Let’s see… it’s been just about two months since my last excursion to Elk Meadows. Not too bad! Means I’m finally branching out, at least a little bit, right? Maybe?
Ehh, you know what? It’s all good – I love Elk Meadows, and it’s a perfect hike for me. A nice drive, a simple walk, and beautiful views that never fail to stun the senses and alight the mind. Just… yeah. Wait ’till you see these.
So July 4th was a bit weird this year… The world isn’t doing super great, if we’re being candid, and I know a lot of folks are skipping July 4th due to a distinct lack of independence and freedom… But you know what? It’s a day off work, and I don’t usually go in for big celebrations or fireworks anymore anyways.
I mean… don’t get me wrong, I do miss fireworks, but… After so many years curled up with Ollie in the closet comforting her against the explosions and scary sky noises I’ve kinda grown accustomed to not going out. Combine that with the whole pandemic and everything and… yeah. I’m okay with laying low and going for a hike instead.
I met up with my friend Lexi, quite spontaneously as it turns out. She’s been in the States for quite a while, but somehow her Australian origins meant that she’d forgotten that the 4th is actually a holiday… dangers of working in Academia, I guess? People don’t tell you that you don’t need to go into the lab that day, when there isn’t really a scheduled work schedule?
Anyways. We were texting as I ate my brunch, and made a spur of the moment decision for her to join in, and for us to get some miles under our boots together.
It was an absolutely gorgeous day – with just a bit of clouds scraping over Mt. Hood as we ascended up toward the meadow. Lots of stops for photo ops, and lots of good time chatting and enjoying the weather and good company.
We even saw a snake, and tons of tadpoles!
Yeah. Hike. Hard to type a story about it… we explored, walked around, visited my favorite campsite and lounged at the shelter for a bit. Then hiked down, enjoyed more views and photo ops… and even hit up the Timberline Lodge on the way back into Portland!
Since Timberline didn’t have quite a… extensive selection in terms of food (in short – COVID’s hit them hard, and all they had were a few appetizers), so instead I headed back home for dinner. Dropped Lexi off in Portland, said goodnight, and then braced myself to brave the July 4th traffic on the way home.
Because, you see dear reader, I have the benefit of hindsight to know that the highway would be jammed due to the fireworks. Not because of people driving… no. No, that would make sense! Instead, the highway had become a parking lot for people watching the fireworks on the river.
Which… seems… slightly unsafe, to me, but then again I am very prissy about “not parking on highways” and “using roads to drive on”.
So I got home, thankfully no worse for wear, and made tortellini. It was delicious.