26 June 2011

Finding a Good Guidebook

When K and I know the weather is going to be clear (not necessarily warm), and that we are going to be home over the weekend, we almost always plan to "go out", our phrase for going hiking, generally in the Columbia River Gorge.

As soon as we know that, a few hiking books inevitably find their way onto the coffee table as Kjell ponders and reads and thinks about what would be the perfect hike for our Saturday.

Kjell is a hiking and hiking guidebook aficionado. We have no fewer than ten hiking/backpacking/camping guidebooks, most of which are specifically for the Pacific Northwest.  I used to not understand this passion of his, and thought that finding the perfect hike spontaneously was the true dream.  But, in reality, this never happened.  With Kjell's love of finding great hikes, the world of well-planned, wonderful experiences opened up for me as well.

As Kjell reads and plans a hike, he takes into account things like what flowers and plants will be blooming, what will be in view, whether we will be in sun or shade. He has an uncanny sense of the land that mystifies and impresses me all at the same time. As we hike, he narrates our route, pointing to ridges, benches, washes, boulder fields, berms. When we arrive at views he breathes a sigh and says, "I was waiting for this."

Kjell's love of hiking is one of the many bonuses of being married to him. He has taken me to so many beautiful places I would never have seen otherwise, and has expanded my own love of exploring and adventuring outside.

 We owe many of our great adventures to great guidebooks. I have come to respect them highly.  They provide the opportunity to plan, anticipate, and enjoy.  Spontaneity comes in taking that side trail, or finding a perfect spot for lunch, rather than gambling your day on a hunch.

And there's nothing like the reward of that big beautiful view, and having got there on your own two feet.

With a little help, of course, from our friend, The Guidebook.

Hope adventure finds you soon as well.  Happy Summer!

13 June 2011


Friday afternoon visit to the Portland Japanese Garden.

So much work
simple perfection
easy on the eyes and heart

07 June 2011

The Gift of Magical Thinking

I'm so glad that the idea of magic has become a grown-up in my mind.  As a child, I loved, loved, loved magic.  I loved princesses, spells, wizards, myths, dwarves, gods, giants.  For many years, I thought that all this had to go away with being grown, that there was no magic in the world, that the world was a kind of plain jane.  So glad I was wrong.

Magic is here everyday.  It is in the beauty of the clouds as they part and make way for the sun.  It is in a leisurely Saturday morning meeting-for-coffee-over-the-phone with that rare and wondrous treasure, a true friend.  It is in a blog post, well-written, humorous and celebratory of life's small moments.

How we think is so much of our life.  A few weeks ago I wrote about how our life is made up of how we feel everyday.  And that is true.  But how we think, what we think, where we take ourselves in our minds is a big part of how we feel.  Hence, the importance of whimsical, magical thinking.

Magic feels so good.  It warms the heart and heals the soul.  Magic happens between two people when they fall in love, or when they heal from a fight, or find each other after distance has grown.

Magic is a soft landing.  May you find yours today.

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