Rachel drove the final stretch in the early morning to get us to Eugene. We parked in the target parking lot and slep all together. It’s very very peaceful to all be sleeping in the same den. When the people and the dogs are sleeping, it becomes a collective ritual sleep… very sweet. I got to wash my face in Target – a first for me. The boys used a single burner on the blacktop to heat up water for the coffee. The dogs chased eachother on the lawn, Rachel slept to recover from the drive.
Our first destination this morning was to Rachel’s high school friend’s boyfriend’s house. The boyfriend was sleeping, but we got to use the kitchen to make breakfast – looked like a fra house when we arrived.. Beer bong hanging from the winding staircase, beer stains all over the carpet, lost panties stuck to the wall and a kitchen filled with dirty dishes. We did all the dishes so we could get some counter space and all worked together to make a potato onion cheddar scramble, bacon, toast and coffee. We sat on the foor and at our breakfast. It’s so satisfying to build something with a team – including breakfast. Lauren was really kind and open to us, our time with her was relaxing and fun – we spent a few hours in a park by her house where Eugene folks were in Swim suits to soak up the 1% of sunshine they get in a year. We happened to arrive on a lucky sunny day, playe crossword puzzles in the sun. The boys played on the teeter totter. We spun ourselves on the merry-go-round, the dogs dug in the san, cole slacklined.
After this great visit, we hopped aboard the bus and rove east to Willamet National Park where Rachel had remembered a special hot spring. Though it was Sunday and the park was supposedly closed, we took the risk and drove the bus up a windy road along a huge Emerald green lake. We found some campgrounds and instinctually found our site, set up our tents and started a fire. We’re such a good team. I told everyone that I feel very nourished by this experience. It’s amazing how everyone just works together, when things need to get sdone, someone sees the need and does it – we’re a collective and no one really needs to be asked. For dinner we made a tortilla stew. It was Mexican-ish in taste, because we don’t have a large stockpot, we split p the stew into two separate pans. One had all the fresh veggies with spices sizzling, the other was a tomato sauce – corn, pinto beans and spice. Rachel made guacamole, she always finds a way to make the most luxurious food with minimal ingredients. Opened a can of chicken breast and put everything we made into bowls. We sat around the fire, eating, laughing and preparing for the hot springs to come… When the stars were fully visible, we walked as a pack along a forest path by the light ofour headlamps. The path rose and fell,veered left and right, eventually ending at a tiny hut lit by a candle. The faint light of the stars illuminated the 4 teired rock pools surrounded by tall pine trees. We all stripped down and awkwardly climbed over the rocks in the dark into the first pool at the top (the hottest). There were a cfew people there enjoying with us. This was the oment where I felt like there was magic. Like we started on that special path of openness, allowing those unforgettable moments in. At one point, in the hottest pool, there were 3 women including Rachel and I, and two men including Cole. The woman started singing this beautiful song, like a loud angelic hum. Rahchel and I chimbed in and our pool started beaming beautiful music from it. We were so focused on the sounds that it drowened everything else out and made our pool sacred. There’s something bonding about being naked with someone, the five of us chose to be naked with naked with eachother and it felt very respectful, like I recognize you as a human, just like me. I felt even closer to the group after this experience ahd have a permanent visual in my mind of the dim night illuminating the hot springs.