We made it. Kate’s last day on the job was Monday the 2nd, and it was a long one. We’d scheduled our journey to start with a nearby campout with friends on Friday, so that gave us three and a half days to wrap up what rightfully should take a week.
Those few days were a marathon of last-minutes. Emptying and cleaning the fridge, freezer, and pantry. (Pressing food stuffs on every friend who dropped by.) Tucking the Saab to bed in our friends’ carport and the truck in the neighbor’s carport. Clearing out the garage. Completing an inventory list of everything left behind, and detailed instructions for the renters (soon, I hope), making extra keys, turning in Comcast equipment.
It was 6:00 pm before we finally rolled away on Friday, Honda behind us, into the sunset, madly waving goodbye to our best-neighbor-friends, Kathleen and Madison. One hour on a dusky I-5, then one more hour on a curvy, hilly road, watching the full moon rise giant over the hills. At last, our campsite, with Anita and Hilary welcoming us with hugs, wine, and dinner.
We were almost too exhausted to breathe. But we could smile. And bed never felt so good.
Silver Falls is known for its spectacular waterfalls. After breakfast, Anita and Hilary were eager to take the 9-mile loop to view 10 of the falls. When they invited us, we could only laugh. Our bodies already ache so much we feel a decade older than when we first hatched this plan.
We stayed behind and rested, then tried to make sense of some of the jumbled boxes and bags we’d thrown in at the last minute. It was a spectacularly warm and sunny day for March, and just sitting in the sunshine was heavenly.
You can’t camp at Silver Falls, though, and not even see one waterfall. So mid-afternoon, Kate and I dragged ourselves out of our camp chairs and hiked to the first fall on the loop. That first one, South Falls, if my favorite anyway, because the path takes you behind the falls.
Dinner was manicotti, which I had made and frozen days earlier in an early insomnia morning, preceded by a champagne toast to Bessie and wherever she will take us. We capped off the evening with some games, then fell into our wonderfully comfy bed, thinking this is all right. This is something we can do for a year.
I’m still a little stunned to be here. We are actually doing this. We have emptied our house and left it behind. We are actually living in Bessie for a year.