I’d rather be on vacation

You know those bumper stickers, I’d rather be skiing/fishing/sailing/driving a Titleist/etc.? I think we can all relate to that feeling, especially as we sit in a car, close enough to read someone’s bumper sticker. There are so many things I would rather be doing, most of the time.

We are planning 2 vacations right now: spring and summer. Spring can be a little tricky, and especially this year, with huge amounts of snow melting everywhere in the West and insistently wacky weather. Usually, we come up with some kind of rambling adventure. A road trip, of course, with minimal obligation to be anywhere in particular at any given time, so we have maximum freedom to meander or stay awhile. But every adventure needs a general direction, a point to pivot from or around. I had some great ideas, but things weren’t sticking and we needed a plan!

And then we had one: I remembered a speck of a town we drove through and camped near last summer, and wondered if it would be worth a springtime look. Then a friend mentioned an interest in a town a couple of hours north. Just like that, it came together. Mountain biking, fishing, trail running, and exploring, all within a (long) day’s drive. And if the weather sucks, there are brewpubs!

Maps are being scrutinized, creeks identified, trailheads located and timelines roughly sketched out. What is that blob of green over there? Let’s call the BLM and ask! Can we ride? Google searches reveal camping opportunities and, even better, a lack of information. Little info means few people, one of our favorite situations.

Summer, the best season, is easier. Warm temperatures, lots of time… I am dreaming big about summer vacation. Floating down a river, biking alpine trails, creeking, camping… and sunshine. We are still fitting the pieces together, looking at maps that will be the blueprint for adventure, but mostly we need to figure out how long we can be gone.

The other morning, as I ran with Mack, I was completely absorbed in thoughts about where we can go, what we can do, what we need to pack/buy/arrange. The sky was steel gray with rain clouds, but there was a gap between clouds and mountains and the sun shone through, golden. A bird (which I have cautiously identified as a merlin) glided above me, right through the light. I thought of a version of that bumper sticker I had laughed at recently (yoga humor), I’d rather be here now. There, on that trail surrounded by grass, deep green from the recent rains, the first glacier lilies nodding their elegant yellow petals, the solitude above the city, my happy dog… here now, then, was pretty okay.

Here, now, at my desk? I can appreciate it’s a lovely desk, with a computer I am lucky to have. But the truth is, I’d rather be there, anywhere, outside and on vacation. Or at least lost in the planning.

Laurel Hunter

Laurel Hunter

Central Oregon, USA