Josh and I met in our hometown of Bend, OR in 1996. We started climbing together on occasion, and after a few weeks were inseparable. I look back with nostalgia on racing through Bend's quiet streets in Josh's white 1967 Monte Carlo. Playing Road Rash on my Sega Genesis and drinking cans of warm Busch beer. Carelessly throwing ourselves at the orange rock walls of Smith Rock, and the 64 oz. Dr Pepper and laughter fueled car rides back home.
A lot has happened since those days. Crazy girlfriends. College. Moves to California, Georgia, Utah, and Washington. Careers. Ph.D.s. CFAs. Weddings. Kids. Our lives have moved in different directions, as they must. But our friendship hasn't changed a bit. Just as strong. Just as centered around dick and fart jokes.
In July, Josh and I spent four days backpacking up a 48-mile section of the Oregon Coast Trail. The OCT is a 382-mile trail that winds through beaches and coastal cliffs along the entirety of Oregon's Coast. It was a rare opportunity to spend a stretch of time together without the distractions of work and family. A chance for us to really catch up, have those deeper conversations, and steal some laughs over a flask of bourbon.
If we're intentional and lucky, perhaps a tradition is born.