I left you in April when our work life was still on the road. Our home and garden shows came to an end and Eric and I had to figure out what we were going to do with our summer. Before we started our last show in Washington, we stayed in the Central Oregon area and fell in love with opportunities it presented us. Lakes, mountains, hiking, oh my! The Central Oregon area is an up and coming location (and has been for about 15+ years) that intrigued us most. We searched out a place that could provide a space for us to park the camper and provide employment for us. And let me tell you, we got incredibly lucky.
We found a fishing resort in a National Forest that had cabins, an RV Park, tent camping, a marina as well as a restaurant on a beautiful lake. I called it a mountain, but really we lived in an old volcano. The lake we lived on is called a caldera. A caldera is a crater made by a volcano. This particular volcano’s mouth collapsed during explosion, creating two lakes and a pumice cone between them. The lake doesn’t have any outside water source except snow run off from the mountains. The water there is crystal clear. One of the coolest parts of this resort was all the obsidian everywhere. Large pieces, as big as my head, small pieces scattered all over the beach. Obsidian is what lava turns into when it hardens, black and smooth and as sharp as glass. (Any Game of Thrones fan knows obsidian is one of the weapons used to kill white walkers. Or if there any mine craft players out there, you know what I’m talkin’ about!… All others… start watching GOT. NOW!) This black shiny natural element was by far the most beautiful part for me.
I would say the only downside to this location was that it had absolutely no cell phone reception and therefore, no internet either. However, it wasn’t enough to deter us from staying there. It was actually really nice to reconnect with myself and nature. It felt awesome to put my phone down for hours and not think about it once. I knew no one could get a hold of me, what was the point of having it glued to my hand? Now don’t get me wrong, it was difficult at times. We were both far away from our families and friends. I was disconnected from that world, while connected to the real one. When we would go down the mountain we definitely resorted back to our old phone ways, real quick! Overall, though, I am thankful for the experience. I can put my phone down today and not feel the need to check it constantly. (My sisters would disagree with me, as I haven’t stopped contacting them in one form or another since leaving the mountain. But whatever, I missed them!)
Eric and I had the opportunity to wake up each morning at look out at the lake and to take in the mountains. As two Iowan fools, we didn’t take a single day of that for granted. I loved walking to work each morning. Most mornings were quite cold, our last week there the low was 29 degrees. (Poor tent campers!) The sun would cast beautiful shadows all over the pine trees, darkening the already dark green of the forest. The lake was calm, before too many people disturbed it’s waters. As I said the water was clear, I’d never seen water in a lake this clear. You could put your hand to the bottom and see the sand and the obsidian. By mid day, the sun warmed up the entire caldera, reaching upwards of 80 degrees most days. As the sun began to fall, the temperature would fall with it. The entire mountain would cool down into the night. The incredible landscape was breathtaking, I never tired of my surroundings.
Since we were in a National Forest there was ample hiking trails that surrounded us. At the beginning of our summer, we stayed close to the lake. We took boat rides, went fishing and tried swimming the “go” out of Sue (it never worked, that dog is stuck on go!). As the summer progressed we explored the trails around us. The pine trees always provided the sap smell that invigorated our senses. When the wind would pick up (as it did nearly every day around 2 pm), I could smell the lake and feel the cool down begin. Eric and I were able to go to the near by peak that had the perfect layout of the entire caldera. We could see the two lakes, the pumice cone and the collection of obsidian among endless pine trees. (Eric joked that it was also home to the highest outhouse in Central Oregon… which was probably true.) The elevation at the lake was 6600 feet. The elevation at the peak was 7800 feet. We were up there, literally.
We got incredibly lucky with our decision to summer in Oregon. We found an ad on craigslist, we met the owner and took a mini tour of the area. It just so happened to work out that we were both able to get employment there and park our home for a while. Sue made so many doggo friends, it was an endless parade of buddies for him. Eric and I made unforgettable memories. This post only scratches the surface of what we experienced this summer. I am excited to share the rest with you all! Please keep your eye out for the next post about our summer in Oregon!
Until then, keeping wandering! <3afk