Cody and I finally got out of the house and went camping last weekend. We've both been dying to get this year's camping season started and this trip was much anticipated.
We left Friday evening and made camp by 9:30. A couple of our friends were already there. We set up our tent in the dark and were sitting around the campfire in no time.
Saturday morning came around and I was so excited to finally see the view I'd been promised! We were basically camped on a cliffside with a trickling creek setting the mood.
While packing up camp, I started to feel like Cody was being a bit critical of everything I did. I hadn't fed the dog correctly. I hadn't cleaned up breakfast the way he would have. I'd put the clothing bag away before he was done with it. And then my butthurt kicked in. He noticed how quiet I was being and asked. It's always hard for me to really say what's upsetting me, but I was open with him and let him know that I felt he'd been a bit abrasive that morning. In all honesty, I was pretty sure I was making more of it than it really was. We quickly worked through it and we were both determined to get back into the flow of things.
Saturday was all about seeing the sights. I cooked us up a quick breakfast of scrambled egg and bacon burritos and we were on the road by 8:30am. First, we hit up White River Falls. A quick hike showed us the most beautiful waterfalls with swallows flying all around us. It was like being in a movie.
Next was a quick lunch along the Deschutes River, a stop in the tiny town of Maupin to replenish the ice in our coolers, and finally, a long and winding off-roading excursion to our final destination: Smock Lake.
Smock Lake is a tiny, hole-in-the-wall, local hotspot located in Central Oregon. It's in the Smock Prairie area, which is teeming with wildlife and grazing cattle. The wildflowers are blooming like crazy this time of year and the views of Mount Hood made the whole trip worth it.
We found ourselves a little spot right along the lake. After setting up our tents, we relaxed in our hammocks and chairs along the lakeside. Talk about relaxing!
This is where I felt the biggest communication breakdown between Cody and I. We weren't doing the best at speaking well to each other and we both got frustrated when the other person did something differently than we would. Despite this, we got camp put together pretty quickly. Once I sat down in my chair, I was determined to let my frustration go.
When dinnertime came, we had Community Night, one of our favorite camping traditions. Everyone cooks something and everyone shares. We started out with Cody cooking brats with grilled onions.
Next came steaks, freshly-caught trout cooked on the campfire, and roasted corn. Definitely a feast!
Sunday was all about getting back home. We detoured briefly to check out Badger Lake, but had to turn around due to quite a bit of snow still leftover from winter. We stopped for lunch at the Huckleberry Inn in Government Camp on Mount Hood. It's a cute little diner that served up some great bacon and eggs.
Cody and I were both so happy to be home. We quickly washed the dog on the front lawn with the hose, unpacked the truck, and we each showered before collapsing on the couch for a nap.
Later that night, he told me that he'd been reflecting on our trip and how much he appreciated that we could both get frustrated and maybe a little butthurt, and then just let it go and work together again. He reminded me that we're pretty damn good together.
And right then, the whole weekend was reframed. It wasn't about the emotions or frustrations. It was about being together, working together, and creating memories. This relationship isn't always going to be perfect or even pretty. It's going to be messy and require a ton of hard work. And that's okay.
We also discussed our need to improve our communication. We'd tended to snap at each other in annoyance and frustration more than necessary. I think we'll both be focusing more on choosing our words, being patient, and making a concerted effort to work together in a more harmonious way.
It's easy to get caught up in the emotions. When I let stress and emotions get the best of me, I become an absolute mess. Instead, if I work to reframe the moment while I'm still IN the moment, I can enjoy it more by letting the negativity go.
I can't wait for our next trip to see if things improve. All in all, it really wasn't a bad trip. It was pretty great, actually. It just helped us shed light on the things we need to work on.
P.S. Thank you to our great friend Robby Haid for so many of the great photos.