Monday, August 18, 2008

This is what living in Oregon is all about...

We went to Bend, Oregon, this weekend to visit my Dad and his wife, Marcy, and to spend some time in the great outdoors. My Dad is recovering from major surgery- he had his colon removed on July 17th, and he is experiencing complications from a secondary liver condition that was recently diagnosed. He felt pretty cruddy while we were there which made it seem even better that we are actually living here in Oregon and are close enough to come over for the weekend to mow the grass and do projects for him while he's recovering. Marcy was at a family reunion on her side, so we tucked Dad into bed and then took off to enjoy a day on the mountain.

We drove to Wickiup Reserve, the mountain lake where Curt completed the swim portion of his first Olympic triathlon in June. He showed us where the start and the finish were and we soaked in the beauty of a lake hemmed in by mountains on all sides. It was breath-taking beauty and the water was COLD!

We headed up the mountain road, stopping to take pictures of the gorgeous Deschutes River that winds through the mountains. It beckoned invitingly to us, but we had a destination in mind: Elk Lake, another mountain lake surrounded by snow-capped peaks and campgrounds. Even though we were planning on going swimming, we both completely forgot to pack swim suits for the kids, but decided that as classy as it is, we would let the kids swim in their clothes!

We found a great picnic spot - in the trees and off the beaten path of the regular beach and set up camp. The lake access from our secluded spot was littered with huge sticks from a fallen tree, so I waded into the frigid water and started clearing sticks out of the way. When the area was clear, the kids ventured in the water all gasping at the temperature difference between the mid-90 degree air and the cold mountain water. Even Paige, our prima-donna, who didn't want to go swimming, changed her mind and allowed Curt to "dip" her in the lake. The kids' squeals and giggles echoed over the surface of the water and seemed to reverberate the fun of the day. As we were packing up to head back to Grandpa and Grandma's house, Grant sighed contently and said, "Now this is what living in Oregon is all about..."

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