As a bright, beluga of a moon rose over the south end of Lost Lake, setting the north end skyline ablaze with evening light, members of our team rowed out to the middle of the lake to take in the colors of dusk. It was the second night of Murmur Creative’s annual camping trip retreat and we were in awe.
Lost Lake, if you’ve never been, is one of those places that, on the surface, sounds expected—a stereotypical Oregonian camping site situated in the heart of Mount Hood National Forest. But there’s so much more to this popular spot, and for a reason. Once you’ve lingered by the shore, watched trout jump from afar, taken in a misty post-rainfall morning, or plodded around the easy 3.2 mile Lakeshore Trail that runs a full circle around the perimeter, do you really get to understand what Lost Lake is: nothing short of effing magical.
On Saturday evening, the moon wasn’t completely full (we’d have to wait until Monday’s Summer Solstice for that—the first time in 60+ years a full moon would fall on the auspicious date), but it was full enough for us to feel and get wild. Under the rising moon, with the setting sun in front of us, and as many Murmurites and their loved ones took to the water, it was clear a secret bond was being forged; a bond with the place, as well as with each other.
Camping trips are funny like that. When you spend a few days and nights eating, drinking, playing, sleeping, getting wet, getting dirty, laughing, huddled around a campfire, fishing, cooking and hiking together, a change is inevitable. You’ll either walk away closer, or just hate each other forever. Lucky for us, it was the former. That second night was one of bonds, even if it didn’t start out so warm and fuzzy …
The first night of our retreat was a little tricky. If we’re to back up and talk about Friday, the downpour that bombarded our initial excitement must be mentioned. Because it was relentless. Dinners were tented. Activities prevented. Tents were flooded. People were on edge, even skeptical of this whole “camping” thing. Children were soaked to the bone. But resources were shared, alternatives offered, socks dried and silent agreements to be in (and stay in) good sprits were passed on through knowing looks and casual jokes. We’d all decided to make the best of what was looking up to be a very wet few days. And that we did. Because we’re Oregonians, and because we all wanted to have fun.
By Saturday evening, when we could finally venture out and remain dry (for what seemed like the first time in weeks!) it caused a contagious excitement. Fueled by a good dinner (including trout caught from the lake, thanks to Andrew, Eric, Renee, Kate, Ken & kids) and warmed by the light of a little booze, a handful of us rowed out toward the sunset to make the most of our last night. Others stayed on the shore and admired the scenery, took photos, drank more (Chaqueen & André, specifically), and just enjoyed the dry ground and the deep summer vibes. It was a meaningful moment for all of us.
Along with several wet days, a few beautiful sunsets, big catches, six boys that are insane, a joint Father’s Day celebration, two separate birthday celebrations, a few allergic reactions, no cell reception, a million Game of Thrones references, a handful of hot fires, one or two big hangovers and a lot of sweet nature time, we all made some memories.
Below are some standout experiences and/or lessons our team wished to highlight: