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Let’s face it, there’s a stage during every journey where travel partners grow grouchy. The book, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance mentions this natural phenomenon. Living in close quarters can enhance certain challenges. Here are five ways to get over it:

Photo by Marilynn Windust

Hiking the Oregon Coast Trail at Cape Arago, Oregon

Hike the coast and let Mother Nature pull you out of yourself. Ego means nothing when you traverse along the ridge of Oregon’s southern coastline. From Sunset Bay to Cape Arago, observe seals and whales in a setting that is much bigger than all of us. (Resist the urge to push your partner over the edge)

Photo by Marilynn Windust

Camping on the Rogue River in the Rogue Umpqua Divide Wilderness area, Oregon

Camp, fish and swim along a churning, vibrant river like the Rogue. (Don’t accidentally knock your partner into the rapids) Yes, the rainbow trout are small, but tasty little suckers.

Photo by Marilynn Windust

Crater Lake, Oregon

Climb a live volcano that patiently simmers beneath two-thousand feet of water at Crater Lake. (No nudging anybody into the snowbank down below)

Photo by Marilynn Windust

Buying fish on the Columbia River near Beacon Rock, Washington

Drive across the Columbia River into Washington and purchase some real fish from the Native Americans. Now we’re talking…steelhead and sockeye freshly filleted for five dollars per pound.

Views of the Columbia River Gorge and Beacon Rock from the summit of Mt. Hamilton, Washington

Views of the Columbia River Gorge and Beacon Rock from the summit of Mt. Hamilton, Washington

Let Mother Nature sooth souls. A day-long hike to the summit of MT HAMILTON will exhaust the remainder of your mean thoughts.

Photo by Marilynn Windust

Bert Cole State Forest, Olympic Peninsula, Washington

In the morning, before you start snipping, walk about a mile up Beacon Rock. Views of the Columbia River Basin will help you to forgive. (Make sure that your partner does not fall off the narrow walkway)

Rialto Beach in Olympic National Park, Washington

Rialto Beach near La Push, in Olympic National Park, Washington

If that doesn’t work, head to the Olympic Peninsula. Writhen trees and branches will carry you into the heart of a cold, green and gray world. Maybe you’ll start to like each other again at the most northwestern point on the contiguous US.

Photo by Marilynn Windust

Hiking Hurricane Ridge with views of Mt. Olympus in the background, Olympic National Park, Washington

Still grouchy? Take a hike along Hurricane Ridge for views of MT OLYMPUS that you may never see again. (Don’t tell your partner, “Get closer to the mountain goats for a better photo!”)

Photo by Marilynn Windust

Wild Mountain Goats sharing the trail on Hurricane Ridge

Now, you may be able to hike to the summit of MT WALKER with no thoughts at all. (You’ll be too tired to push anybody off of anything)

Views of the Hood Canal and Mt. Rainier from the summit of Mt. Walker, Washington

Views of the Hood Canal and Mt. Rainier from the summit of Mt. Walker, Washington

Finally, the best way to not kill each other while camping in the Pacific Northwest (okay, maybe this is more than five ways) is to look way into each other’s eyes, and recognize that there’s no one else in the world whom you would rather spend two weeks with in the back of a pick-up truck…not counting the dog, of course.

Photo by Marilynn Windust

Ron Mitchell



12 Comments Post a comment
  1. martiwrites #

    I wish I had a more clever comment, but all I can say is – love this!

    July 20, 2014
    • Well, I can’t think of anything more clever than I’m so glad that you enjoyed this!

      July 20, 2014
  2. Ed #

    Your feet are not so pretty anymore. Happens with age. Sorry about your truck and glad you are having fun. See you in September.

    July 21, 2014
  3. I can relate. Well done, Ron, or did Marilyn write this one?

    July 22, 2014
    • Ha, let me put it this way…Mare tries to edit my writing and I try to edit her photos!

      July 22, 2014
  4. Sweet! You’ve really seen a lot of the NW in your summer here so far, some places I’ve never been.

    August 4, 2014
  5. Girl Gone Expat # the mountain goat comment. I once sent my husband out of the car to get a better picture of a bear! And he did! 🙂

    February 28, 2015
  6. Amazing post! You are so right that there is nothing better than camping with your bf/gf. I am so glad I have found your article! You make me daydream. Greets!

    November 10, 2015

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