Cedars of Lebanon

The Chouf Cedar Reserve makes up 7% of Lebanon; it’s an oasis with regard to the careful stewarding and adherence, more or less, to regulations (no campfires, etc), and a respite for those who grow tired of the cement and bustle of the city.  A relatively short drive allows for the shedding of the noise, mess, and monotonous building-scape, giving way to the Lebanon of lore.  A variety of cedars tower above meadows of lush grasses and wild flowers.  Higher elevations result in lower ground cover, stumbling across remnants of Israeli invasion, and, if the Bekkah’s haze isn’t too bad, a clear view to Mt. Hermon.  This particular trip was made in the company of Wade and Megan, colleagues and, as of late, road trip companions (check out wadeandmeg.blogspot.com).  A highlight was seeing wild boar, not just one but rather four adults and several litters of piglets; our cameras were not as quick as their pace. The original thought was to camp near the Reserve and a caretaker offered us use of his orchard as a site but consensus led to making our way back towards the city, stopping off near Dmit and braving a bone jarring ride down the cat-crafted track, likely murder in the rain, to stay at the EcoVillage, complete with tree dwellings, idyllic Lebanese hospitality, and the combination of wholeness and detail I have come to love in Lebanese cuisine.  That welcome phenomenon of twenty-four hours feeling more like several days…