to have time with just her dad and I down on that bank tossing rock after rock. And look where we ate our breakfast!
It was all just breathtakingly beautiful......On backpacking, I am officially sold.