Last weekend, Chris and I joined in his family's annual camping trip at Paradise campgrounds near Bend, Central Oregon. We got there on Friday evening and his younger brother had already set up a tent for us - thanks, Eric! Despite an air mattress that deflated during the middle of the night both nights, it was actually a pretty comfortable camping setup.
Saturday morning, Chris and I went for a run and then we all went out on the boat on the Cougar Reservoir off of the McKenzie River. It was a perfectly sunny day and the water was actually pretty warm. Our boat party included Chris and I, his parents, his little brother and 4 other teenage boys. The boys knocked around on the tubes for a while, and then Chris' dad told them it was time for them to get out so that he could take me out to learn to wake board. The boys really wanted to stay in the boat; I agreed that they could stay as long as they understood that it might be a slow, frustrating process for me to try getting up on the wake board. Chris gave me an impressive demonstration of how to be a stellar wake boarder, talked me through everything I should and shouldn't do in order to actually get up, and then strapped my feet into the wakeboard and pushed me out into the water. I surprisingly got up after just 4-5 tries. I was able to get a few rides in before feeling totally exhausted and worn out. I climbed back into the boat to the cheers of the teenage boys - I think they now accept me as a somewhat-cool-20-something-year-old girl who didn't totally eat it on a wake board... phew!
Teenage boys have unlimited energy and they stayed out on the boat all day. Chris and I headed back to the camp site for some downtime. We played cards for a while then drove to a driving range at a nearby golf course. We hit golf balls for a while (most of mine ended up somewhere in the woods) and then I dropped my clubs due to developing hand blisters and relaxed in the sun watching Chris do what he loves.
We came back to the campsite where dinner was being served. We hung around a campfire with the group and made smores and enjoyed good company and conversations.
The next morning we ate breakfast, packed up the campsite, and headed back to Portland. The thing I love most about camping is that it allows you to really get away from your everyday life, and to unplug and relax. Another great Oregon summer weekend!