Eastern Oregon part 1: Obstacles and Opportunities

Posted By on October 21, 2010

Our long awaited adventure to Eastern Oregon’s Three Forks Warm Springs started with great enthusiasm. Kids are happy, healthy but tasty snacks packed, camel backs full of water, 30+ hours of entertaining audio books and adult engaging children’s music… We headed out knowing only that we did our best to prepare.

9 hours of easy driving spread between two days. Enjoying the desert sunset at our backs and the warm meal at Cameron’s dad’s house. We took it easy and were all looking forward to jumping into the warm river and swim, eat a hot meal by the fire and hang out with our friends.

Cameron took the wheel on the last 17 miles of gravel. We stopped occasionally to move rocks that looked threatening for us and other vehicles. By the fifth mile, we were in mud country. Our city slicking VW Jetta was not meant to be used under these conditions. Judging from the four wheel drive trucks on the road, we were as uncouth as wearing spikes to a backyard picnic.

The mud splattered on our windows, I felt the sway of the car once in a while, then finally, we skidded to the left of the road and stopped completely. Cameron turned off the car and said calmly, “We’re not going anywhere.”

Luckily, this is when our adventure really begins

Everyone gets out to help collect sticks and brush and line it behind the wheels so they will have traction when reversing. I couldn’t contain my glee. My boys get to learn first hand how to get out of mud and in the loving company of their parents.

Perhaps, I was excited too because it was my first time getting stuck in mud. I am after all born in one of the biggest cities in China (Guangzhou) and raised in one of the biggest cities in the USA (New York City) but I was thrilled to have this experience. I could tell the boys were, too.

Life often comes with obstacles, it is not when or how they will come, but how we meet them and how we find solutions. I loved the opportunity to create these memories of holding obstacles with patience and creativity, so my boys may carry it with them where ever life takes them. And someday when the mud cake their wheels in their journey of life, they may smile and remember: they embody the solution.

Clayton, Jing Wen and I pushed the car as cameron reversed, again and again, we may have done it four or five times until we backed onto more solid ground.

By then, our wheels were so caked with mud and sticks, the rear wheels didn’t even turn anymore. We jacked it up, thanks to some helpful advice from passerby hunters and cleaned it the best we could. The same hunters gave us the low down on the road conditions ahead, which wasn’t good.

Just then the third party of our friends arrived on the scene. Sending prayers to our friends whom we hoped made it in safely with their Suburban, we all decided to change plans and head for the Idaho Hot Springs 2.5 hours away.

Part 2 coming soon …

About The Author

I am a Chinese-American mother of three boys, parenting with the traditions worth keeping from the East and West. I continue to learn new ways of raising a family and myself.

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