Life at the Running Y

Life at the Running Y
Life at the Running Y

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

July 12 Life at the Running Y Resort

Current Location:  Running Y Resort Ranch; 86 degrees F, clear and sunny

Actually, the clarity is marred only a little bit by smoke from the fires to the south of us in California and to the east in Oregon.  I’m not complaining, as the skies are often smoky in the west by this time of year.  We have been lucky so far with winds keeping most of the smoke away from us.

Back in March, when I wrote this post about why we were being relocated temporarily to the Running Y Resort, I hope I didn't sound like I was complaining.  Although it was a bit of a pain getting moved for just three months, it also is a rather amazing experience.

In all the years I have lived in Klamath Falls, I have had a different relationship with the Running Y than I have now.  The resort is located not far from town on the highway between Klamath Falls and our old home in Rocky Point.  We pass the gates often.  Just a little thing, but driving by you can see the ponds surrounded by aspens that are part of the landscaping.  Until last week, however, when Mo and I took advantage of the lovely paved bike trail, we had no idea that those ponds were fed by man made springs and waterfalls, surrounded by ferns and flowers, and big artfully place boulders.

The rest of the resort feels much different than I ever imagined.  In the past decade or so, we would occasionally come out here to dinner, to an art show, but never really spent any kind of time here.  Not being golfers, the beautifully done Arnold Palmer golf course was pretty to look at from a distance, but I had no idea how pretty it was when walking the paths around the greens.  I also had no idea that there were so many permanent as well as timeshare residences here.  The extent of the resort isn’t completely visible from the highway, or even with a simple drive-through.

Right on schedule, at the end of June, the EPA relocation contractor had all the bells and whistles in place and Klamath Moving and Storage showed up at our door, ready to move our pre packed boxes to our new temporary home.  We didn’t have a clue where that home would be until the previous Saturday, when we were allowed to pick up the keys and find out where we would be located.

Melody and her family are in another part of the resort, in an area of Worldmark Timeshare townhomes.  Her place is lovely, with a huge deck, all furnished with tables, loungers, and a stainless steel barbeque, a beautiful view of Klamath Lake.

Instead, we are in an area called “the villas” not far from the Pro shop and the beginning holes of the golf course. The are villas somewhat isolated from the busier sections of the resort, and our views from the huge windows and large back patio look toward the west.  We are low enough that we can’t actually see Klamath Lake from here, but we know it is there because we can see Highway 140 as it winds its way west over Doak Mountain, a very familiar route.

Our temporary home is modern, fully furnished down to towels and linens, dishes and cookware, and even a bit of decor here and there.  Of course, it isn’t exactly our style, or our decor, but it is decidedly comfortable.   I did bring a couple of chicken wall quilts, our bird collage from Florida and one of my ceramic chickens to help us feel more at home.

We have a large master suite downstairs, and two more bedrooms and a bathroom upstairs.  There is a large area that is a bit like a loft that overlooks the living room, and is a perfect spot for a craft table and my plastic crafting bins.  I managed to bring cardmaking and quilting supplies so I can have a little bit of hobby time while we are here.

We have the bikes on the back patio, locked up but ready for spontaneous rides on the beautiful pathways, and the kayaks are on top of the Tracker, which we are keeping here for the time being.  No time to kayak while in Grants Pass, and the best kayaking is here around Klamath Lake anyway.

In fact, this morning, after breakfast, we made the short 1 mile drive through the development to the private boat launch right on Klamath Lake.  Most of the time when we kayak in this area, we are in Pelican Bay, or on Recreation Creek.  This morning was one of the few times we have kayaked on Klamath Lake proper and it was surprisingly beautiful. 

We followed the route along what is called the Skillet Handle, a natural area that is part of the Klamath Birding Trail, and one of the best examples of natural oak habitat that occurs east of the Cascades.  You can see it as the low peninsula adjacent to the lake in the photo above.

We saw more birds than we often see on Recreation Creek, with at least 4 eagles, several Great Egrets, a golden eagle, great blue herons, and hordes of Western Grebes, with little ones riding their backs.

It was a lovely two hour paddle, perfect way to start the day.  We were on the water by 9 and home by 11:30, and decided that in this summer heat, we should be out there no later than 8am for future paddles.  So convenient, and so lovely and uncrowded. 

Yesterday afternoon Mo went to town for some errands and I decided it was a great time to try out the paved loop path that surrounds the resort.  Somewhere between 3 and 4 miles of undulating and sometimes hilly landscape, the path is protected and beautiful.  No worries about traffic, or loose dogs, or weird people.  Just a beautiful place to walk in safety and comfort.  Kind of amazing. Mattie loved it, but of course she had to keep checking out all the critters that were scurrying about in the grass. I never felt unsafe, except I paid attention when I walked through the shaded oak forest at the farthest reaches of the trail.  Rumor has it that a cougar has been seen hanging around the 14th hole out there.  Coyotes are also part of the world here, but so far they don’t seem to be aggressive enough to show up in the daytime trying to snatch little dogs off their leash. Bears are also seen in the vicinity of the Lodge, but we have yet to see any down here.

On the Fourth of July, we invited Melody and her family (who only had to meander through the resort to get to us) and daughter Deborah and grandson Matthew (who did drive up from Grants Pass) to a family fourth celebration.  It was a nice time, with our traditional bocce ball tournament on the grassy lawn behind our place, and good picnic food to share.

Fireworks weren’t part of the celebration.  There are none allowed anywhere on the resort grounds due to fire danger and for the Fourth of July, the night was totally silent, not a pop or bang anywhere.  I am sure most dogs around here were happy about that, although Mattie could care less about fireworks.

In the afternoon we meandered up to the pool area for a swim, and a bit of sun on the beautiful patio.  The pool is indoors but has big sliding windows that go out to the patio that overlooks the man made lake below on the golf course and is shaded or sunny based on where you choose to sit.

This is a peaceful place to be, with all the privacy and luxury of a gated community without the gates.  I never really wanted to live in such an environment, but I can see how seductive it can be.  So quiet, so safe, so convenient, so separated from the everyday world. 

Last night as I was falling asleep, I was thinking about the draw of living here compared to our more reasonable, down to earth location in Grants Pass.  We could have probably afforded a smaller home here, for about the same price as our acre and the new house and RV shed, minus the homeowner fees, of course.  I have no idea how much they are.  I thought about what I would do if I had all the money in the world.  Would I choose to build a home like the one we are building in Grants Pass here at the Running Y?

It was a bit like the soul searching I did when thinking about the pros and cons of building a permanent home and simply living on the road and traveling.  The answer was clear.  Nope.  I wouldn’t change it for all the money in the world.  Somehow this world feels unreal, artificial to me, separated from real life.  Instead, in Grants Pass we have neighbor sounds, traffic sounds flow up from the roads below our terrace, the water trucks lumber by, and sometimes a pickup will go by way too fast on our road.

Town is less than 3 miles away.  I love the town of Grants Pass, with its Historic District and the Rogue River, I love that there is very little snow, that I won’t be buried in deep drifts for months, and won’t be slipping on the ice and afraid to walk anywhere because of it.  There is something about that little acre, with the big old oaks and the fruit trees that reminds me of the places where my Grammy Wells lived when I was a kid.  The place where I would climb the apricot trees and eat warm apricots in the summer.  It is a nostalgic feeling that comes over me at the Grants Pass home that is not easily explained.

As beautiful and manicured and lovely as things are here at the Running Y, I wouldn’t choose to live here, even if I won the lottery!  I would still go to our perfect home that we are building in Grants Pass in an old neighborhood that was once a walnut orchard, surrounded by the soft Oregon mountains and trees with big leaves.  All you lovers of the hardwood forests of the east coast will know exactly what I mean.

At the risk of sounding macabre, I can imagine dying there in that light filled bedroom, without sadness.  The thought of dying here in this villa feels incredibly lonely to me.  We are in our 70’s, and aren’t planning on dying any time soon, but the thought that time is limited is often in the background as we make our choices.

In the mean time, I am thoroughly enjoying the pool, the spa, the cardio fitness center, the bike trails, the kayak launch, the paved walking pathways, the beautiful lodge and restaurant, and the local market, fancy enough to carry Rogue Creamery cheeses and 70 dollar wines. It is a good life.  For now.