May 3 - Deep Thoughts, Deep Lakes

Miss Crater Lake 2014
Dar drove up to Camas last weekend (the 25th to the 29th of April) to spend some time with Andrea, Gage, and the kids. The main objective was to hit a local home and garden show with Andrea for some home-improvement and landscaping ideas. The secondary objective was to make some of the landscaping ideas reality. That's right... getting down in the dirt... digging... and hoeing... and planting. By the time she dragged herself back home to Sutherlin, she was tired and sore, and it was Tuesday.

I wasn't invited. Or, shall we say, I chose not to go? Either way, being apart for a few days can make you appreciate having your partner around. For the 4 or 5 days she was gone, I carried on pretty much as I would have if she was here. I even went out for some light exploring one day. But it just wasn't the same. Something was missing. Even though we're like oil and water, fight like cats and dogs [wink] all the time, being alone for days on end is just something I'm not used to.

For me, traveling and exploring is a much richer and more enjoyable experience when doing it with someone else. Especially someone who's in sync with this nomadic life and shares a passion for history and geography and the cultures of North America. Having to carry on alone... if she was out of the picture for some reason... would be a problem. Sure nice having you around Dar. Really, I've heard Brad Pitt ain't all he's cracked up to be and comes with more baggage than you might think.

Speaking of exploring... Wednesday we headed up to Crater Lake. The fastest way to this National Park, from Sutherlin, is to get on SR-138, the North Umpqua Trail, and take it all the way to the North Entrance. Only things is... this time of year the North Entrance is still closed, locked in by snow that has yet to be cleared -- won't be cleared until June most years. So a Spring traveler must take SR-230 around the west side of the Park to SR-62 which will take you to the West Entrance. The West Entrance stays open year'round. From our home base in Sutherlin it's nearly 140 miles.

This whole foray was really an excuse to get out of the house... an attempt to capitalize on a really nice sunny day, have lunch at their little cafeteria, sneak a few peeks of the Lake surrounded by snow and covered with a bright blue sky, take a few pics. You know... just soak up the day.

And that's exactly what we did.

On the way back we were reminded of the benefits of "linear travel" that we intend to do more of during Sabbatical II. We found a stunningly gorgeous NFS campground along the North Umpqua River where we stopped and had a snack. It was right on the banks of the quickly flowing river. Directly across from the campsite we were borrowing was another creek, full of Spring runoff, vigorously colliding with the North Umpqua. There was no one else in the campground. It was perfect. If we had our truck camper with us we would have been home for the night.

Instead, we packed up our little picnic and drove the hundred miles back to Sutherlin.

Mt. Bailey and Diamond Lake

Toketee Falls


Slightly Better than Most