20 June 2018

canoeing on the lake

"You had one thing to do and you didn't do it."  On our previous canoe adventure he was disappointed that I hadn't watched the four minute video for beginner canoeing. 

So this time I watched the video and made a point to remember everything taught in it.  I wanted to do so well.  To hit the ball out of the park so to speak.

And we did have a fantastic canoeing experience.  The water was calm and this time I didn't bring things along that would be damaged if we tipped over.  

Because I was sure we would tip over.

Apparently Ralph had more faith in our abilities.  He brought his cell phone along and managed to capture this shot.

I resorted to taking mental snapshots of our time on the lake.

-- the other couple in a canoe having a rough go at canoeing.  The man kept hollering to his wife, "Left rudder!  Do you even know what a rudder is?  Oh never mind...!"  He was rowing with one arm and holding a puppy in the other.  [Snap]

-- hikers following our same route around the lake and waving to us [Snap]

-- the many shades of green everywhere [Snap]

-- the intoxicating fragrance of Pieris Japonica along the trail [Snap]

-- the sound of the water as the oar sliced through it [Snap]

-- the canoe's gentle sway in the wake of a motor boat [Snap]

It was a great second canoeing experience.  I close my eyes and I am transported back to the lake on this perfect summer day.  

14 June 2018


June roses near a hidden cache.

It's been at least a year since I've been geocaching.  I headed back to Canby to find ten specific geocaches and earn a coin.  Here are a few pictures of different cache locations.

The hint for this one was: dogs love it.  Clever, clever hiding spot.  I felt a little conspicuous lifting the top off a fire hydrant with fire fighters watching from the other side of the window.  There were no bolts attaching the bonnet to the base.  That's how I knew I had found the right hiding place.

This one reminded me of the children's book Cars And Trucks And Things That Go.  Only instead of looking for the Goldbug I was looking for a geocache.  

It was a great day.  I had so much fun.  Geocaching makes me very happy.

12 June 2018

the house tour

"Mid pleasures and palaces though we may roam,
Be it ever to humble there's no place like home!"
-John Howard Payne (1791-1852) Home, Sweet Home

We've been here ten months and I'm pretty certain we are completely unpacked now.  All the furniture and art has been thoughtfully situated and hung in their forever places and life has settled into a soothing routine.

Now it is time for the official house tour because some people have expressed an interest.

This is my happy place.  Specifically on the black bench in front of the ivories.  I'm an adult student learning to play Handel's Largo.  No matter how old you are it is never too late to reignite a childhood passion.

We cover this couch with a blanket because we allow the dog on it.  

Guest Bedroom

Bathroom #1

The Office

Master Bedroom

Bathroom #2

There you have it.  We love it.  But this is just a house.  It's the way we live in it that counts.  We all know this: life isn't measured by where we live or the house we live in.  Whether it is a castle, palace, chalet, street of dreams house, sunny resort, city loft, apartment, lakeside cabin, yurt, hut, or tent, it's not so much about the furniture, the paint color, the art hung on the walls, the dishes, or the flowerbeds.  It's more about the life that takes place in the house.  The adventures shared.  The memories made.  The community forged.  The hospitality extended.  Love lived out.  As the saying goes, "no matter what, no matter where, it's always home if love is there."   

07 June 2018

the blue pool (tamolitch pool)

When we visited Clear Lake, I saw directions to the Blue Pool (Tamolitch Pool) and was surprised to learn it is just a few miles down the road.  The McKenzie River's source is Clear Lake and the Blue Pool is on the McKenzie River trail.  It was on my bucket list so I knew we had to plan a trip to see it.  

Knowing this was a popular trail, we got an early start and were so blessed to have the trail pretty much to ourselves on the way to the pool.  The trail was also dry which was nice because I've heard it can be a muddy slog during rainy periods.

McKenzie River

After a pretty easy two miles along the river we came to the Blue Pool.  I've seen pictures of people at water level on the opposite shore so I wanted to find a way down.  We hiked a little ways beyond the blue pool but I couldn't see a way to cross the waters.  Although this has been called a dry waterfall, it was anything but dry during our visit.  Note the swiftly rushing water.  I might have to come back another time to explore a route to the other side.  I'm thinking people cross the rocks when the waterfall is dry.

Ralph at the top of the falls.

The water is clear, blue, and extremely cold.

Where the pool flows into the river.

There were only a handful of people at the pool while we were there.  I regretted not bringing a lunch with us.  Next time we will - for I do think there will be a next time.  After twenty minutes of reveling in the beauty of the Blue Pool we retraced our steps.  It appeared the rest of the world was awake by then because we passed many people heading to the pool.  Crowds.  We were glad we managed to avoid them.

Expectations surpassed.

23 May 2018

clear lake

I love this time of year with the long hours of daylight and the warmer temperatures.  When we need a little break from the dog, we head up the highway toward Sisters and explore different hikes in that area.

Last week we made two trips to Clear Lake.  The first was to hike the four miles around it.  We returned to scout out camping sites because we like the lake so much and ended up hiking half the trail again.

We started our hike from the lodge area.  The trail on this side of the lake is nice and smooth.  

The lake is seen mostly through trees on this side.  It's shaded and cool.  We caught glimpses of Three Fingered Jack peeking above the tree line.  Along the lake shore is the lava I will talk about later.

This bridge crosses over the source of the McKenzie River where it flows out of Clear Lake.  Canoes and kayaks are not supposed to pass under the bridge as they will be swept down river.

The McKenzie River Trail takes one to a couple waterfalls and beyond - something we will explore another time.  But this time we limited ourselves to hiking around the lake.

The Three Sisters in view in the distance.

On the other side of the lake the landscape changed.  Lava from the Sand Mountain eruption a thousand years ago lines the edge of the lake.  The trail on that entire side of the lake is lava.  At first we thought it wasn't so bad because there was a paved path in the middle of the lava but soon the pavement gave way to a rough, rocky lava trail that amazingly men were attempting to bike across. That (biking) does not qualify as my definition of fun.

Nice paved path

The rest of the trail

Clear Lake, like its name, is very clear and full of trout.  The temperatures hover just above freezing year round.  We saw tree swallows skimming across the water.  There's lots of wildlife in the trees, the lake, and little tunnels in the lava.

The trail seemed to go on and on and on and I was getting so thirsty from the chicken and jojos we bought at Mountain Top Grocery in Detroit on the way to the lake.  When we finally made full circle to our car, I bought a cold ice tea at the lodge and consumed it in short order.

We found some promising camp sites on our second trip and since we are retired we can probably get them mid-week.

I've only been camping the American way twice.  The first time was a horrible experience as we were eaten alive by mosquitoes.  The second time (<- click) was a lot of fun.  

Here's hoping to more good times.