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:
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)
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.
Climb a live volcano that patiently simmers beneath two-thousand feet of water at Crater Lake. (No nudging anybody into the snowbank down below)
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.
Let Mother Nature sooth souls. A day-long hike to the summit of MT HAMILTON will exhaust the remainder of your mean thoughts.
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)
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.
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!”)
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)
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.