Monday, August 8, 2011

Why I Like the Outdoors Connection Group

This past weekend I was once again reminded that thwarted plans aren’t such a bad thing. 

Stephanie at Wahclella Falls
The Outdoors Connection group at Imago Dei went with intentions of hiking Wahclella Falls in the Columbia Gorge on Saturday.  However, after a lovely hike and some time atop a rock admiring the beautiful falls, it was still only noon. So we decided to drive on to hike Punchbowl Falls.  This hike was similarly breathtaking and filled with hikers jumping from the 40-foot cliffs into the frigid water.  I repeat. Frigid.  Think Lake Superior in early spring.

Punchbowl Falls

Are you surprised that a group of us decided to swim in for a closer look?

There was a small alcove with some sunny rocks, so we stayed for a while, regaining the feeling in our limbs and—of course—building a raft with some driftwood, a nalgene bottle, and the zip-off bottoms of Ben’s pants.  It held together pretty well, but somewhere along the lines Ben lost the keys to his car.  
Cally with our raft

The mad-hott jumpsuit

By the time we realized this, we had already made it back to the trailhead, so the group of us waited while he went back up the trail to freeze in that water some more.  In the mean time, Stephanie demonstrated how to break into a car with a coat hanger (it didn’t work, we still had to call AAA), Cally taught us the Norwegian foot game, I tried on a fashionable jumper in an effort to keep warm, and we prayed for patience, safe swimming, and that Ben would find his car keys.  Then, since it was nearly dinner time and there was no way we would make it back to Portland in time for the concert/picnic that Cally and I had planned on, we broke out the brie, crackers, cantaloupe, and energy bars and had ourselves a feast. 

Picnic with the group
The car was eventually left in the lot and we got another ride back into town, but not before we had done a great deal of bonding.  Perhaps not quite what we had planned for the day, but we all agreed that I had been an adventure.  And that is why I like hiking group.

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