Over the weekend my mom and I went to Central Oregon, a prime vacation destination. My mom had heard about the Paulina Lake Lodge outside of LaPine so we went as a late Mother's Day present. The city of Bend is the main town in Central Oregon and is about a 3 hrs drive from Portland. In college I spent a fair amount of time in and around Bend for work and visiting friends so it was comfortably familiar despite the markedly different landscape. People think of Oregon as wet, verdant and soggy when the fact of the matter is that 3/4 of the state is high desert painted in shades of brown and dusty green. As someone who has spent years studying geology and biology it's always fun to watch the ecology change as you drive east over the Cascade Mountains. In some places you can actually pinpoint the line between the Douglas Fir and rhododendron forests of the wet west and the Ponderosa pine forests of the east.
We had a lovely weekend looking at mountains, lakes and pine trees. We experienced thunderstorms and clear blue skies, fantastic sunsets and drizzly rain. There was snow on the ground and overly warm air temperatures. Central Oregon can keep you reeling, that's for sure. We drove the Cascade Lakes Highway and saw quaint fishing lodges in stunning scenery. It was a fun filled weekend but the part that sticks in my mind most was on the drive home. Coming over the Santiam Pass out of Sisters I felt it and saw it. That same line in the vegetation between dry pine and wet fir was there on this pass too. And it felt good to be coming home.
I've always been a bit of a homebody and the few times in my life I've not had a "home" have been very frustrating times. I like my own bed, my own kitchen, my own shelves with my own stuff on them. In college I spent a number of years adventuring but always felt best when I had a home to come back to. Now that I have a home I sometimes feel a bit stifled and long for those carefree days of picking up and moving across the country just because I could.
I guess this is the lesson of the Journey Moon, isn't it? Finding that balance between growing roots and expanding your horizons. Where do you feel most comfortable? Are you a rolling stone or a home body hobbit? What do you do to break out of your rut?