Do you ever have an experience that completely surprises you, like, in a good way? I had one of those last weekend when Leif took Clio and I for a brief road trip east up the gorge. If you have a toddler, know a toddler, or have an imagination you can guess that road trips are not usually very fun, even the "brief" ones. I was expecting whining, crying, and general discontent coming from the car seat in the back but what I got instead was a relatively happy little girl looking at books and playing with her stuffed dogs. It was shocking, really, considering how much she hates being in the car.
After about an hour of driving we ended up at the Historic Columbia River State Highway Trail, a spot Leif had researched and chosen for our day out. It was closed in the mid-1950s (I think) and then reopened as a pedestrian trail in 2000. The trail meanders high above the modern highway and overlooks the slowly winding Columbia River. As is the case in most of western Oregon, evergreen trees fill the landscape and yellow-green moss covers the ground. It is amazingly beautiful, albeit bitingly cold and gray this time of year.
I have been having doubts about our move and they have been weighing on me quite a bit these last couple months. But for that hour, as I was walking with my family, I felt peaceful and hopeful that things are going to work out for us here. I needed to feel that.