As I scoured the shelves, stocking up on snacks and amenities for the road trip that lie ahead, the anxiety in the store was palpable. Squinted eyes peeked out of masks, side glances served as a reminder to maintain distance and take turns when reaching for items that were in high demand. This is our new normal.
This statement is not revelatory and to most will come as no surprise: this summer has been hard. There have been some highs, and along with it some low lows. As a mother+ business owner/ editor/freelancer, this has been true. But also as a somewhat anxious person who has struggled with depression in the past, the uncertainty surrounding the future and the perpetuating anxiety surrounding even the most normal of tasks has taken its toll.
Earlier this summer, after months of shelter in place, Seattle finally reached Phase 2 of reopening. This news along with the end of the school year prompted me to schedule a much needed road trip for our family. Living in the Pacific Northwest we have the advantage of access to many beautiful locations to visit, most within a day's drive or less.
After mapping out a few options, we decided on the Deschutes National Forest in Central Oregon. There it would be undoubtedly warm (it's a crapshoot in Seattle during early summer) and we could stay in a cabin at the Suttle Lodge, allowing us to easily maintain distance from other visitors while getting in the time in nature we desperately needed. Oh, and it's worth mentioning that wifi access in the cabins at the time was spotty. I soon realized this was a blessing in disguise.
We took our mornings slow and enjoyed the quiet of our cabin. We spent our days as a family hiking, swimming and fishing. We spent our evenings playing a game with pinecones that was made-up by my two boys, eating at the Boathouse dock and playing poker (a quarantine family favorite) on our deck (and then, more swimming). We told stories, we took naps. We escaped the chaos of the world, if only for 72 hours, and it did wonders for my sanity. I was unaware of how depleted my reserves had become until I stepped away to restore them.
I realize the summer days are dwindling, but if there is one activity I can encourage you to do, one adventure I can urge you to take before the season ends: get outside. Get away from your phone, if only for a few days. Choose an escape that supports this goal and makes it easy for you to transition to time in nature. Slow your mind, because if it is anything like mine, it's the one thing racing right now.
Thank you to Suttle Lodge for making our trip possible! The Lodge and surrounding accommodations are now open year-round, with plenty of options for individuals and small groups.