Have You Ever Been Drunk on Peace?

We all prefer neither to travel nor undertake anything outdoors during winter storms, right? But what if we already planned a fly fishing weekend at Elliott State Forest, and a winter storm was predicted for those days (second weekend of February). Do we cancel it? NO!

Everyone was excited to go to Elliot State Forest, and it didn’t matter under what conditions. For those of you who don’t know much about Elliott State Forest, it is 93,000 acres of unspoiled land near Coos Bay. It is home to some of Oregon’s oldest, most majestic trees, rare and endangered wildlife, clean water, and some of the most intact native landscapes that exist in Oregon.

One of the veterans on the trip wanted to share his experience of this special place. His name is Travis, who has a 100% service connected disability.  He was in some turbulence before the trip: “I was very excited as I had never been steelhead fishing before. Though the rain did not cooperate with us, and the river levels had not gotten high enough for the fish to be as far upstream as our camp, there was still plenty of good times to be had throughout the weekend.”

“First of all, and most important, I made two new veteran friends that weekend. I really appreciated their kindness and the conversations we had. For those who have not visited Elliott State Forest. You cannot fathom what you’re missing. It is such an incredible, one of a kind, destination. I found such an astonishing level of peace while in this forest. That I literally felt almost drunk by the time I got home. The camping conditions were not ideal as it was snowing all weekend. I found myself looking to the trees hoping that one of those Widowmaker branches wouldn’t crush me in my sleep. I slept beneath trees fit for giants. I stood in the river as the snow fell around me. I cooked a cheeseburger on a wheelbarrow over an open fire. Most importantly though, I was given an opportunity enjoy the camaraderie of my fellow veterans. I didn’t have to worry about what was coming next. I didn’t have to worry about how to best serve. So I would not trade what I do for anything in the world.”

Read our complete newsletter (February 2019) HERE.