Getting Closer

Getting Closer
Getting Closer

Friday, September 1, 2006

September 2006 Camping at Medicine Lake

The following was written on my old laptop and saved.  At the time, I had lived in Jamestown, California for about six months and was incredibly homesick for Oregon.  It was wonderful to go back north for the Labor Day weekend and a long camping visit with Mo.

It's around 6pm September 1 2006, and I am sitting at a picnic table at the campground at Medicine Lake. We are in space 43 this time. Once more we have a site on the lake with the Baby MoHo. It's windy and cool however, and this afternoon we spent a lazy time reading and napping, waiting for the chance to kayak in the quiet evening when the lake is usually pretty smooth. Maybe not tonight, however. 02camping 9-3-2006 8-25-52 AM

I arrived in Klamath last Saturday afternoon and Mo and I left fairly soon after that for the Blues Brats and Blues Festival at the Pelican marina. It was smaller than last year it seemed, with fewer people. The brats were good though, and it was great just hanging out there at the lake and listening to the music. They had a hard time getting things going with the sound, but finally we did manage to get some dancing in and stayed until 9 or so enjoying ourselves. It was fun. Mo and I practiced our swing steps and laughed a lot. We got home in time for a great hot tub under incredibly brilliant stars and some quality time catching up.28TableMtn08_2006 Just a little comparison: This is my survey area near Jamestown, on Table Mountain.  Gorgeous in spring, not so much at 114 degrees in the summer.

Sunday morning we got up and had a good breakfast and decided that maybe it was a little bit too much to try to kayak the Wood River and then still get to Jacksonville for the Britt Fest, so we did some house chores together, cleaning up a few things things, blowing off the roof, Mo blowing the roof while I basically hung around to be sure she didn't fall.

We left for Medford, went to Costco and to Fred Meyer for some food and then over to the festival to stand in line early enough to see the KD Lang show. It was hot, but we parked ourselves under the shade and just waited and watched the people lining up. Even getting there at 3:30 we were number 38 and 39 on the south side and when the gates opened we still didn't manage to get down in front. We decided that was ok, though, since it was hot and probably crowded down there anyway.

The show actually was really good, and KD Lang reminded us why we like her. Her voice was so smooth and controlled. She made some jokes about aging gracefully in the music business as she sang some of the old standards. It made for a better show, really, and Mo and I love those old Peggy Lee songs anyway.

Driving home again late, over the pass, I was glad it wasn't snowing and that Mo can manage the night driving thing pretty well. Slept like a rock that night and woke up Monday morning with a plan to drive to LaPine and get a load of wood from Roger's place there. The drive was nice, still good weather, and I entertained myself with lots of phone calls back and forth with Chris Gebauer, the new project leader for my old soil survey project in Klamath, trying to get a handle on the big diatomaceous soils tour for the next day.000-DiatomTour 8-30-2006 8-

The tour was excellent, with soils people from all over the west participating.  Diatomaceous soils have some specific properties that are very different and at times hard to quantify.  Evenings during the tour were spent in town with favorite friends, David Marr and Jeanne Skalka.130-DiatomTour 8-30-2006 2-

Thursday morning was the last day of the tour, and Mo and I loaded up the kayaks early in the morning so that she could get an early start to find a camping spot for us. The drive to town that last morning was gorgeous, with a beautiful sunrise to accompany my commute.  As soon as the work day ended, around three so that folks could travel back home, I headed south for the two hour trip to Medicine Lake.400-sunrise 8-31-2006 6-19-

It was a good thing that Mo went to get the space in the afternoon because people were starting to show up by evening on Thursday and by Friday morning there wouldn't have been anything left for us that we liked. We still like the Hogue campground the best. Hemlock is way too open and Medicine is really open and full with the campsites close together. We just have to be sure to come mid week to get these great spaces on the lake in our favorite spot.

We had both eaten before I arrived that night, so Mo had a fire and we drank some wine and talked before going to bed. Nice to be back in the MoHo, though. I have missed it.02camping 9-3-2006 8-34-14 AM

Friday morning we got up slowly and had a good breakfast. When we first got up, it was smooth as glass out on the lake but by the time we actually got out there it was pretty windy. Still had a good kayak though and I remember the lovely patch of knotweed in full bloom on the lake. One time I didn't take my camera, darn! Back to camp and we went for a little walk around the campgrounds, had some chicken and macaroni salad for lunch and then thought a nap sounded good. Pretty relaxing afternoon for sure, with reading and napping. I really wanted to relax on this trip and we seem to be doing a good job of it. I think I knitted for a bit as well in the early afternoon, but all in all it just about watching the water and the sky and doing nothing. Great.

I cooked pork chops and broccoli for dinner and for no reason either one of us can figure out it was pretty tasteless. Then on the way out the door of the MoHo I tripped on the lower step and went crashing to the ground. Bummer. I was so mad at myself and so frustrated and it really hurt, but thank goodness nothing broke. I'm pretty lucky that way, I guess. I hope that luck holds up since I seem to be pretty clumsy more and more lately and always seem to be tripping or crashing or something. Dumb.

My hand hurt most, but we decided to get out on the lake while it was again smooth and quiet and had a lovely kayak toward the swimming beach as the sun set. Perfect timing as we arrived back to camp just as the sun went over the hill and things cooled off. Gave me a chance to drag my hand in the water as well and I think that was good for me.

Mo made another fire for us and we sat outside and watched the evening change to night and went to bed plenty early in spite of the afternoon naps. I still slept well and didn't have a bit of problem falling asleep. Relaxing! Yes!04camping 9-4-2006 6-48-45 PM

Today we woke up closer to 8 than 7 and it wasn't quite as cold, but by the time we were half way through breakfast the wind was up fairly strong so we didn't go kayaking today. Decided to go for a drive and explore a little bit to the west and go up the lookout at Little Hoffman and then drove down around Little Glass Mountain and across to the giant Lava Flow and found Chimney Crater.  It's hard trying to scramble around all the crunchy lava but it was pretty dramatic looking down in the crater.01Hoffman 9-2-2006 12-01-12 PM

Back to camp in the afternoon, pretty early, but fairly late for lunch, so we ate sandwiches and now dinner seems as though it will be pretty late. The wind hasn't died down yet at all, and maybe it isn't going to this evening. We had hoped for a kayak but I am sitting out here at the table and the wind is cold and strong and the lake looks gray and choppy.01Hoffman 9-2-2006 1-28-43 PM

It's different not having access to phones and internet and such, no television, no news. No clue how things are progressing out there in the world. Here the world is dominated by our own little space and all the campers that have come in to Medicine Lake for the weekend. Across from us there is a huge family with lots of kids and relatives from Mt Shasta. They must have 5 rigs and half a dozen big pickups and a dozen little kids. What better way to haven fun.

Battery down so I guess I am finished writing for now.

Later: In spite of the choppy lake last night, as things began to darken we decided to go out on the lake. It was a beautiful ride. We paddled toward the sun at the west end of the lake and then turned and came around directly down the center. It was really incredibly lovely with a magnificent sunset as an extra treat. We stayed out an hour and a half or so and returned just as it got dark. Mo built the fire and we cooked our steaks by flashlight in the dark. They tasted fabulous and eliminated any idea that we had of losing our tasters. Great dinner, even in the dark.

To bed after 10 and we read awhile before going to sleep. Neither of us slept very well though, not sure why.04camping 9-5-2006 7-54-22 AM

Woke this morning to a rather chilly sunrise and wondered if we were really going to have the guts to get out there on the lake. But it was actually warmed out on the water than it was back in our camp so we took our coffee and wearing jackets we headed out toward the pink flowers. Right away when we got on the water it was warm enough to take off our jackets. I don't think we have ever experienced such a perfect lovely morning. The lake was like glass, and so crystal clear we could see fish swimming around in the roots of the polygonum plants. The ospreys were catching fish and there were just enough clouds in the sky to give a good reflection on the water.

02camping 9-3-2006 9-01-12 AM Sometimes floating along I felt as though I was soaring through the sky instead on the earth. We paddled along the south end of the lake to "our" meadow and then headed straight across for camp. Took just 12 minutes to cross the lake and as we headed in the wind came up really strong. It blew us right home at just the right time. Mo started the fire for breakfast and we cooked bacon and potatoes and eggs again and spent a little bit of time cleaning the MoHo.

03glassmtn 9-3-2006 12-01-52 PM By the time we left for Glass Mountain it was 11:30. we drove the back way along Arnica Sink and then walked the old path up to the black obsidian outcrop and then down the road with a bag of some pieces of really nice arrow making rock for Ed's friend. Then we headed west again along 49 over the rim of the caldera down toward Lava Beds. By the time we got down there we realized that both of us had actually forgotten our wallets so our ideas of going into the park and maybe even driving over to Tunisia to get gas were nixed. We realized that we had to pay attention to our gasoline consumption since the truck was already down to half a tank and I filled it back in Klamath. Always the issue running out of gas and water and power.

01Hoffman 9-2-2006 12-07-05 PM Back to camp in the afternoon, we rested a bit and listened to music and then filled the water tank with about 17 gallons of fresh water from the faucet across the street. Nice to have good water around even if we have to pour it in. Mo is going to get a better funnel though so we don't lose so much water in the process. Our battery was getting low this morning as well. So we ran the generator for about an hour while we charged up the MoHo and I charged up the computer so I could keep up my journal here.

04camping 9-4-2006 3-45-22 PM We can go about 3 days without recharging things and we each just took one shower and had to get more water. Our propane is holding up ok, maybe down one notch after 4 days of running the refrigerator. The waste tanks are still just at 2 lights each so we should be fine to make it for the full 5 nights and 5 days out without using shore power. When we go to canyon country we are going to have to remember to try to bring a lot of extra water along.

I'm missing Southern Utah canyon country a lot. I can't believe that it's been two years since I've been to Utah. Last year Shera and I didn't go because it was too much for her by then. (Shera passed from cancer in early 2006). I miss it, although the lake here is wonderful and after such a long hot summer it is pretty wonderful to be by water and have cool breezes and cold nights for sleeping. I love it that Mo handles the fire, although at the moment she is moving a big log around and I keep wondering if it's going to flip on us. My fire lady! It's so nice to wake up in the morning and have her out there building the fire when I can't make myself get out of the warm bed.

04camping 9-3-2006 7-44-32 PM So here we are with the sun setting, the dusk coming, the fire warm and crackling and the music playing on the MoHo porch. Shania. Oh yes, this afternoon we decided to go for a walk before dinner and walked up through the campground and then across the road along a motorcycle trail that we didn't have a clue where it went. Sure enough after a mile or so we came to Arnica sink, which surprised us because we thought it was a lot farther away. It was a really nice walk and Molly did just fine, although she is sleeping now and will probably sleep well tonight.

Great day. And more to come tomorrow.

Monday evening

I am standing at the sink boiling some navy bean soup from a mix, bear creek something or other. It smells as though it will be really good. We put our steak and pork leftovers into it. Today was lovely. Fun watching all the people leaving as the holiday weekend comes to a close. We slept better last night than the night before.

This morning we did our morning kayak before breakfast again, and it was great. Got some really nice photos of the ospreys. Came home to our last campfire breakfast, we have used everything up pretty much this time. The morning went by simply and we decided to go for another kayak ride to go to the swimming area that we had seen earlier. It was pretty windy, and even though it was shallow over there it was still too cold to swim. I did manage to go in for about a minute and it never really warmed up at all!04camping 9-4-2006 6-49-12 PM

Molly was Mo’s wonderful dog who went to Doggie Heaven not long after this trip in October of 2006

Came back and walked around the campground and found some good firewood and Mo got a maul and a hammer. Left Molly in the MoHo for another walk while we took the main trail out of Hogue camp to the medicine glass flow. We aren't sure if we have done this before, but I laughed and said I would write it down this time so we don't forget!

Played cards today, but neither one of us could remember the rules exactly. Mo beat me anyway though. 2 out of 3. Right now she is playing savage garden on the outside speakers, the house is clean the air is fresh and lovely, and we both decided that we really don't want to kayak again tonight.

04camping 9-4-2006 7-29-59 PM

We had a great evening fire and Mo put all the wood we had on there so it was big and warm and really beautiful. We also had a little ceremony of burning her Birkenstocks bought back in the 60's. They were somewhat worn, and she decided to let them go in the fire. It was fun, and we even got a photo of it. 04camping 9-4-2006 7-31-05 PM

Tuesday morning we woke early and decided against trying to kayak before I left for California, a good decision since it was only 34 degrees anyway. Managed to get out of camp after a cereal breakfast by 9:30. Drove together to dump and the new dump station on the Arnica Sink road. A great trip!!

Tomorrow I'll be heading back to my life in Sonora, heat, smog, traffic, too much to do. Ah well. Hopefully I can remember these peaceful clear lovely fresh days when I am back there in all that.