1. I went hiking with my friend Leigh that day.
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  2. Until this day Leigh and I had been sort-of-friends. We worked together but only in the same building, not really together. But we'd run into each other at work and struck up a bit of friendship. Then we were at a couple of after work social events and found out that..I almost said that we found they we had a lot in common. But that's not quite it.
  3. What we found was that we liked each other. Strictly platonic! We kind of started to become friend. So this one summer we decided to go hiking together and I picked a lake that my family backpacked into a lot when I was a kid, Serene Lake in the Mt. Hood National Forest.
  4. We stopped to pee and take in the sights on the way to the trailhead.
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  5. What a great view of Mt. Hood.
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  6. Wow!
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  7. We got lost on the way and hoped this tag would give us some direction.
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  8. It didn't.
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  9. This sign was also unhelpful.
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  10. We barely squeezed under this tree.
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  11. At one point we stopped to pee again and saw this adorable owl. Just after putting the camera away he turned and stared at us. By the time I got the camera back out he flew away.
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  12. We finally made it to the trailhead after being lost for about two hours. Whew!
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    This place is WAY away from the closest city and most roads are logging roads without any kind of marking. I was going off memory and we were lucky that we ever got there.
  13. We parked in the "parking lot" and headed out.
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  14. Off we go! It's a three mile hike.
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  15. Although it was late June, there were still bits of snow here and there.
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  16. It felt good to be amongst the trees.
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  17. Check out the scenery!
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  18. The trail exists, but is hard to follow at times. Most of the time it's super clear.
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  19. There were a couple of little creeks to cross along the trail.
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  20. This makes me feel so small.
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  21. Beauty everywhere we turn.
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  22. More beauty when we look up.
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  23. Another stop to pee.
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  24. I believe this look says "So help me Bill, if take a picture of me peeing I will kill you."
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    I didn't! I swear to you, I never looked at all. Not once. I do not have a pee fetish and find that kind of gross. No judgement if you do, though. I'm just not into it.
  25. I think this is a good time to talk about peeing. We found out that day that we both pee a lot. Way more than any of our other friend. After the second or third time of heading off in different direction to pee behind trees, Leigh said "That's too much trouble. Can we just pee three feet from each other, with our backs to each other and not look?"
    I'm paraphrasing, but the conversation went basically like this.
  26. It may sound strange, but stopping and peeing, back to back, like 20 times that day really brought us close, emotionally. It is a bond that I think will never be broken or replicated with anyone else.
  27. What a view as Leigh tries to get a signal on her phone. Out of luck.
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  28. Look at this cute guy. Or gal.
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  29. Finally!
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  30. We're actually at the lake.
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  31. We're here!
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  32. Wow.
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  33. I have always liked that rock slide across the way.
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  34. It's pretty cool.
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  35. Above and to the left (East, I think) of the rock slide is this spot of clear cut. That's Cashe Meadow, and beautiful with an amazing view of the lake.
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  36. There's that same rock slide from the bottom of it. I climbed this several times as a kid. My mother was terrified I'd start a landslide and die. I never did.
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  37. So pretty.
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  38. I camped at this campsite so many times as a kid.
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  39. I spent hours playing on this rock and jumping into the water in hot summer days. Not this day, because the water was like ice.
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  40. Fun.
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  41. She's just taking in the beauty.
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  42. This was my post on FB.
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  43. Here's Leigh's comment.
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    Hahahaha. She really didn't say that, but I crack myself up.
  44. She swears she wasn't trying to get a signal in order to post on FB, but I'm still convinced she was. There was NO signal out there.
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  45. After we made it back to the "parking lot" I gave Leigh a gift, to remember the day.
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  46. It's a flask from Next Adventure, a cool store downtown Portland. I think I'd filled it with pomegranate vodka or something like that.
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  47. Because I got us lost, we had four hours of driving to get there, then the three mile hike in, hanging out and having lunch at the lake, three miles of hiking out and two hours of driving home. We were the only people at the lake - we had the whole place to ourselves right up until we left.
  48. This was a wonderful, amazing day, during which Leigh and I bonded and loved the outdoors. It's a day I'll never forget. Thanks for this great day, Leigh.
    I'm ready to hike again this summer!