Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The Fulfillment Project Encounters An Unexpected Challenge

Just when I thought saying Yes was going to be easy, a ticket straight back to the more carefree me, I hit an obstacle.

The obstacle was called Bagby Hot Springs.

We live in Oregon. Portland, Oregon to be exact. Oregon is a funny state. It has pockets where people are conservative but the cities are, well, significantly more liberal.

Bagby Hot Springs is about an hour and a half from Portland. We'd never been there before but it seemed like the perfect kind of activity for a long rainy weekend. We drove up into the mountains and then hiked about forty minutes through old growth timber covered with emerald colored moss. One one side of the trail was a small river that alternated between shallow rapids and deep rock lined swimming holes fed by waterfalls.

It was beautiful. The air smelled like pine trees. The kids ran ahead, hiding behind trees and walking on logs. We reached an old stump covered with glitter dust, graffiti and a few beer bottles. "Fairies must have been here," said my daughter but I had a different thought.

An hour and a half from Portland (the home of the naked bike ride) isn't that far. It was entirely possible that there might be other people who had already hiked into the hot springs. It was also possible that those hypothetical people might be clothing optional.

Three years ago I wouldn't have given this a second thought. Three years ago my daughter was regularly clothing optional herself. But a lot changes in three years. She's a fourth grader. She's modest, screaming at her brother if he comes in her room while she's getting dressed and making vomiting noises if she happens to see anyone kissing. I wasn't quite sure if she was prepared for what might lie at the end of the trail.

My options were pretty limited. I could cut the hike short (and disappoint everyone) or I could say Yes. This was my week of saying Yes so instead of shutting down the hike I ever-so-casually mentioned "You know there might be some people who choose not to wear swimsuits at the hot springs."

"They wear their clothes?" asked my daughter.

"No," I said, still casual. "They might not wear anything at all."

"Are you going to wear a swimsuit?"

"Oh yeah, it's just a personal choice kind of thing. I'll definitely wear a swim suit."

"And dad?"

"Yeah, dad too."

"Okay," she said and skipped off down the trail after her brother.

Say Yes to stopping by tomorrow! If nothing else, you'll get to find out what we discovered at the end of the emerald trail.


Christine Murray said...

Lol! That picture is so beautiful. You never said what you did find at the end of the trail though...

Sarah Tokeley said...

Kids have a habit of surprising us - it was the smart thing running it by her :-)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Now I want to know!!!

Tamara Narayan said...

Is that Punchbowl Falls? It looks just like a landscape my grandfather painted.

Nice cliffhanger ending. I'm curious and jealous. I wish I lived near such an incredible hiking area.

Johanna Garth said...

Christine-that's tomorrow's blog post.

Sarah, I'm constantly surprised by them!

Alex, my cliffhanger worked ;)

Tamara, I just googled it and it's the Collawash River in the Mt Hood National Forest.

jenny milchman said...

Just say yes! Can't wait to read the next post...