To call this a busy week would be a serious understatement. With everything I did, it felt like at least two weeks, and it was a good two weeks! Early in the week, I celebrated my birthday and was treated to two dinners at my favorite restaurant. On a run to the grocery store to pick up lunch, I even bought some flowers to bring a little sunshine into the apartment. Monday through Thursday, any time that wasn't spent out for a marvelous meal with family was spent trying to get ahead at work to prepare for a Friday off so I could head south with Ashley for the April Alpine Trails Book Club camping trip. Driving east, we quickly left behind the clouds layered over Puget Sound, and by early afternoon, we'd reached the Columbia River and set up camp.
With no specific lunch plans and hours before the rest of the group would start showing up, the two of us backtracked a little to Maryhill Winery to share a bottle of rose and a small cheese plate assembled from the random selection in their shop. between the view, the conversation, and the sunshine, it was one of the best Friday afternoons I've had in months! After our lunch, we headed back to camp to meet our first arrival, and after suffering through some brutally high winds ripping through camp, we decided to head to nearby Horsethief Butte, one of two visits we made to the trail over the weekend. I'll be sharing more about that magical trail soon! Thankfully, after a short rainstorm the persistent wind died down enough to cook dinner. The next morning the remainder of our group arrived in time for a fascinating ranger-guided pictograph walk where, among many other native paintings, we got to see "She Who Watches," a roughly 350 year old painting we'd read about in our March book. The painting was so much more impressive than a photo can capture, and I would highly recommend signing up for the walk if you're in the area! Before heading home, we finished off the weekend with a truly magical hike through the hills at Dalles Mountain Ranch.