The Blazer was all packed and the Pony (our little pop-up tent trailer) in place; we were ready to leave on our 2 1/2 month road trip to Oregon and California. Then, during the night Clifford got sick, really sick, and didn’t start to get better until after I took him to the clinic where he had a couple liters of fluid dripped into his blood. He is still very weak, but at least he is alive. But the trip is on hold. Now and then I go out to the Blazer and unpack something that I need – my cameras and journal were first to come out, then essential oils and hiking shoes, tomorrow the supplements which are buried a bit deeper. Don’t want to give up on making the trip yet this spring, so hesitate to unload more than is absolutely necessary. But I am sorely disappointed that we are not at the moment camped along the Deschutes River in central Oregon. So, as a consolation prize, and I mean this in the very best sense of the word, I decide to drive up the creek outside of town and take time to be with the creek and the trees, the fresh air and the breeze… to console myself and sooth my soul.
The morning had started out rainy; I see mist rising from the ravines and droplets clinging to branches on the nearer trees.
By time I reach the Pulaski Trail Head, it has stopped raining altogether, and sunshine peeks through the remaining clouds, creating highlights on the frothy rushing of Placer Creek at the beginning of the trail. The rain has certainly brought flamboyance to this little stream.
At first I plan only to go in a short ways, as I don’t want to leave Clifford alone too long, but once I am on the trail, it is hard to turn back. The rain has brought a richness of color to the earthy trail, the trees, and the moss. Around each footbridge along the trail there exudes a musky odor from the creatures who live beneath – muskrats, perhaps.
I feel drawn to go further into the quiet moistness of the ravine.
Clifford doesn’t like me to hike in by myself – a mis-step on the trail, a wild animal, a weirdo, whatever. But if I don’t hike alone, I might not be doing much hiking at all, so I continue on… alone. I hike to my favorite waterfalls, the one I call Fairyland Falls, which in summer is a delicate falls encased in green shrubbery and abundance of mossy rocks. Now, with the recent rains, it is not quite so delicate, but showing its more exuberant side.
But this is as far as I will go today. Heading back down the trail, I find a place alongside the creek where I can hang out for a few minutes, watching the water dash by, letting myself feel oneness with the lively movement of the water and the strength of the tall forest trees. My soul is soothed; I am consoled.