Noelle here.

It’s July 3rd right now and I’m at Burney Falls State Park. Steve got here yesterday and this morning we viewed the Falls.

So I’m a Northwest girl, through and through. I may have been born in the South but my heart definitely belongs in the Pacific NW! I love Multnomah Falls and hiking in the Gorge. Wandering trails throughout the Gorge is definitely my jam, especially in early Spring when the greens are almost fluorescent.

But Burney Falls, a-ma-zing! So beautiful. And majestic. And mesmerizing. We did the tourist thing, even took a selfie. 😁

I arranged to leave the van overnight and together we hiked out this afternoon. Steve was only planning to go ten miles. I think he’s still not tip top shape after the recent illness, although he won’t really admit it. I’m still a bit yucky feeling but would rather hike with Steve than lay around in the van. So off we went. The first mile was fast and flat. Over a bridge at the creek which is part of the flow over the Falls. Then through a scattered pine forest. I kept smelling a familiar smell and couldn’t figure it out. Finally chalked it up to Deet, because, oh my word, the mosquitoes.

We could see Briton Lake through the trees. So blue green and serene.

My belly began gurgling and in the middle of crossing a big damn I knew it wasn’t good. We got to the other side and I ducked behind a big rock with a bad belly. It wasn’t very private or pretty! After some tears of discouragement and disappointment, I turned around. Got back to the campground just in time for another toilet tour. Oh my!

On the way back, I realized that smell I couldn’t place was artichokes (cooked). Anyone know what plant smells like it?

I hung out near the Visitor Center, GPS stalking Steve & kicking myself for turning around.

What a miserable feeling when I wanted so much to camp with him and at least wake up together on the 4th.

We used to have a big gathering on the 4th, all but the last year we were in our house. I always looked forward to it but inevitably ended up hiding for a few minutes as my introvert self needed some quiet. I’m really missing family and friends as we come into this holiday, but today, right now, I’m really missing Steve. He’s scruffy (a word I never imagined would apply to him) and he’s smelly (the funk just won’t wash out of his clothes anymore) but I miss him with every fiber of my being.

I’ll see him again in a few days. I’m glad for that. But today I’m kicking myself for making a safer choice rather than continuing on for the adventure.