Escaping to the mountains

Sometimes it’s nice to get away to a place where there’s no cell phone reception: no emails beeping in, no texts, no calls. Just you and nature, and a special someone or family. Sometimes it’s very needed! We love to hike into the many local waterfalls and lakes, and this spring we tried twice to reach Twin Lakes. The trail head is way up at the end of a gravel road, off the North Umpqua Hiking Trail. (If you’re familiar with the area, it’s off to the right a few miles after Dry Creek Store, and then a few turns up into the mountains.) The first time we drove up, a truck in front of us got stuck in a leftover snowdrift in a bend in the road. We helped them get out before turning around, and playing in the lower hills that day.

The second time we went, a month later, we made it farther but got stuck ourselves, in the last bit of snow in a shady corner on an otherwise clear road. The tall trees shade the snow in places, so they end up hardening into icy drifts when everything else melts. The fun thing is, we forgot a shovel both times, and had to use chunks of wood and rock under the tires to get out. It’s a process of jacking up the truck and pushing stuff under the wheels. (My husband Lem calls these creative fixes “Lem-necking.” You know you’re a Lem-neck when…you can start a fire with shot gun powder and jumper cables.)

This last weekend, we drove up again (with a shovel!) and didn’t encounter snow until we were out on the hiking trail. It was hot so I didn’t mind the few cool spots though.

Here’s the first look out spot–Oregonians might recognize the mountains.


There’s a cliff behind me, but I got dizzy if I went any closer. This is our dog, Deco, who lives for running around in the forest or swimming in a river.


The lake, at last! There’s a snowdrift off on the right side.


I love how this picture captures the color change in the water. It’s light green until the bottoms drops, and you can see the dark turquoise water farther out:


Here I tried to photograph the pretty water through the forest:


I was taking pictures on a Android phone because I couldn’t find my camera. I’m not a photographer anyway, but I hope you can see the beauty of Twin Lakes in these. Happy Trails!


A Lost Creek…

My extended family went camping this last weekend on the South Umpqua River and explored the area around our usual camping and swimming spot. We were surprised to find a tunnel under the road with a small fish ladder running through it and a pool in front of it. The site is actually marked as a salmon spawning habitat, and the spawn must have happened recently because I spotted a salmon head floating in the water. I wish the picture captured how beautiful the spot really is, but I’m more of a writer than a photographer. The water was blue and deep in the pool and green foliage surrounded all of it.



Here’s the view looking out from the tributary and pool.

We had a great time but the three days flew by. The spot where we camp is right next to the river, and there’s a channel carved into the riverbed rock. It makes a fun place to jump in and ride the current down for a ways.



We also spotted a new plant this year that looked rather ghostly.

My sister Karen researched it and found this interesting blog all about it:

It’s related to the blueberry plant! I’ll let you go read the post.

For my next adventure I’m headed over to Eastern Oregon. It always feels like a different state to me because it’s so very different than this side of Oregon. We have towering trees and streams while Eastern Oregon has scrub brush, desert and beautiful rock formations. Happy travels to everyone this summer!