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Tuesday, May 14, 2013

I Go to Places Out of Spite

I'm stubborn. I'll admit it. If I feel short-changed, jipped, or otherwise left out of an experience I ought to have had, I will make sure I get that experience come hell or high water. In fact, high water is what stopped me from sharing an experience I had yesterday with my friend David.

[EDIT: Yes, I know now that "jipped" is spelled wrong. However, because 'gypped' is a derogatory slang term, I will continue to spell it wrong under principle] :P

For a couple months now, I was eagerly awaiting the melting of mountain snow to take David to this place I'd found as a kid. A place that, when I try to tell people about it, they give me strange looks or make fun of me, including my own husband. This certain place I'd found as a child had cropped up in my memory a couple of years back and I was determined to find it once again. It took me and my husband a lot of traveling to campgrounds that my parents and I had visited several years ago, in order to find it. And my husband was not very pleased at being dragged around in order to locate a stupid rock. Well, it wasn't stupid to me and that's all that mattered. I finally did find it again, and as happy as I was, I really wanted to share this adventure with someone else who would appreciate it, as my husband was not one of those people.

David loves nature and he loves to hike, and we're talking mountaineering hikes, not just little 4 mile day trips that I like to take. No one else I know seems to love the woods as much as he does, so I figured he was the perfect person to share this experience with. It wasn't an easy thing to plan, as I have no one at my job to cover for me when I take a day off, and weekends were out of the question because he works and it was very much an all day trip due to the drive. I finally was able to take this specific Monday off due to extenuating circumstances in the office, and just hoped the weather would be okay.

Turns out it wasn't the weather that I had to worry about.

This campground I wanted to go to was called Eight Mile Campground because it was eight miles from the Bavarian tourist town known as Leavenworth. It's a 3 hour drive from my location and the weather was iffy. All the different websites were giving different results: from a 10% chance at rain, to a full-on thunderstorm. We were just going to have to risk it. We arrived, and the weather was very spring-like, being indecisive between rain and sunshine. That was fine. My problem was trying to find the rock. I was having a hell of a time and I didn't know why. When my husband and I visited back in 2011 (not knowing yet if this was the place that even had the rock) I'd found it fairly easily. Now, I was walking David back and forth, up and down the river (which was running very high due to melting mountain snow) and I was getting frustrated as to why I couldn't find it. I would walk the trail I knew looked vaguely familar, stop, and stare down at the riverbank as if it looked more familiar down there - but the water was too high to go down there. Eventally, David asked if I still had the video from my last visit on the camcorder. I did, and believe it or not, he was able to triagulate the position of where the rock should be based on what was on the other side of the river and the view of the mountains. (What a skill! I'm sure glad he knows how to do this, as I'm sure it comes in handy with mountaineering.) And when we found the rock, I understood why I'd had such a difficult time.

Stupid mini river - you're not supposed to be there! 
You're blocking the way!

My rock is buried under the water *sad panda face*

The river had been running so high that the trail I would have normally taken to the rock was  buried under water. And so was my rock. So all my hopes were dashed that we would sit out there on my rock, in the middle of a raging river, and eat our lunch while we enjoyed the view. A trip, once full of purpose, had become pointless.

We ate lunch at the campground and I drove us home. The fact that we even made it home in one piece was a miracle in-and-of-itself. That possible thunderstorm I mentioned earlier? It was coming. And I was driving on a mountain pass with it barreling down on us. The torrential downpour was scary enough, but my tires were not being cooperative. I felt as though I was being pushed around by wind, even though it actually wasn't that windy. The car felt mostly out of my control a lot of the time, but we made it out alive. And the clincher? Because it was a Monday, we got stuck in afternoon rush hour on our way back. *sigh*. It just wasn't the trip I had hoped for.

I mean, it wasn't all for naught. I got to spend some quality time with my friend, and we were able to explore the area a bit, which was nice. I guess I'm just saddened by the fact that he didn't get to see what I had, and now never would. I wanted to get that sense from somebody that I wasn't crazy - that this place of my childhood was worth going to and experiencing.

Can I get a redo?

PS - Other places still to re-visit out of spite:

Hurricane Ridge
Alcatraz (tickets sold out)
Mt. St. Helens
Chopstix (for the dueling pianos)

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