Six Nights

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There were two jobs I thought about pursuing when I lived in Spain: Shepherd (but I had no dogs) or UPS delivery man. I wanted to wander through that magical landscape and daydream. This week, when I saw a square, brown truck rumble through the Central Oregon sage, the romance of driving around delivering boxes of presents to strangers hit me again. Then, in the middle of my mind drifting away, Leo screeched like hawk and said he was tired…it was time to head back down the trail, get to camp and think about bedtime.

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We were on a trip for which I can only imagine the advertisement: Seven days and six special nights touring 1200 miles throughout Southern Oregon by van. Tent accommodations for you and two children under the age of four and a twelve-year-old mutt provided. Temperatures will plummet into the 20s. Expect precipitation.

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When we set out, Big Red was filled with the essentials including a tricycle and a scooter, kites and sand toys. The only thing we knew for sure was that our friends were going to get married in a few days near Ashland and I was supposed to take pictures. So off we went. We chilled out along the Umpqua River, celebrated the wedding in Applegate, took in the wide open views, icy weather and hot springs of the Hart Mountain National Antelope Refuge, pondered petroglyphs, stared at the ancient volcanic formations Fort Rock and Hole in the Ground and ended it all with a visit with friends in Bend.

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The landscape and the folks we met along the way were awesome. But mostly, we were blown away that the boys put up with our urge to drive for hours down lonely highways or dusty gravel roads to reach far away spots.

Mini-meltdowns were fixed with snacks, books, naps or a few moments looking at ants, squirrels, birds and poking around in a forest of giant Ponderosa Pines. Those six nights nestled in the tent shocked me into realizing that Leo and Jack are growing up and things are starting to get very exciting. The urge to throw the tent and bikes in the van and wander the earth is no longer a daydream…

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all images © Tim LaBarge 2009

2 Responses to “Six Nights”

  1. Michael says:

    Awesome site! I often think when asher is crying that i can only do one…But seeing your boyz and thoughts makes me think i should shoot for another goal! Looks like fun. That last pic is so precious!

  2. Kathy says:

    What a fantastic adventure, Primo! I love visiting your website and seeing how the family is doing. No doubt, you are enjoying the summer!