Back in the Bush

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Willamette River near Newberg, OR

After leaving Regina and spending a couple of nights in and around Cranbrook, BC, we drove down to Oregon to visit Lisa’s Grandma for just under two weeks. We weren’t doing anything particularly exciting- driving, sleeping in the car, and more driving, mostly… so we also didn’t have much to post about.

Our experience of the Oregon wild was limited to a casual little paddle down the Willamette River at one point to see how badly our canoe muscles had weakened over the winter. Turns out there’s a lot of work to do.

Aside from that, we spent some very nice time with Lisa’s extended family, and Elliott learned a little bit more about how adventurous her grandma was back in the day.

Lisa’s bad-ass grandma

Lisa’s Grandma has set the bar of adventure-ness pretty high. Nan Weber, born almost a century ago and still going strong, has achieved some very admirable things in her life. Even though she came from a humble upbringing in the Oregon countryside, she managed to support herself through university, get a decent job, buy a car, and has said on many occasions that she couldn’t be tied down and never planned on having a family… that was, at least, before she met Lisa’s Grandpa in the historic Chemeketans Hiking Club.

She lived an extremely independent life for a woman in her time, which climaxed with her “big Europe trip.” In 1947 (just after the Second World War), she made her way to New York City where she took a ship to Europe together with a girlfriend. They traveled all over Europe for an entire year, making memories of amazing food, cities laying in ruins from the war, beautiful mountain climbing, and Grandma’s fondest memory, attending the 1948 Winter Olympics in St.Moritz, Switzerland. She has never given up her adventurous spirit, and even at age ninety she has told Lisa how she wished that she could figure out those darn computers so that she could do too.

Time with family was great, but we were also eager to hit the road again and keep moving. Driving up through Oregon and Washington brought with it mounting excitement at the prospect of heading out to finally start living worry- and schedule- free in the bush again.

When we crossed the border, we were met with rain. Lots of rain.

After all, it is spring on the west coast. Rain is exactly what we were expecting. But it’s still pretty wet… and we’re just going to have to get used to it!

Elliott’s homemade wool poncho. Step 1: Find a vintage wool blanket for cheap. Step 2: Cut a hole in it. Step 3: Embrace your new style

The rain has also given us opportunity to “test” just how waterproof all of our clothing and gear is. So far, so good, except for a few leaks here and there and a general sogginess that we’re just going to have to get used to. Luckily we’ve got ourselves equipped with a fair amount of wool clothing- pants, leggings, shirts, toques, gloves, socks, and even Elliott’s homemade poncho- so if we’re going to be permanently soggy, at least we’ll be a little bit warmer (and itchier) while we’re at it.

We’ve found a nice little place in the bush near the town of Squamish, BC to call home for a while. We’ll each be doing a couple of wilderness first aid courses here over the next 8 days (expect posts about that soon!).

While one of us is doing the course, the other will be free to finally sit back, relax, and enjoy life back in the bush- no schedule, no jobs to apply for, no money to worry about, and nothing but free time to occupy ourselves with. It’s a relaxed start to a big summer, and there is probably no better way to get ourselves back into this worry-free and idyllically simple lifestyle.

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