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I think of February as the first month of Spring. Granted, it's Spring in an embryonic state, but just as we celebrate the wonders of pregnancy in anticipation of the birth of a baby, so we have much to celebrate now. The earth basks in the warming sun and is just beginning to swell with the promise of birth.
That means it's almost time for a trip to Oregon. I'll go back in a few weeks to this camp set in an oasis of old growth forest. It's a men's retreat, which means we just hang out and do whatever we want to do. I suppose a women's retreat would have to have some purpose.
I may make a sheath for an old knife I found in the shed--one of the guys is a leather worker and a knife collector, and he always brings his tools and some leather--and I'll have a sweat in a genuine sweat lodge ceremony provided for us by some local Native Americans.
And I'll fish. Last year I spent some time on the Coquille, a trib of which runs through the camp. It's a beautiful river, and is supposed to have a good run of Steelhead, but I never hooked up. Loved it, though.
This year I have my sights set on the Upper Rogue. It's less than three hours away from the camp, close enough to warrant an early start and a day on its fabled waters. I've already done some research, and I'm advised, on good authority, that the upper river usually runs clear even when the lower river is blown out.
The Umpqua, also right in the neighborhood, is another possibility.
So a plan is developing in my mind. It's still embryonic but it's already showing signs of promise, and I'm enjoying the anticipation. I expect the birth just when the wildflowers are blooming again in Oregon.