On May 27, I took the day off so we could fill the car with gear and drive to eastern Oregon for some adventure. We managed to fit everything and everyone, but only just. Can you spot Jackson?
We stopped in Salem at Casa del Swank, and the kids commiserated with their grandparents while Becky and I did our 7-mile training run. After a nice lunch, we were off again!
An endless drive and a McDonald’s dinner later, we arrived at the property. Once the gear was stowed, we put two tuckered kids in bed, and curled up for a quiet movie before unconsciousness claimed us as well.
The next morning, we lit a fire…
…and played in the dirt. Will and Lucy built a “city” with logs for buildings. The first building in this sprawling metropolis was Ikea. The second was the White House. The President drove a log truck.
This place has an effectively limitless supply of firewood, but that doesn’t mean it comes for free.
Camping’s tired work. Time for a siesta!
In the afternoon, we met up with some of Becky’s old friends Chad and Vicki for a walk through Lava Cast Forest. When the nearby Newberry Volcano erupted around 6,000 years ago, a forest stood here. The magma cooled around the trees, even as they were set on fire and burned away, and what’s left are holes, some of them still showing the texture of the ancient tree bark.
Why yes, that is snow… Yes, it was late May. Why do you ask?
Lucy was coming down with something, and needed a break from walking. Vicki wanted a break, too.
Will thought Chad was pretty strong, but he wanted to find out exactly how strong.
We invited them back to our place for foil-packet dinners cooked on the fire. We, being such poor hosts, arranged for it to snow all over us it’s almost June WHY?!
The kids admired the snowfall from the nice, warm trailer.
All the snow had melted, and we were enjoying 60-degree niceness by the time we had ourselves packed back into the car the next morning. We bid La Pine a fond farewell, and headed off for the next part of our adventure.
(To be continued…)