An Americano sits on my desk. Pandora is playing with a bug on the couch, and CNN Live is on the t.v. Eliza is asleep and I am about to brew some coffee and wake her up. Last night we made some pasta with some tomato sauce and I added some spicy italian sausage balls to the sauce and some garlic-buttered French bread to the mix as well. We finished off a bottle of Pinot Noir and a bottle of Merlot while we watched episodes 1-5 of season four of Sex and the City. I’ve never watched an episode before and I found that I liked them very much. We laughed, ate, and had a good time.
Sunday was another good day. We got up and with the sun shining on such a beautiful day, Eliza wanted to go some place to lay out in the sun and splash in the water. I am familiar with fishing spots, not swimming holes, and so I was stumped as to where to go. There are TONS of places to go for fly fishing… but where to go for swimming? After stopping at a gas station for some ice and beer I began to drive… thinking that I was either going to go up the McKenzie… or head to Dexter. Dexter has a reservoir, fed by the Willamette River but when I got there I crossed the levy and made a wrong turn… but I saw a sign that said “Fall Creek”. Fall Creek is a name well known for different reasons. The reason I know about it is that Fall Creek has some pockets of Old Growth forest on it that are hotly protected by tree-sitters. It is known by loggers because there are areas of clearcut. It is known by hikers because of the trails through the area. It is known by anglers because of the scenic quality of the creek. It is known by boaters because of the Fall Creek reservoir.
We drove up the road, stopping along the way every now and then to move down to the water’s edge to see if the spot was what we were looking for… flat and secluded. After driving around for a while we came back to a public park called “Free Meadow” and pitched our blankets. She spied a point across from an inlet and she carried the blankets around the small inlet via a trail, while I threw the beer cooler (48 quarts) into the water (it floats) and swam it over. There we laid out in the sun, me in my Eddie Bauer boxers and her in her bikini bottom (at times nude) and drinking Alaska Summer Ale (a good beer… on my list of beers to buy). We watched the many boaters, skiers, tubers and such on the water. I expressed many times that I wanted a boat… something I could fish from and water ski from. She said that she had never water skiied before. I have (being from the rivers in Arkansas) but I have never snow boarded (she has… being from Oregon). I’d like to snowboard sometime… it looks fun.
We sat on the lake’s edge and realized that the sun had started to go down. I looked at the moon, who’s ghostly shape had made her way across the sky and guessed that we’d been out there over three hours. We had been out there for over four. Being there with Eliza was wonderful and it felt like an hour… too short… not three hours, certainly not four hours that it was. We talked about small stuff, we broached some more serious topics, we danced around philosophy… all in a friendly conversation, no pulling or pushing… just sitting there on the edge of the lake drinking beer in our underwear with baby oil on us in the sunshine. When the sun got low and the purple cloak of night was staring to show over the mountains in the East, we gathered our stuff and packed up the Trooper. We went back down to the water’s edge, now quiet that all the people have left, and enjoyed the silence of the moment, the rich, deep colors of the fir trees cloaking the hills around the reservoir (save where the clearcuts were). The surface of the reservoir was smooth and a deep green. I held her in my arms while we looked out over the water. It was a good moment.
Driving back home I took another wrong turn, yet I was aware of making while I did so and I knew generally where I was headed (I like to look at maps and had a rudimentary idea of where I was). We drove along the Willamette River all the way to Springfield, Eliza reading from my 2000 journal and asking me questions every now and then. I had to stop at a covered bridge and have my picture taken so that I can send it to my mom and grandmothers (who like covered bridges).
It was so nice to have a vehicle that can take me out aay fro town. I feel like I just got to Oregon because I’ve not been out in Oregon… but that I am established in Eugene. Two years of being confined to Eugene’s downtown area on bike I am now definitely a Eugene-ian. But I do not feel as though I am an Oregonian yet… still feeling more ties to Texas than Oregon. But this is starting to change as I go out into the country more. I open my Gazeteer (a large map book with all the roads (logging roads too) in it and I note some marks made from three years ago when I first moved out here. Time to add some more! What would I like to do for this Summer for it to feel like a summer? Sure I’d like to get to some festivals around the state… but that is money and money is really tight right now (one more big bill to pay and then I am caught up! Yay!), so I have a different list. There is a mountain SE of Eugene that I’d like to hike to the top to (it is only 5,500 high), hit the coast, hit the Columbia River Gorge, visit the desert area of Oregon, see the Strawberry Mountains in East Oregon, go camping for at least two nights and three days, hit the Pacific Crest trail, and catch a trout. There are more… but that will do for now.
2 pm and time to wake Eliza up. What a gorgeous day today… pity that I have to go to work at 5.