First, we drove to the family cabin on the Umpqua River and met JB’s parents, who took the boys back to Coos Bay with them. JB and I headed further south to Galice, Oregon, to the Rogue River wilderness area. We hiked nine miles on the river canyon—no roads, no cell service, just solitude and pure aching beauty—and stayed a night at the Black Bar Lodge before hiking back the next day.





We picked up the boys and drove to the cabin where the weather turned from gloomy to scrubbed-and-sparkling. We played in the water, fished, lazed in chairs, and ate junk food. Everyone smelled like campfire smoke and sunscreen. The boys ran wild with their friends and cousins.





Oh, I didn’t want to come home.


Actually, what it really made us think was: what if home were closer to all of this?

Thinking, planning, plotting. How to get from here to there.


38 Responses to “A week off”

  1. Aunt Linda on July 6th, 2010 8:23 am

    Your mom and I just got back from a slow ramble through Montana. When the boys are a little older, add the Bear Tooth Pass from Red Lodge to the northern part of Yellowstone to your travel plans. I doubt you ever went that route in the Glacier days with Gram and Gramp.

  2. Korinna on July 6th, 2010 8:25 am

    From those pictures, you look like you *are* home.

  3. Shawna on July 6th, 2010 8:31 am

    How cool is it that your aunt reads and comments on your blog?

    I am totally jealous of your plotting. It’s hard to plot out your perfect place to live when your significant other is content where you are.

  4. Anne on July 6th, 2010 8:31 am

    What a stunning week off!

  5. Shawna on July 6th, 2010 8:31 am

    Also? I heart the picture of Riley with his name in the sand.

  6. Sarah on July 6th, 2010 8:33 am

    Oh Linda, I hope you guys can make it happen. As E gets older the siren call of living near family gets louder and louder. If all our family were concentrated on one place, or even on one *continent*, we’d be there in a split second. SW Oregon is beyond beautiful, the boys would be lucky to grow up there.

  7. scott on July 6th, 2010 8:41 am

    That picture of Riley writing his name in the sand looks straight out of Lord of the Flies. Sucks to your ass-mar!

  8. Kaitlyn on July 6th, 2010 9:11 am

    I’m glad you had a good week off, you guys really deserved a break.

  9. Christina on July 6th, 2010 9:12 am

    Mmmm yummy photos… I know the spring and summer have sucked heiny in the Pac NW but man oh man do I love the colors and vistas and views you all are so lucky to have out there.

    Also, I love me some hot humid heat but I am kind of over it at this point. Your pics are positively dreamy after the summer we have had out here in the MWD.

  10. victoria on July 6th, 2010 9:20 am

    I love how you think about what you want in life and how to make it happen.

  11. MichelleH on July 6th, 2010 9:23 am

    That is simply gorgeous. It looks like you all had a much needed break and a great time!! Hope the road trip part went smoothly-looks like it was totally worth any trouble! :D My son is close in age to Dylan and I have thought just maybe he might be ready for something like this..hmm…plotting…

  12. Eric's Mommy on July 6th, 2010 9:31 am


  13. Fiona on July 6th, 2010 9:40 am

    Looks so much like Scotland – can’t beat that kind of beauty!

  14. kristin c. on July 6th, 2010 9:43 am


  15. telegirl on July 6th, 2010 10:07 am

    What an exciting time for you and your family. Best of luck… with everything!

  16. Amanda on July 6th, 2010 10:21 am


  17. lisa on July 6th, 2010 10:26 am

    i love this picture of you and dylan fishing, so cute!

  18. April G. on July 6th, 2010 11:11 am

    The first and last pictures are astounding. So beautiful!

    I’m a native Californian now living in Massachusetts. I’ve been here are year and almost forgot what real mountains look like!

  19. Brenda on July 6th, 2010 11:26 am

    there is a house up for auction around the corner from me.okay, so it’s beaverton.

  20. MRW on July 6th, 2010 11:41 am

    My in-laws live in Sisters, OR, where my husband grew up. It is so beautiful there. We wish we could figure out a way to live there, unfortunately, neither of us has jobs (or even careers) that transfer to small town, Oregon. We are going next week and I predict everyone will be grouchy and irritable when we have to head home.

  21. Jan on July 6th, 2010 11:43 am

    Do. It.

  22. Mama Ritchie on July 6th, 2010 12:10 pm

    You can make it happen. We had to move BACK to SoCal in order to make our upcoming move to Seattle even possible. But we had it as a common goal and we’re 2 weeks away from it. You just figure it out. You’re doing what’s right for you and your family.

  23. Donna on July 6th, 2010 1:08 pm

    I was looking at land on the internet right on rogue river, it’s so pretty there, I’d be so happy there!
    Who had the mules?

  24. shygirl on July 6th, 2010 1:34 pm

    Go for it Sundry! You can do it! :)

    Keying off several of your previous posts, this is quite a contrast: the pure unadulterated joy of this one compared to the stressed-out difficulties you’ve mentioned in some of the others makes this trip look like a shining beacon in a sea of grim “how the HELL is this supposed to work” fretting.

    FWIW, I’m convinced that as the level of suck increases in one’s current life– work pressures, money pressures, juggling-responsibilities pressures– that that can be kind of helpful in moving toward the new life you want. It’s like sometimes it *has* to get so bad, so stressful, that you stop being afraid of trying something new and instead shift into a “well, what the hell– how much worse could it possibly get?” kind of headspace. I figure The Suck can function as a helpful force that pushes you in the direction you want to go. It’s worked for me, at any rate, but maybe I’m weird, I don’t know ;)

  25. Gnometree on July 6th, 2010 3:59 pm

    Like Shygirl, I have also noticed the change in tone of your writing when you are in Umpqua (such a cool name). You ARE much happier there. I hope you can make it happen.

  26. Niki P on July 6th, 2010 4:10 pm

    Do it. It’s whats important in the long run.

  27. Maria on July 6th, 2010 5:50 pm

    That shit is BREATHTAKING.

    I’d want to be near that, but really more importantly near family and cousins. We pretty much screwed ourselves in the ear to get closer to family and it’s paid off about a million times since.

    I hope you can make it happen in ways that aren’t full of stress, because man. You deserve to be living where you want to be.

  28. Lesley on July 6th, 2010 8:19 pm

    Open a Bed and Breakfast maybe? (though that’s a shitload of work)

    I’m dying to know how Dylan responded to being so close to those horses. He must have been in seventh heaven.

  29. Rachel on July 6th, 2010 9:53 pm

    do it do it do it you won’t be sorry.

    (sorry, that’s my lifelong rural-dweller bias showing… but do it do it do it you won’t be sorry.)

  30. Sarah on July 7th, 2010 6:31 am

    Absolutely gorgeous. I’m jealous and want to go hiking now…and I’m not a hiker! Looks like your family had a great time!! Yay for vacation!

  31. sheilah on July 7th, 2010 8:24 am

    Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful country. I also want to move from here to…somewhere else. Hope you can find a way to make your escape.

  32. Zephyr on July 7th, 2010 10:07 am

    What a beautiful place! Cheers to the possibility of living in paradise!

  33. adequatemom on July 7th, 2010 12:39 pm

    What achingly gorgeous pictures. Can’t wait to see how your plotting works out! Looks like a worthwhile adventure!

  34. angie on July 7th, 2010 6:08 pm

    We just got back from a week in western PA and have been having that exact same conversation! When did we forget what really matters?

  35. Karla on July 8th, 2010 10:34 am

    It’s hard for me to believe, down here on the swampy, steamy, oil-threatened Gulf Coast of Florida, that there are really places that beautiful in the world.

  36. Erin on July 9th, 2010 9:42 am

    I spent my teenage-hood living in Reedsport, and whenever I see these posts it makes me a little home sick (mostly for the burgers from Don’s, now called The Main Street Diner). It really is a beautiful area.

  37. ellie on July 13th, 2010 8:26 pm

    Just go! Life is really really short. If it’s what will make you happy – go!
    You’ll find another job, you’ll make new friends, you’ll figure it all out. Pretty much like every other thing that’s come in your path.
    JUST GO!

  38. Amy on July 14th, 2010 1:46 pm

    Sounds like a good plan, and it looks like the perfect place to be closer to. What is it they say, “Courage isn’t an absence of fear, it’s feeling the fear and doing it anyway.” Why does that sound so easy?

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