Archive for October, 2010

Clear Lake 2010

Posted by julie on Monday, 25 October 2010, 15:32

Since the weather’s turned decidedly wintry, here’s a memory of the beautiful, clear days of fall.

The day started with potato donut holes; how could it be anything but perfect (or round and cinnamon-y, or fattening and heartburn-inducing, depending on your logic)? Our third fall excursion to Clear Lake included four Moms, four Dads, four sons, and four daughters. Each of the boys is three years older than his sister. Three of the boys are five, and one of the girls is [nearly] five. As the canoeists unloading their car next to us said, we were an REI dream excursion.

Seriously, don't drop me in that water

Eh, you'd never drop me in

Our independent daughter surprised us by allowing Chris to carry her for nearly the whole hike, so we finished the five mile loop in record time: almost a mile an hour! Our active but occasionally undermotivated son surprised us and walked the whole way. Not only that, but he finished the hike pointing out interesting mushrooms: “Mom, it’s a little weird bush made of fungi!” Yes, it helped that, after five years, I’ve finally learned the power of gummy bears and yogurt-covered raisins (both organic and shockingly expensive): “I’ll give you some hiking energy if you make it to that tree [walk another four minutes, catch up to the rest of the kids…]” Bribery? No, no. Motivation. I mean, come on, five miles is far. When was the last time you walked five miles?

The five-year-olds were subtly different from last year’s four-year-olds. They didn’t jostle for the lead hiking position this year. Mostly they noticed and ran and hopped and climbed and threw rocks in the water and hid and fished with creative poles. The two-year-olds ran and hopped and climbed, too, and also whined and napped and exerted their toddlerness. And the eight-year-old gave my son math problems to do in his head, although I think Sylvan thought he was talking about dragons.



By the numbers:

  • Eight adults
  • Eight kids
  • Four moms
  • Four dads
  • Four daughters
  • Four sons
  • Three bridges (Four?)
  • One lizard
  • One dead snake
  • A couple dozen ducks (you’ll have to ask a birder if you want to know what kind)
  • Nineteen or so mountain bikers (four of whom we saw again as they lapped us)
  • Two very nice canoeists
  • Seven canoes, kayaks, and rowboats out on Clear Lake at any one time
  • One tropically clear blue lake
  • Two fishing poles made with found sticks, found fishing line, and rosehips
  • Five words to refer to the red of the turning vine maple leaves: scarlet, vermillion, lipstick red, brick red, and firetruck red
  • Many, many different fungi popping through the soil

No, no, that's not a birthmark; it's the Joker (both under the shirt and on her belly).

Because you never know

Posted by jonesey on Monday, 18 October 2010, 6:40

A subset of the nametags available for congregants at the Unity of the Valley Church, Eugene, Oregon. October 2010.

Nametag for JC

A pragmatist's answer to the age-old question: "Will we recognize Him if ever ever does return?"

Volcanoes 2 1/2 and 3

Posted by julie on Monday, 11 October 2010, 23:34

Mt. Scott from across Crater Lake

Mission: accomplished! Summer might already be over, but I finally climbed three volcanoes this climbing season: Mt. Bailey, Diamond Peak, and Mt. Scott.

Volcano 2 1/2: Leslie and I attempted Mt. St. Helens on a rainy weekend in September. We chatted, I ate nearly all of her homemade cookies spiked with coffee, and we read for hours as the rain pattered the roof of the van the night before the climb. The mountain remained socked in. After reaching about 6000 feet and having a difficult time seeing from one trail-marking post to the next, we decided to go down, get dry, and go to Powells. Good choice.

If it's not obvious, yes, that is a stream running down the trail. Wet, wet, wet.

Volcano 3: I decided I needed to find a sure thing before the snows come. Mt. Scott, on the edge of Crater Lake, seemed like my sure thing: 5 miles round-trip, 1300 feet of elevation gain, great views if the weather gods smiled, and an easy walk-up I could do alone. At 8926, it’s the highest point in Crater Lake National Park, and it’s higher than I’ve climbed in a while.

I drove into the park last night at 7 p.m., 2 hours and 20 minutes after leaving Eugene. The sign at the entrance read “Lost Creek Campground will close on October 11, 2010 at 2 p.m.” I still had 19 hours! As much as I’ve avoided this reality, autumn has truly set in; my drive through the park was dark and foggy, and I feared driving off the edge of Rim Drive. An hour later, I reached the campground, precisely on the opposite side of the lake from where I’d entered the park.

If you’re a parent, a writer, a lover of the outdoors, or a soul with simply too little time, you’ll understand how I relished the hour and a half I then spent journaling while the winds pushed the treetops around. Then I read. As the clouds blew off and the stars gave the sky its depth, I slept. I found out later that the temperature dipped down to 27° F.

I awoke at 6:30, and I was on the trail at 7:05, after driving 6 miles to the trailhead. It was fully light, although the sun hadn’t yet risen over the shoulder of Mt. Scott. I set off alone over the gravelly cinders, through a forest of whitebark pine, mountain hemlock, and Shasta red fir (which may have been subalpine fir; I’m not a fir girl, a connoisseur of Abies). After some photos, wind, switchbacks, and talking to myself, I was at the top in an hour. From the ridge near the summit, one can peer west to Crater Lake or east to Klamath Marsh, irrigated and channeled into straight lines. At the top of this ancient “satellite volcano” that sits on the flank of of the much larger and younger Mt. Mazama—the beast that erupted to form Crater Lake over 7000 years ago—a solar-powered fire tower is perched.

I walked along the ridge, seeking a sunny breakfast nook. I found it, and I also met a friend, a marten who was not really afraid of me but who was eager to move past my verbal greetings. This marten was about 12 feet from me when I snapped the photo.

Marten atop Mt. Scott

After 30 minutes on the summit ridge, I’d finished my hard-boiled eggs and self portraits, so I donned my gloves and walked back down.

In another 45 minutes, I’d reached the van. I stopped a couple of times to enjoy the view, then I headed back to Eugene, where I picked up the kids at 3 p.m. and brought them to my rehearsal at 4. Thanks, family, for indulging my mountain madness.

Phantom Ship in Crater Lake